New Law Authorizing Remote Notarization Clears the Way for More Business Activities to Resume

HARRISBURG – A new law will allow notaries to do business remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, clearing a major hurdle that prevented businesses such as real estate transactions and auto sales from occurring, according to Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), who supported the legislation.

Act 15 of 2020 extends the ability of notaries to notarize documents remotely. A notary public would still be required to confirm an individual’s identity and reasonably identify records, and an audio/visual recording of the notarial act and all related interactions would be required.

As a result of the new law, the Wolf Administration announced today that auto dealerships will be able to conduct online vehicle sales and provided guidance for these businesses to re-open. In-person sales are still prohibited.

Bartolotta urged Governor Wolf to also ensure that constituents who purchase vehicles online be able to get their required paperwork processed. 

“We are waiting for further guidance on if the Department of Transportation staff will be called back to work to complete title transfers and other critical processes needed for individuals to use the vehicles they purchase,” Bartolotta said.

The new e-notary option was part of a broad bill designed to help local governments operate during the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing them to conduct remote meetings, extend property tax deadlines and waive penalties for late property tax payments. The law also reauthorizes the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council and requires the panel to prepare a report on the effect of the COVID-19 disaster emergency on healthcare facilities. 

CONTACT:   Katrina Hanna (717) 787-1463