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Gov. Parson suspends in-person notary rules

Gov. Mike Parson has signed an executive order that temporarily suspends the requirement that a notary public must conduct the notarization of official documents while the signer appears in-person before them.

The April 6 order allows for the use of audio-video technology to complete the personal-appearance requirement, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

In recent weeks, Missouri attorneys have lobbied Parson to sign such an order.

“It’s important for us in state government to work together to remove barriers to keep Missourians moving forward during this time,” Parson said in a statement. “We need to do everything we can to ensure Missourians can still safely enter into contracts, sign mortgages, and update wills and personal health care directives without placing themselves or their notary at risk.”

In a separate statement, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who requested the order, said it “is vital to protecting the safety of thousands of Notaries Public, who are often asked to visit homes and businesses to notarize documents.”

The order is valid until May 15, unless extended.

Notaries who are already registered must register as electronic notaries public. More information will soon be available at the secretary of state’s website, www.sos.mo.gov. Those with questions can email commissions@sos.mo.gov or call 573-751-2783.

Coronavirus crisis

This item is part of Missouri Lawyers Media's free coverage of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the legal community.

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