PA Department of State Updates Guidance for PA Notaries Who Are Court Reporters

On September 21, PCRA received word from the PA Department of State that “Pennsylvania notaries who are court reporters or stenographers and who are participating in criminal, civil and administrative proceedings may continue to administer oaths and affirmations by telephone or video conference as part of those proceedings, without becoming a remote notary or using approved remote technology to administer oral oaths and affirmations remotely Proceedings include depositions, arbitrations, and hearings that occur as part of any criminal, civil and administrative legal proceeding.”  (PCRA’s underline emphasis added).  This guidance addresses and clarifies recent PCRA member questions and inquiries.  

“The Department intends to clarify by regulation that personal appearance is not required for the notarial act of copy/deposition certification or for administering an oral oath or affirmation.  The regulations will specify that the notary and the person taking the oral oath or affirmation must be able to hear and communicate with each other.  Note: This interpretation and any future regulations are not designed to override any applicable rules of court or procedure.

Lastly, the notary/court reporter must continue to document all notarial acts in the journal, in accordance with section 319 of the Revised Uniform Law.” (PCRA’s emphasis added)

On behalf of its members, PCRA has long advocated to the Department of State and other decision makers regarding remote reporting and the need for consideration and clarification.  Special thanks to Linda Larson, CSR, RPR, CLR, CRI, and Sue Kiniry, RDR, and members of the PCRA Notary Committee for their dedication to and perseverance in effectively communicating and conveying the PCRA members’ unique needs and integral position in Pennsylvania’s judicial system.  PCRA will continue to advocate for our members’ needs and will communicate updates as they are available.

Read the Full Department of State Guidance

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