AAR Board of Directors: Remote Online Notarization and Other Updates

AAR Board of Directors: Remote Online Notarization and Other Updates

Dear AAR Board of Directors, 

On behalf of President Morgan Ashurst, we are writing to share several important updates of note:

  • Virtual/ Remote Notarization: This afternoon, Governor Ivey updated the State’s Emergency Order to allow Remote and Virtual Notarization of Documents during this pandemic to allow business to continue to be conducted in safe manner and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    • This is a big development for closings to continue under these challenging circumstances.  We are still reviewing the Order- our legal staff will develop FAQs and further clarity to distribute as soon as possible.
    • **NAR is continuing to advance a federal bill which will provide a nationwide uniform standard for remote and virtual notarization.
  • Essential Services: At this time, the Governor’s office remains reluctant to issue a statewide shelter in place order unless it absolutely necessary. This situation can change rapidly as we have seen in other states. 
    • Local Orders, Shelter in Place- we have seen two cities move forward with a “Shelter in Place Order” and Tuscaloosa issue a “Curfew,” which read like a Shelter in Place Order. Real estate services are not specifically included in the local ordinances, but municipal leaders have assured both realtor boards that real estate business may continue as currently. An interesting article on these developments from a political perspective is here. 
    • This afternoon, a template letter was circulated to Association Executives for board who may wish to pre emotively reach out to municipal leaders and request real estate activities be allowed to continue should they consider a shelter in place or ordinance. 
    • Attorney General Steve Marshall issued guidance late yesterday afternoon on municipal attempts to circumvent or go further than the State Department of Health Order. The memo concludes that a local ordinance may not be in conflict with the state department of health. (attached)
  • Legal Addendum: The COVID-19 Form addendum can be found here. Check the AAR COVID-19 update page frequently, Real Estate Alabama, and we continue to provide periodic email updates.
  • NAR Federal Update: NAR has developed a fantastic overview of the COVID-19 Aid, Relief and Security Act. More information can be found here.  Check the NAR COVID-19 Update page frequently and read your emails!

We will have more information and updates coming as things unfold. Please reach out to Morgan, Slade or me if you need anything from us or AAR. Stay safe and healthy.

Warm regards,