Gov. Hochul signs credit union-backed remote notarization legislation into law
Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul on Wednesday signed into law legislation that will allow for the permanent use of remote electronic notarizations in New York, marking a major legislative victory for the New York credit union movement.
Credit unions across the state have been utilizing remote electronic notarization services as a result of a March 2020 executive order and subsequent extensions that temporarily authorized this technology. The law, when fully implemented, provides credit unions and other New York organizations with the permanent ability to utilize the technology.
The legislation, S.1780-C, was introduced by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, D-Queens, and Sen. James Skoufis, D-Cornwall.
The permanent use of remote notarizations was a major legislative priority for NYCUA and New York’s credit unions in 2021. Credit unions and other institutions throughout the state successfully implemented and utilized the technology at the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many were hesitant to utilize and perform notary services in person. Since that time, the technology has been used to expand notary services to countless individuals who may have had difficulty obtaining services in person.
William J. Mellin, president and CEO of NYCUA said: “This law is certainly a victory for credit unions, but it’s also a victory for the disabled, elderly, those in rural communities and others who may find it difficult to obtain the services of a notary in person. New York now joins a growing list of states that have authorized this practical and modern technology. On behalf of New York’s credit unions, I thank Gov. Hochul, as well as Assemblywoman Rozic and Sen. Skoufis, for ensuring this pragmatic piece of legislation became law.”
Sen. Skoufis said: “Reforming the antiquated process of notarization isn’t just a matter of efficiency, it’s about offering equitable access to this necessary service for those who are homebound or otherwise unable to engage a notary. I am grateful to all of the stakeholders involved in this long-running effort to bring electronic notarization to the fore, and to the Governor for her signature on this important legislation. I am proud to have a hand in pulling New York into the 21st century.”
Assemblywoman Rozic said: “Despite the increasing notarizations that occur every year, the industry has not adapted to societal changes and technological advances. Notarization still requires people to be physically present in front of a notary public, despite technology that would allow for the same — or increased — security over video conference calls. Thank you to the New York Credit Union Association for their advocacy on this issue and to Governor Hochul for signing this long overdue legislation that will allow all New Yorkers to access notarial services.”
Notably, the remote notarization legislation is the second key legislative priority New York’s credit unions have had signed into law in 2021. Earlier this year, Hochul signed a law granting credit unions access to the state’s Excelsior Linked Deposit Program – a move that capped decades of advocacy and lobbying efforts from NYCUA and the New York credit union community.
“It is difficult enough to get any policy idea signed into law; having two priorities become law in a single legislative session is truly remarkable,” said Mellin. “This illustrates what the New York Credit Union Association has been saying for over 100 years: When the credit union movement is united, we are among the most powerful advocacy forces on the planet.”
About the New York Credit Union Association:
For more than 100 years, the New York Credit Union Association has served as the trade association for the state’s credit unions, which collectively hold more than $100 billion in assets and serve 6 million members. NYCUA advances the credit union movement by advocating, educating, uniting and supporting the interests of all New York credit unions. To learn more about NYCUA, visit www.nycua.org. To find a credit union or learn more about the credit union movement, visit www.yourmoneyfurther.com.
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