February 11, 2021-Jim Massara, Patch Staff-Patch
DALLAS, GA — A pandemic-related action allowing Georgians to have documents notarized remotely may become permanent if a bill co-sponsored by a Dallas state representative passes.
State Rep. Joseph Gullett, who represents Georgia’s 19th District, was one of five representatives who introduced House Bill 334 earlier this month. The other sponsors are Rep. Todd Jones of Cumming, Rep. Rob Leverett of Elberton, Rep. Trey Kelley of Cedartown and Rep. James Burchett of Waycross.
“Authorizing online notarization is a necessary and easy way to promote safer, remote ways to conduct our daily lives during the pandemic,” Gullett said Thursday in a news release. “As people and businesses in Georgia continue to adapt to online technology throughout this pandemic, our laws must continue to adapt also.”
If passed, House Bill 334 would authorize online notarizations and allow the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority to set standards for doing so.
According to the National Association of Secretaries of State, 27 states already have statutes allowing online notarization, most enacted before the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost all other states — including Georgia — enacted emergency orders after the pandemic began authorizing online notarization. House Bill 334 would make the authorization permanent.
In a letter sent Monday, a coalition of businesses including banking trade groups, insurance companies and mortgage lenders endorsed the bill. Among the businesses that signed the letter were Adobe, Inc.; the Georgia Bankers Association; the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and affiliates; Quicken Loans; and Zillow Group.
“House Bill 334 was crafted based on national models that have been adopted across the country, and the Georgia business community has embraced this bill,” Gullett said. “I hope that my colleagues in the House and Senate will also show their support for this common-sense legislation.”
More information on House Bill 334 is available here.