Are Notaries Essential Business?

Some Notary Tasks Have Been Deemed Essential

It has only taken a couple of weeks and the landscape of our daily lives has changed, possibly forever.

Most of the nation is now under stay at home, or safer at home orders. With people only allowed to travel for things like groceries, or essential business.

This will change the notary landscape forever. But, at the moment, we should focus on our immediate business and the safety of ourselves, our families, our friends, our clients and everyone else.

Which Notaries are Deemed Essential?

Some notary functions have been declared an essential business via a memorandum for the financial services sector. Or in simpler terms, mortgages and other types of loans.

United States Secretary of the Treasury, Steven T. Munchin levied the mandate. It goes into great detail as to all of the sectors of financial services are essential.

If you do not have a copy of the memorandum, we advise you download it and carry it with you if you have a signing. Some localities are requiring it be on person, while others are more lax. It’s probably easier to just print and carry it, as keeping up with every local development isn’t easy.

Right now, local restrictions override any federal orders, so make sure you know your local travel orders or any other instructions mandated by your local leaders, at least as best as you can in this rapidly changing world.

Real Estate and Titles Keep Moving On

Real estate has not stopped. A few of the rules have changed, but the engine remains the same, even if it slows down.

The market has quickly changed along with everything else. What was hoped to be a banner home selling season has stood back. But, lower interest rates are now driving incredible interest in refinancing.

Craig Haskins, chief operating officer with Knight Barry Title, said a common misconception he is seeing is people think “a lot of our real estate business has just stopped.” “We’ve been deemed an essential service across the country. Even if your county courthouse is closed, there’s a good chance your transaction can get finalized,” Haskins said. “Also, as an industry, we’ve shown our ability to innovate quickly through all of this, and I hope it continues when some normalcy returns.”  

Housing Wire

What About Other Notary Functions?

The first thing that comes to mind are weddings.

And the rules are all over the place.

In some locales weddings are banned, in some you can have them, but no marriage license will be until a later date. And in some places the rules are different than that.

That is why it is important to know your local rules and what you can and cannot do.

What About Safety?

This crisis has started a rush towards remote online notarizations. Some states that have not approved them have given the option of performing a signing remotely.

When traveling to a signing, please follow the recommendations from the CDC. They have a lot of additional information on the site, like how to clean various items and what to do if you think you may be sick.

At the signing follow the above recommendations. But, remember, your safety is paramount.

This is part two of our series on the coronavirus and the wider effects it has on our industry. It is amazing how quickly things have changed.

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