Announcement, February 23, 2023
Remote Online Notarization Goes into Effect in New York State
New York Governor, Kathy Hochul, signed Senate Bill 1780C (S1780C), which establishes Remote Online Notarization (also referred to as RON) in New York State under Executive Law Section 135-c. Per a subsequent amendment to the RON Law, Senate Bill 7780 (S7780), the full RON Law went into effect on January 31, 2023. As of January 31, 2023, Remote Ink Notarization (RIN), whereby communication technology is used to remotely create an ink-signed notarized document, is no longer permitted.
All documents submitted to OPA for processing under RON must contain an appropriate signature and/or notarization where required. Pursuant to New York State Senate Bills 1780C and 7780, OPA will accept documents that have been remotely notarized per the legal requirements in effect on the date of notarization, including those requirements outlined in the amended Executive Law and all applicable regulations established by the New York Department of State. To be valid, electronic notarization must be performed utilizing audio-video technology and must meet the following prerequisites:
• The person seeking the notary's services, if not personally known to the notary, must present valid photo ID to the notary during the video conference;
• The video conference must allow for direct interaction between the person and the notary (e.g. no pre-recorded videos of the person signing);
• Although the notary conducting the RON must be physically located in New York State, the signatory may be located outside of New York but inside the United States, or even outside the United States under certain limited circumstances;
• After the signer has executed the document, it must be transmitted to the notary public for officiating. This is done by presentation to the notary of the executed document through the software platform. The notary must confirm that the document is the same as the one signed electronically in the notary public’s presence before applying the notary stamp and signature to the document;
• For electronic notarial acts performed remotely, the following statement must be added to the jurat “This electronic notarial act involved a remote online appearance involving the use of communication technology”;
• The electronic notarial process does not require transmission of paper records or ink signatures of either the signer (i.e., principal) or electronic notary. The result of the process is an electronically created, electronically stored document that may be done online, and may be papered out for recording or other purposes;
• Notaries who conduct a RON will need to keep a recording of each session for at least 10 years, along with the type of identification show to the notary. The notary must take reasonable steps to ensure a back-up recording of the remote notarization exists, and is secured from unauthorized use;
• Beginning January 25, 2023, all notaries, including those notaries that only provide traditional in-person services, are required to keep a journal of all notarial acts performed which includes the type of identification provided, for 10 years. Electronic notaries must maintain a journal of all notarial acts as well as an audio & video record of all electronic notarial acts performed noted above.
As of January 31, 2023, notaries wishing to provide remote notary services must register with the Department of State. https://dos.ny.gov/notary-public#remote-notarization-faqs.The New York Department of State has established additional regulations on remote notary services and additional standards relating to a notary’s use of an electronic signature. Additional information has been be posted on the Department of State website noted above.
Announcement, May 6, 2020
Beneficiary Services – COVID-19 Updates
In light of the current Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Office of Payroll Administration (OPA) shall temporarily suspend its requirement that beneficiaries submit original records (i.e. Death Certificates, Letters of Administration or Letters Testamentary) in order to receive death benefits. Effective immediately, copies of records may be faxed to 212-742-5663, or emailed to BeneficiaryServices@fisa-opa.nyc.gov, and said copies will be treated as originals. Moreover, OPA shall reserve the right to request original records in the future as a validation measure.
Obtaining Death Certificates
At present, the New York City Department of Health (DOH) continues to process requests for Death Certificates via its online platform. Where applicable, OPA shall continue to require the submission of death certificates and beneficiaries are to be directed to DOH’s website for further information as follows:
Owed Payments to Deceased Employees
When a City employee dies, the employee's family or beneficiaries may be entitled to certain payments. The family should first contact the employee's agency to see what payments, if any, are due. For the most part, the agency assists the family in providing the necessary forms and instructions for OPA to release the funds. In some situations, the agency may refer the family or other beneficiary to OPA for guidance.
Note: The procedure outlined below pertains only to situations where the decedent passes with a will or where there is Court administration. Where there is no will or letters of administration, SCPA §1310 will govern. In this situation, please request the applicable forms for processing the decedent's unclaimed checks from the deceased employee's agency.
One payment might be for wages earned prior to death. This may be a partial or full payment for the time the employee worked during the pay period in which he or she died. If there is a will, which has been probated, final payment is made to the employee's executor, who must submit:
- Original Letters Testamentary
- A copy of the Original death certificate
- A W-9 Form from the Executor
If there is no will (or there is a will which has not been probated), payments for wages are made to the next of kin, who may not be the deceased employee's designated beneficiaries. If there is court administration, the next of kin must have been designated as the administrator of the estate, who must submit:
- Original Letters of Administration
- A copy of the Original death certificate
- A W-9 Form of the Recipient
Note: If there is no court administration, then the next of kin is entitled to collect payment for wages pursuant to the limitations set forth in the New York Surrogate Court Procedure Act (SCPA) §1310.
Accumulated Time and Leave
Payment for accrued annual leave and compensatory time will be made payable to the beneficiary designated on the Designation of Beneficiary Form on file with the deceased employee's agency.
The beneficiary needs to provide:
- His or her Social Security number
- A copy of the death certificate
- Proof of identity such as a marriage license, birth certificate, passport, or driver's license
- A W-9 Form of the Recipient
Without a will or a Designation of Beneficiary Form on file with the agency, any leave or compensatory time payments will be distributed according to SCPA §1310 in absence of Letters of Administration. If payments are designated to be made to a minor, the legal parent or guardian must provide court guardianship papers before funds can be released.
If a payment is due for back pay resulting, for instance, from a contractual settlement, the payment will be issued to the estate or next of kin as in the case of final wage payment.
For any type of payment, the agency produces a paycheck in the deceased employee's name and sends it to OPA with an Undistributed Check form and Pay Order. OPA issues a replacement check payable to the employee's estate, beneficiary, or next of kin. If the employee dies after a paycheck was issued to him or her but before the check is cashed, the check should be returned to the employee's agency. The agency will forward the check to OPA. A replacement check will be issued to the estate or next of kin.
Other Payments Owed to Deceased Employees
The above payments may not be all to which the family or beneficiaries of a deceased employee are entitled. Death benefits may be available from the employee's pension system, Deferred Compensation Plan, Union, or Management Benefits Fund. The employee's agency can advise the family or beneficiaries which organizations to contact.
Learn more about the Pension Plans
Learn more about the Deferred Compensation Plan
Learn more about the Management Benefits Fund