Whitmer signs executive order removing barriers to remote transactions

On Wednesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-41, which will protect the health and safety of Michiganders by reducing unnecessary in-person contact, through the use of electronic signatures, remote notarizations, remote witness attestations and acknowledgments, and remote visitations. Executive Order 2020-41 is effective immediately and continues through May 6, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

“It is important that Michiganders take every precaution to avoid person to person contact,” said Whitmer. “Encouraging the use of e-signatures and alternative means of notarization will protect more people and help us slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. I will continue to work around the clock to ensure we protect the most people we can from this virus.”

Executive Order 2020-41 will help ensure that necessary transactions and interactions may continue to occur during this time of crisis without putting Michiganders’ health and the health of their families at risk.

Unless the law specifically mandates a physical signature, Executive Order 2020-41 temporarily suspends the rules and procedures under the Uniform Electronic Act and permits the use of an electronic signature for a transaction whenever a signature is required under Michigan law. Additionally, the order specifics that any notarial act that is required under Michigan law may be performed utilizing two-way real-time audiovisual technology, provided that certain conditions within the order are met.

While Executive Order 2020-41 is in effect, financial institutions and registers of deeds cannot refuse to record a tangible copy of an electronic record if the notary before whom it was executed certifies that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record.

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