Pennsylvania credit unions cheer remote notarization law

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday signed into law a bill allowing for remote notarization of documents.

The measure was initially intended as only a temporary fix when the pandemic made access to notaries more difficult. However, Thursday’s signing makes remote notarization permanent.

The legislation permits notarization of documents so long as the signer appears over an audio-video connection. Credit unions pushed for the bill because of notary services needed for mortgage closings, however the service can also be used for power of attorney, commercial leases and other documents. Notaries can also remotely serve as witnesses for electronic signatures, administer oaths or affirmations and more.

“On behalf of Pennsylvania’s credit unions, we thank Rep. Keller and his colleagues in the House and Senate for making this temporary law permanent,” Patrick Conway, president and CEO of the CrossState Credit Union Association, said in a press release on Thursday. “By signing the law, Gov. Wolf delivered a much-needed solution to enable our member credit unions to continue to conveniently meet members’ needs.”

Representatives from CrossState, which also serves credit unions in New Jersey, continue to work with lawmakers in the Garden State to pass similar legislation there.

The financial services sector embraced remote notarization as the pandemic spread, though several states still do not explicitly permit it. Some vendor groups with credit union connections have pushed state legislatures in recent years to change those laws.

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