Tags: COVID-19

We have entered into uncharted territory and the challenges resulting are overwhelming. 

Schools are closed; restrictions are in place; businesses are closed; and nearly one out of every three Americans have been told to stay put through shelter-in-place mandates. Courts have pushed deadlines as well, and Courts have limited the amount of people coming into the courthouses or closed completely. Many things can be done online. Some people, however, are not aware that South Dakota and other states have statutes that allow for signatures to be notarized without even leaving your home. Some states are allowing it through executive orders and will only allow during the crisis or until a statute actually goes into effect.

The federal government has also introduced a bill to address this need. 

(NOTE: It is imperative to look at the laws of the location of the individual signing and a closer look for full compliance with a specific state’s laws, lender requirements, and underwriter requirements.). 

Here is an overview of a few states that allow virtual notarization's:

South Dakota

Statute: SDCL § 18-1-11.1 Notarial act permitted when person appears by means of communication technology--Requirements.

  • Notary must be located in South Dakota
  • Use audio and visual communication with person not in the physical presence of the notary to watch signature on document
  • Notary has personal knowledge of the identity of the person through dealing sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the person has the identity being claimed
  • Notary affixes signature on original tangible document executed by person
  • Notary must indicate in the notarial certificate the remote location of the person executing the document and that the statement or signature by person was not in the physical presence and appeared by means of audio and visual communication
  • Notary must be able to reasonably confirm that the document before the notary is the same document in which the person made the statement or executed.
  • NOTE: South Dakota does not permit Electric Notarization


Iowa Code § 9B.14A was to go into effect on July 1, 2020.  However, Iowa’s Governor entered an Executive Order on March 22, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that temporarily allows remote online notarization's to be performed immediately under Iowa Code § 9B.14A.

Personal appearance now can be done using communication technology with the notary confirming the individual’s identity by:

  1. personal knowledge;
  2. verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness appearing before the party; or
  3. verification of at least two different types of identity proofing.
  • The document must be confirmed to be the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or executed a signature. Unlike in South Dakota, however,
  • Notary must make an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act and keep that recording for ten years.
  • The certificate of the act must indicate the use of communication technology.

North Dakota

Statute: ND Century Code 44-06.1-13.1 Notarial Act Performed for Remotely Located Individual

  • Requires simultaneous sight and sound
  • Notarial act must be on the original document w/ original signature; must reasonably verify it's the same document.
  • Requires proof of the identity of the individual signing by either witness attestation in person to the notary or via 2 forms of identity;
  • Must record the performance of the notarial act (audiovisual recording)
  • The certificate of notarial act and the short-form certificate must indicate the notarial act was performed using communication technology.  Short-form should follow requirements of 44-06.1-19 with the added statement "This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”
  • Recording of the notarial act must be retained for at least 10 years.
  • Notary must first inform the secretary of state that it will be performing notarial acts for remotely located individuals and identify the chosen technologies to be used.
  • ND also allows for electronic notarization.


Statute: MN Statute 358.645 Remote Online Notary Public

  • Allows the principal to sign a document electronically, and the notary then electronically notarizes the e-signed document.
  • Must first be a notary, and then register with the state and with the SofS to be a remote online notary public.
  • Must be physically located in the state to perform the notarization; the remotely located individual may be in the state, outside the state but w/in the U.S., or outside the U.S. if no actual knowledge that the act is prohibited in the jurisdiction in which the remote person is located, and the document relates to something going on in the U.S.
  • Must keep electronic journal of remote online notarizations containing the following information:
    • Date and time of the notarization
    • Type of notorial act;
    • Type, title, or description of the electronic document or proceeding;
    • Printed name and address of each principal involved in the proceeding;
    • Evidence of identity of each principal involved in the proceeding (statement, copy of ID, or witness info)
    • Fee charged for the notarization;
  • Must create an audiovisual copy of the performance of the notorial act
  • Must maintain the electronic journal for at least 10 years.

If you are required to obtain a notarized signature on a document, it may possible to get it done without leaving your home.  If you need assistance, give us a call and we can set up a meeting via Microsoft Teams.  The Goosmann Law Team is here to help you navigate through the crisis at hand.  Contact our attorneys in the Sioux Falls, Sioux City, and/or Omaha offices to discuss your needs.    

Visit Our COVID-19 Resource Toolbox

Subscribe Our Blog

DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. By visiting this website, blog, or post you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Goosmann Law Firm attorneys and website publisher. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Goosmann Law Firm, PLC, or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.