Governor Bill Lee issued an Executive Order on April 9, 2020 allowing remote notarization and witnessing of legal documents, provided the parties sign the documents during a real-time audio/video conference using Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime or other similar video communication platforms or applications. The order remains in effect until May 18, 2020. The purpose of the order (Executive Order 26) is to facilitate “the remote notarization and witnessing of documents … so that Tennesseans may continue to engage in commerce and execute legal documents without requiring in-person contact that might lead to exposure to, or the spread of, COVID-19”.
The usual identification requirements still apply. In addition, the document must also contain a provision that it was executed pursuant to this specific Executive Order. The move has been generally applauded by the Bar Associations and the legal community in general.