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NOTICE DATE: March 31, 2020

NOTICE TYPE: M-A033120-01

SHORT DESCRIPTION: Submission of Documents to ERCOT: Notarization and Signature Requirements

INTENDED AUDIENCE: All Market Participants

DAYS AFFECTED: March 31, 2020 

LONG DESCRIPTION: In anticipation of potential business impacts associated with COVID-19, several Entities have raised questions around notarization and signature requirements for ERCOT-related documents. ERCOT provides guidance below to address these two issues.

There are several sections of the ERCOT Protocols that require Market Participants to submit notarized documents (including affidavits) to ERCOT. Most of these requirements are related to the submission of forms under Protocol Section 22, but in a few instances, the Protocols require the submission of affidavits, which require notarization. See e.g.:

ERCOT understands that requiring Market Participants to have certain documents notarized in-person may be difficult during this time due to “social distancing” requirements. However, under the laws of Texas, notary services may be provided by a registered online notary through a recorded video interaction with the document signatory. See, e.g., Tex. Gov't Code §§ 406.101-.113; Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 121.006(c).  Moreover, under Texas law, a document signatory need not be physically present in Texas to obtain an electric notarization from a Texas notary registered to perform electronic notarizations. Tex. Gov't Code § 406.110. Market Participants may find a qualified notarization service online or have their corporate notaries register with the Texas Secretary of State to provide online notarization services. For additional information, please refer to the Secretary of State’s website, About Notary Public and Apostille Services.

With respect to documents requiring signature under the ERCOT Protocols, the Texas Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (TUETA) provides: “If a law requires a signature, an electronic signature satisfies the law.” Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 322.007(d). This law only applies to transactions between parties that have both agreed to transact electronically. To satisfy a signature requirement under the Protocols (not otherwise requiring notarization), ERCOT has accepted, and will continue to accept, electronic signatures and scanned copies of documents containing wet signatures.

ERCOT hopes that this guidance helps alleviates any concerns on submitting ERCOT-related documents.

CONTACT: If you have any questions, please contact your ERCOT Account Manager. You may also call the general ERCOT Client Services phone number at (512) 248-3900 or contact ERCOT Client Services via email at [log in to unmask].

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