Regulatory Coronavirus Tracker: New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu Executive Orders: Remote Notarization

On March 13th, Governor Chris Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-004 which declared a State of Emergency in New Hampshire. Declaring a state of emergency allowed the Governor access to addition powers and resources to protect New Hampshire. This afternoon alone, Governor Sununu issued five more Executive Orders. Of most direct application to credit unions and lending is the authority for to conduct remote acknowledgments: Emergency Order #11, issued March 23rd, which temporarily grants authority and sets guidelines for remote notarization. It is effective immediately.   

The detailed order addresses not only the process to conduct a valid remote acknowledgement, but also the need for audio visual recordings and retention, the impact on persons outside of New Hampshire, the verification of identities, causes of action, and other related requirements and provisions.

Central to the authority to perform a notarization act while not in the presence of a notary is for the parties to communicate simultaneously by sight and sound through an electronic device or process at the time of notarization.

The other Executive Order most of interest relates to evictions and foreclosures: Emergency Order #4, issued March 17th. This Order does not relieve any party from their obligation to pay rent or to make a mortgage payment or to fulfill certain other obligations.

The following is a summary of all Executive Orders, totaling 15 since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, to date:

Emergency Order #1 (Issued on March 15th)

  • Closes all public K-12 school districts through April 3rd and lays the groundwork for remote instruction programs.

Emergency Order #2 (Issued on March 16th)

  • Prohibits any event or gathering of more than 50 people.
  • Requires all restaurants to transition to take-out only and prohibits on site consumption of food and beverages.

Emergency Order #3 (Issued on March 17th)

  • Prohibits utilities from ordering any disconnects of service during the state of emergency. 
  • Requires that utilities provide repayment opportunities following the end of the state of emergency that are free from any additional fees or penalties.

Emergency Order #4 (Issued on March 17th)

  • Prohibits landlords from initiating any eviction proceedings during the state of emergency.
  • Prohibits any judicial or non-judicial foreclosure actions during the state of emergency.

Emergency Order #5 (Issued on March 17th)

  • Temporarily removes the waiting period for access to unemployment benefits.
  • Expands access to unemployment benefits for employees and self-employed individuals who are out of work due to COVID-19.

Emergency Order #6 (Issued on March 18th)

  • Allows all restaurants, diners, bars, etc. that hold both a restaurant license and an on-premise liquor license to offer delivery of beer and wine with a food order.

Emergency Order #7 (Issued on March 18th)

  • Relaxes some rules surrounding educational facility data governance plans for implementation of remote learning tools. Makes other necessary changes to allow quick build-up of remote education tools.

Emergency Order #8 (Issued on March 18th)

  • Allows healthcare providers to offer any service necessary by means of telehealth.
  • Sets requirements for carrier coverage and reimbursement rates for providers.

Emergency Order #9 (Issued on March 19th)

  • Establishes at $50 Million fund to ensure hospitals and other healthcare facilities remain able to operate during the crisis.

Emergency Order #10 (Issued on March 21st)

  • Requiring all sellers of groceries to temporarily transition to use of single use paper or plastic bags.

Emergency Order #11 (Issued on March 23rd)

  • Temporarily grants authority and sets guidelines for remote notarization.                      

Emergency Order #12 (Issued on March 23rd)

  • Increases the flexibility of local and state boards to hold meetings by electronic means. Waives certain “public access” requirements under RSA 91A.

Emergency Order #13 (Issued on March 23rd)

  • Temporarily authorizes pharmacies and pharmacists to compound and sell hand sanitizer over the counter and allows pharmacy technicians to perform non-dispensing tasks remotely.

Emergency Order #14 (Issued on March 23rd)

  • Temporarily authorizes out of state pharmacies to act as licensed mail-order facilities within the State of New Hampshire.

Emergency Order #15 (Issued on March 23rd)

  • Temporarily authorizes out of state medical providers to provide medically necessary services through telehealth.

Please send any questions or comments to govaff-reg@ccua.org.

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