PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — From entertainment to hospitality to travel, the coronavirus pandemic has had an overwhelming impact on so many industries.
However, there is one business that is thriving during the pandemic. Perhaps too much.
According to the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries, banks offering never-before-seen interest rates on cars and homes has created the perfect storm for the notary business — a surge in demand for services, combined with strict laws requiring face-to-face signing interaction.
This has left some people who need those services standing in line or scrambling to find creative ways to close the deal.
Jeff Hegner, the owner of Jeff’s Notary Service Inc., said “you’re probably within less than two feet of people to actually notarize that paperwork.”
The coronavirus has completely changed the way Hegner does his work.
“We are trying to keep people standing outside until we can get them into the facility,” said Hegner.
At his notary, only two people are allowed inside, the walls are almost completely draped in plastic, and a machine removes the air where people speak.
“Almost like a plastic bubble inside there,” Hegner told KDKA.
Hegner said he is safely attempting to meet the demand for services.
Some notaries are so overwhelmed that people are being referred to mobile notaries where transactions are happening on the hoods of cars.
The Pennsylvania Association of Notaries said the business is strained. But there are ways you can save time and stay safe through remote notaries where transactions happen online.
“The important part is to use a vendor that was approved by our secretary of state. Last I checked, there were 15 to 16 of them,” said Marc Aronson, the CEO of the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries.
The requirements for remote notarization is a working webcam and audio. The catch? Some old school notaries like Hegner lack that technology, meaning you could be standing in line the next time you visit one.