New Remote Notary (RON) Bill Passes House Vote.
GREAT news for Law Firms, Estate Planning Attorneys, Lenders & Title Companies.
The US House recently passed the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act with a vote of 336-90. This bipartisan legislation will update and modernize our notarization process in and outside of the United States.
What's in the Remote Notary Bill?
The SECURE Notarization Act aims to allow notaries in the U.S. to perform Remote Online Notarization (RON), as well as allow signers located outside of the U.S. to securely notarize documents.
The passage of the SECURE Notarization Act would allow for the immediate nationwide use of RON and allow those stationed, like military personnel, outside of the U.S. to securely notarize documents.
Under the act, Notaries in the United States can conduct remote online notarizations using live, two-way audio/visual communications, like a webcam, with tamper evident technology.
Rep Dean and Rep Armstrong Sponsored the House Bill
“The pandemic has shown us how crucial online access is for so many areas of our life, including notarization,” Rep. Madeleine Dean, one of the bill’s sponsors, said. “The SECURE Notarization Act will update our notarization process so that people across our country, and those living outside of the U.S. for military service or other reasons, can have their documents notarized remotely. I look forward to our commonsense, bipartisan bill being brought to the Senate.”
“Remote online notarization offers consumers a convenient way to safely and securely complete documents,” Rep. Kelly Armstrong, another bill sponsor, said. “Our bipartisan bill will permit nationwide use of remote online notarization, increasing access to this important process.”
Reps. Dean and Armstrong were joined by 31 of their colleagues in introducing this legislation; it has 125 cosponsors.
The Proposed Bill heads to the Senate
The Senate will next take up the House companion bill, S. 1625, introduced by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota.
What are the provisions for Remote Online Notarization?
The Remote Online Notarization provisions include:
- Allowing electronic signatures Recording the virtual session
- Remote/electronic notarization of documents
- Allowing a signer to be outside the state, the Notary is authorized to act
- Requiring the Notary to verify the signer’s identity
- Affixes electronic notary seal
- These provisions vary state-to-state.
Most US States have already passed Remote Online Notarization Bills
States that have passed permanent RON Laws
The 41 states that have permanent RON laws are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
If a state has already passed a RON law that meets the minimum national standards outlined, that state’s law would supersede the national law.
States that have NOT passed RON Laws
Currently, there are four states that don’t allow remote online notary in 2022: Connecticut authorized remote online notarization services due to COVID-19. However, this authorization has expired as of July 1, 2021.
California and the District of Columbia.
Massachusetts (temporarily authorized remote online notarization services due to COVID-19. However, this authorization has expired as of December 15, 2021
Delaware (there is currently nothing in Delaware statutes that prohibits an individual or business from using a remote notary from states who permit remote notarization),
Why add Notarization to your Signed Documents
Added Legal Authentication
RON offers secure, flexible, extremely fast document turnaround and worldwide notarization availability for Law Firms, Estate Planning Attorneys, Lenders & Title Companies.
Although it is not required in all states to notarize estate planning documents, a notary’s seal gives the added legal authentication, validates identity, and ensures signatures were not forged.
Holds up Better Against a Legal Challenge
Having estate planning documents notarized reduces the chance of any contesters questioning their legality or even the signer’s state of mind.
A notarized document holds up better against a legal challenge and is also more commonly accepted than non-notarized documents.
It's time to Modernize the Notarization Process
The RON Alternative
The clear benefits of extending RON access to all Americans offer a safe and secure alternative to executing real estate and mortgage transactions.
RON allows us to take a much-needed step into the future by modernizing the notarization process with a secure system that has proven to meet consumer needs and expectations.
Which Legal Documents qualify for RON
Notarizations are used extensively in real estate transactions, as well as in a variety of other key areas, including affidavits, powers of attorney, living trusts, and advance health care directives, among others.
In-Person Signing can Sometimes be Impractical or even Impossible
There is a need and demand for this new proven approach to notarization throughout the United States. The SECURE Notarization Act allows businesses and consumers the ability to execute critical documents using two-way audiovisual communication.
Current requirements for a signer to physically be in the presence of a notary are often impractical and sometimes impossible, as well as other roadblocks for in-person signings, like overseas military service and time constraints.