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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Issues Executive Order for Online Notary Services, Emphasizes Importance of Social Distancing in Stores

For Immediate Release:

5:40PM CT on April 1, 2020


Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Justin Pinkerman, 402-471-1967


Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts Issues Executive Order for Online Notary Services, Emphasizes Importance of Social Distancing in Stores



Gov. Ricketts (podium), Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance

Director Mark Quandahl (far left), and Executive Director of the Nebraska

Grocery Industry Association Kathy Siefken (far right) at today’s press briefing.


Watch the video by clicking here.


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued an executive order to allow online notary services to take place immediately and to provide regulatory flexibility to banks.  He also talked about the critical need for Nebraskans to practice social distancing in April.


Gov. Ricketts’ Comments on the Executive Order

  • Many real estate, mortgage, insurance, and banking financial documents require notarized signatures to validate them.
  • Online notary services use audio/visual and automated software to verify the identity of the person who needs to obtain a notarized signature. 
  • Today’s executive order allows online notarization to take place immediately in Nebraska. 
  • This will enable Nebraskans to have documents notarized without in-person contact.


Read the executive order by clicking here.


Director of the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, Mark Quandahl, joined the Governor to talk about the much-needed regulatory flexibility included in the Governor’s executive order.


Director Quandahl’s Comments on the Executive Order

  • The Department of Banking and Finance requires banks and credit unions to file reports within 90 days of their formal financial examinations.  
    • To help financial institutions adhere to social distancing requirements, these deadlines are being waived until 30 days after the lifting of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. 
  • Companies licensed under the Installment Loan Act must have their books and records examined annually by the Department of Banking and Finance. 
    • The executive order waives the requirements for these examinations to take place within one calendar year.  
    • It directs the Department of Banking and Finance to accomplish the examination as soon as is practicable to maintain the integrity of the annual calendar year requirement.
  • The Department of Banking and Finance requires some applications to be filed at its main office. 
    • The executive order authorizes electronic versions of these documents to be submitted and allows associated payments to be made via check or electronic ACH debit transactions.  These changes are effective until 30 days after the lifting of the COVID-19 state of emergency.


Kathy Siefken, Executive Director of the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association, also took part in today’s press conference.  She reinforced the importance of social distancing while shopping for groceries and gave advice to shoppers.


Health Tips for Shoppers

  • If stores appear busy or crowded, delay shopping until a later time.
  • Shop alone.  Do not run errands with your family or a group of friends.
  • Make a list of what to buy in advance of your shopping trip to reduce time spent in the store.
  • Buy a week’s worth of groceries in a single visit to limit your number of trips to the store.
  • Shop with your eyes.  Only touch products that you intend to purchase.
  • Maintain a minimum distance of six feet from other customers and store workers whenever possible.
  • Do not shop while sick.  Contact friends, neighbors, and your church, synagogue, or faith community to ask for help getting essential supplies.
  • Do not bring reusable bags or backpacks into stores during the pandemic.
  • Do not hoard goods.  The supply chain is working well, and items will be replenished in short order.  In particular, manufacturers have ramped up production of in-demand goods like toilet paper. 
  • Wash / sanitize your hands often.


The Governor also reminded Nebraskans of social distancing guidelines and of the need to practice good hygiene.


The Governor’s Health Reminders

  • Remember to practice social distancing by keeping six feet from others.
    • This applies in the workplace, when exercising outdoors, or when running errands.
  • Don’t shop if you don’t feel well.
  • Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze with a tissue or use your elbow.
  • Wash and sanitize your hands before and after shopping.
  • Whenever possible, shop online for curbside pickup or home delivery.


Other Comments from Gov. Ricketts on COVID-19

  • Companies with spare masks are encouraged to donate them to hospitals, medical clinics, or first responders.
  • The State’s guidance is that out-of-state travelers should self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Nebraska.
  • The State of Nebraska is hiring, including the Department of Corrections, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the State’s veterans’ homes.
  • Nebraskans can visit the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s website for guidance on livestock gatherings taking place during the coronavirus emergency.


Full video of today’s press briefing is available by clicking here.