Notaries Public (Virtual Conduct of Notarial Acts) Regulations 2020

04/23/2020

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CAYMAN ISLANDS – As a response to COVID-19, new Regulations allow for notarial acts within the Islands to be conducted remotely.

The Notaries Public (Virtual Conduct of Notarial Acts) Regulations, 2020 published on 17 April 2020,(the “Regulations”) acknowledge that Notary Publics in the Cayman Islands may use communication technology to satisfy the “appearing before” requirement in carrying out their notarial acts. The Regulations are particularly crucial as they strike the balance between maintaining physical distancing requirements and allowing for business to continue where notarisations are required, once the conditions set out in the Regulations are followed.

The conditions for use of communication technology are as follows:

  1. the remotely located individual who is appearing before the Cayman Islands Notary Public must be able to demonstrate that he or she is also physically situated in the Cayman Islands;
  2. the remotely located individual must send by fax, email or other electronic means a legible copy of the document to the Notary Public beforehand;
  3. once the Notary Public sees the remotely located individual sign the same document which has been previously sent to him or her, the Notary may then proceed to notarise the transmitted document (and return same by electronic
    means);
  4. the Notary Public must record the details of the notarial act in the usual Notarial Acts Book required under section 13 of the Notaries Public Law – but must also make a note that the notarial act was performed remotely in accordance with the
    Regulations; and
  5. if the remotely located individual is not personally known to the Notary Public, then the remotely located individual must present valid photo identification (like a passport or driver’s licence) to the Notary Public during the “real time” remote
    interaction.

Notary Publics are cautioned to be particularly vigilant and careful – and to refuse remote notarisation by way of communication technology where they are not satisfied that the notarial act, if performed, would comply with the Regulations. If the Notary subsequently becomes aware that the notarial act was not performed in compliance with the Regulations, they have three days of becoming so aware to notify the Clerk of the Grand Court (the “Clerk”) in writing and provide details of the non-compliance. Notaries who fail to notify the Clerk may be immediately suspended.

The Regulations will cease to have effect at the end of two years from the date that they came into force, or at such other time as the Cabinet of the Cayman Islands may appoint by Order.

For more information, contact Gina M. Berry – Country Managing Partner

The information contained in this article is provided for the general interest of our readers, but is not intended to constitute legal advice. Clients and the general public are encouraged to seek specific advice on matters of concern. This article can in no way serve as a substitute in such cases. Copyright ©2020 Higgs & Johnson. All rights reserved.

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