New Law Authorizing Remote Notarization Clears the Way for Online Auto Sales to Resume

HARRISBURG – A new law will allow notaries to do business remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, clearing a major hurdle that prevented auto sales from being conducted online, according to Senate Appropriators Chairman Pat Browne, 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, reasonably identify records, and make an audio/visual recording of the notarial act and all related interactions would be required.

A result of the new law, the Wolf Administration announced 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.

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: Matt Szuchyt –  mszuchyt@pasen.gov