The Order (as supplemented by guidance issued by the Illinois Secretary of State) generally provides that:
Illinois notaries may perform remote notarization by two-way, real time audio-video communication technology, provided that both the signatory and the notary are each physically within the State, and that the audio-video communication can be retained;
- Any act of witnessing may be completed by two-way, real time audio-video communication technology, provided that both the witness and the signatory are each physically located within the State, the audio-video communication can be retained, and other specific criteria regarding fax or electronic transmission of the document are met;
- It does not supersede the exceptions enumerated in the Electronic Commerce Security Act prohibiting electronic signatures on certain documents such as negotiable instruments; and
- All legal documents, including deeds, last wills and testaments, trusts, durable powers of attorney for property, and powers of attorney for healthcare, may be signed in counterparts by the witness(es) and the signatory.
While a number of states have already made the move toward allowing for remote execution of documents, Illinois now joins several states that have enacted similar legislation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.