COVID-19 Pandemic In-Person Requirement Suspension

In-Person Requirement Suspended for Court Reporters

Effective March 21, 2020 and in place until Governor Wolf declares the COVID-19 pandemic emergency over. Subject to change after the expiration of the emergency declaration.

On March 21, Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request temporarily suspending the physical presence of notaries who are court reporters or stenographers participating in criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings.

Read the Official Waiver


Reporting Remotely

PCRA Remote Notary Advocacy is a Success, Remote Swearing-In of Witnesses
Made Permanent by Act 97

PCRA confirmed with the Pennsylvania Department of State and the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries that court reporters may continue to swear-in witnesses remotely as long as they become authorized to be a remote notary.

Any court reporter who wants to continue to swear in witnesses remotely must apply for the remote notary certification.  There is no cost for this certification, and it runs concurrent with your regular notary license. 

To become a remote notary, one needs to inform the Department of State that one intends to electronically or remotely notarize by filling out the electronic notary application and then choosing the technology vendor.

Read the PA Department of State's Steps to Becoming an Electronic or Remote Notary in Pennsylvania

More Information

On October 29, 2020, a bill was enacted into law that amends Title 57 (RULONA), “further providing for authority to perform notarial act, providing for notarial act performed for remotely located individual and further providing for notification regarding performance of notarial act on electronic record…”

Passage of this legislation means that Pennsylvania court reporters may swear in witnesses remotely.

READ HOUSE BILL 2370 (Now 2020 Act 97)


What You Need to Know:

  • A notary public located in Pennsylvania may perform a notarial act facilitated by communication technology for a remotely located individual if all of the following apply:
    • The notary public has personal knowledge of the identity of the individual
    • The notary public has satisfactory evidence of the identity of the remotely located individual by oath or affirmation from a credible witness appearing before the notary public
    • The notary public is reasonably able to identify the individual by at least two different types of identity proofing processes or services
    • The notary public is reasonably able to identify a record before the notary public as the same record
    • The notary public, or a person acting on behalf of the notary public, creates an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act, including all interactions between the notary public and the remotely located individual…
  • The certificate of notarial act and the short form certificate must indicate that the notarial act was performed by means of communication technology.
  • The notary public shall retain the audio-visual recording, or cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the notary public, for at least 10 years after the recording is created.
  • Before a notary public performs the notary public’s initial notarial act, the notary public must notify the Department of State that the notary public will be performing notarial acts facilitated by communication technology and identify the technology.
  • The communication technology and the identity proofing must conform to Department of State standards. (Pay attention to the "Steps...")


Resources for Remote Reporting

NCRA - COVID-19 Resources

Conducting Remote Depositions

NCRA - Handling of Exhibits for Remote Depositions

JCR - How to Optimize Internet Connection for Remote Depositions

Security Recommendations for Remote Reporting

Zoom - In-Meeting File Transfer

Zoom - Breakout Rooms and Private Chatting for Off-the-Record Discussions


Preparing Remote Records

When you prepare transcripts for depositions conducted remotely, the title and certification pages should reflect the remote nature of both the proceedings and the swearing in. 

See below for PCRA suggestions:

Sample Remote Title Page - Freelance

Sample Remote Certification Page - Freelance

Sample Remote Title Page - Official

Sample Remote Certification Page - Official