For immediate release: April 6, 2020
Contact: Maura Browning, Communications Director
Governor Parson Signs Executive Order 20-08 Regarding Notary Public in Response to COVID-19
Jefferson City, Mo. — At today’s press briefing, Governor Mike Parson announced he has signed Executive Order 20-08 suspending a statutory requirement that a notary public must conduct the notarization of official documents while the signer appears personally in front of him or her.
As requested by Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, the Order allows for the use of audio-video technology to complete the personal appearance requirement, protecting the health and safety of both notaries public as well as Missourians who otherwise would have been required to have close contact with the notary.
“It’s important for us in state government to work together to remove barriers to keep Missourians moving forward during this time,” Governor Parson said. “We need to do everything we can to ensure Missourians can still safely enter into contracts, sign mortgages, and update wills and personal health care directives without placing themselves or their notary at risk.”
“I am grateful to Governor Parson for agreeing to suspend this requirement,” Secretary Ashcroft said. “In every way we can in state government, we must allow real estate, business, and personal transactions to continue without endangering the health of Missourians. This Executive Order is vital to protecting the safety of thousands of Notaries Public, who are often asked to visit homes and businesses to notarize documents. I appreciate the Governor always being willing to listen and act when necessary.”
The Executive Order invokes the provisions of sections 44.100 and 44.110, RSMo, which declared a state of emergency due to the spread of COVID-19.
It orders that the requirement of personal appearance before a notary public is suspended to the extent that any notarial act is authorized to be performed utilizing audio-video technology, provided certain conditions are met. The order is valid until May 15, 2020, unless extended.
Already-registered notaries must register as electronic notaries public. Details on registration and the personal appearance suspension are available on the Secretary of State’s website at https://www.sos.mo.gov/ElectronicNotary. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (573) 751-2783 with questions.
The Executive Order will be viewable online at https://www.sos.mo.gov/library/reference/orders/default.
Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.