The current COVID-19 crisis has affected the practice of law in a variety of ways. The most prominent is the need to work remotely from our offices. This transition has been seamless for some but far more difficulty for others. Besides the transition to off site work, how the practice of law occurs has also been challenged.
For a large segment of practicing lawyers, the simple act of notarizing a document has become nearly impossible. Self-isolations requirements run counter to in-person notaries. The KBA has received several comments about this growing problem and we would like to update you on our efforts to deal with lack of access by notaries.
The KBA has worked closely with the Kansas Land Title Association and the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office to amend notarial statues in Kansas. This session the KBA supported HB 2713, Enacting the revised uniform law on notarial acts. This bill would allow a remotely located individual, defined as an individual who is not in the physical presence of the notary public who performs a notarial act, to comply with the personal appearance requiremment by using communication technology to appear before a notary public.
Unfortunately, HB 2713 was unable to make it to the governor’s desk before the COVID-19 hit. However, the KBA has discussed this issue with legislative leaders and will push for its passage at the earliest possible time.
In the meantime, the KBA is again working closely with the KS Secretary of State’s Office and the Kansas Land Time Association and other interested parties on language that would suspend the personal appearance requirement for notarizations in Kansas. This proposal would be sent to the Governor’s Office for her consideration and possible enactment thru executive order. This is an on-going, fluid discussion. The KBA will continue to work on this issue for our members and will provide an update when more information is available.