On Wednesday, Governor Janet Mills signed a new law to temporarily enshrine pandemic-era remote notarization practices into law while the Secretary of State, interest groups, and consumer privacy experts work towards permanent practices for remote, online notarization.
LD 1399 http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP1033&item=3&snum=130 , sponsored by Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, continues the allowance from the April 8, 2020 Executive Order which temporarily suspended provisions of Maine law that require the physical presence of a notary or witness, with certain exceptions until Jan. 1, 2023. This was to ensure that Maine people, especially those who are elderly or have underlying health conditions, could conduct important business that requires sworn statements or affidavits with minimal in-person interaction.
Under the new law, Secretary Bellows will convene a working group made up of the Maine Association of Realtors, the Maine State Bar Association, Maine Bankers Association, Maine Credit Union League, Legal Services for the Elderly, Maine Registers of Deeds Association, Maine Real Estate and Development Association, Uniform Law Commission, Maine Probate and Trust Law Advisory Commission and others. With input from these organizations, the Secretary of State will conduct a study on remote and online notarization and submit a report, including recommended legislation, to the Legislature by Feb. 1, 2022.