The Minnesota Legislature passed legislation permitting video conferencing to satisfy the requirement to appear personally before a notarial officer for certain conveyances. The bill has been signed, and is set to expire Jan. 6, 2021, unless renewed under an additional executive order.

While the state already has a remote online notarization statute, the new H.F. 15 states:

“During and for 60 days after the expiration of a peacetime public health emergency, with respect to documents recorded pursuant to Minnesota Recording Statutes, sections 507.24 and 507.27  the requirement to appear personally under Minnesota Statutes, section 358.56 (personal appearance) is deemed met when the notarial officer and the individual making the statement or executing the signature, whether acting on behalf of themselves or in a representative capacity, are not in the same location but are physically located within the state of Minnesota and communicate via video conference in real time.

The notary would have to create an audio and video record of the notarial act and the recording must reflect the items required by Minnesota Statutes, section 358.645, subdivision 4, paragraph (a), clauses (1),(3),(4),(5) and (6), as well as showing on the video there was a verbal  statement by the notary to the signer informing the signer of the temporary authority under which the personal appearance is made, by having the signer verbally acknowledge something to the effect that  “this notarization is being recorded, under temporary authority of House File 15, and that the recording may be subject to inspection by the commissioner of commerce, and that the recording will be maintained for a period of 10 years.”

The notary will have to take reasonable steps to ensure the integrity, security and authenticity of the audio and video record of the performance of the notarial act; maintain a backup of the audio and video record required in paragraph (b); and protect the record and the backup from unauthorized access or use. As an audio-visual closing, a journal should be kept of the closing as well, with pertinent information.