Jul 2022
Breaking News The House Passes the Secure Notarization Act. Why Is This Significant

Breaking News The House Passes the Secure Notarization Act. Why Is This Significant

By admin

In a landslide victory for prospective homebuyers and many companies that support the home buying process, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act on July 27th, 2022. 

Introduced by Congresswoman Madeleine Dean and co-sponsored by Congressman Kelly Armstrong, the Remote Online Notarization (RON) initiative is in direct response to the limitations caused by social distancing, health risks, and other factors that have limited individuals’ ability to conduct notary-related obligations in person. According to Diane Tomb, ALTA’s chief executive officer, 

“This legislation is a gamechanger for homebuyers with disabilities and active-duty service members stationed overseas, as well as those who need social distance after testing positive for COVID-19 and those who cannot take time off work.“

On a national level, minimum use standards must be recognized to ensure the integrity of interstate transactions. To date, 42 states have officially enacted laws that allow permanent access to RON, with each state defining its standards. 

For the interests and safety of consumers and companies alike, certain RON standards must be adhered to and are subject to variations depending on the state:

  • Two-Way Audio Visual Communication & Recording: The notary must witness the signing of relevant documentation. Accommodations must be made for those with visual, speech, or hearing impairments. Additionally, remote exchanges must be recorded/documented to be retained by the notary public or another approved party.
  • Multi-Factor Identification: Individuals must present various forms of identity verification to proceed with remote notarization. Acceptable identifiers can include identity proofing services or technologies, a credible witness, analysis of identification cards, or biometric ID technology.
  • Tamper-Evident Documentation Exchange: Using electronic signatures or tamper-proof physical record exchange, both the notary and the remote individual must acknowledge/sign the record as acceptable in the physical presence of a notary.

Benefits & Downsides of the Secure Notarization Act 

For many, the Secure Notarization Act enables streamlined documentation exchange. As mentioned by Diane Tomb, for individuals that are unable to conduct notary business in person, remote processes dramatically improve their ability to finalize important documents. This legislation further empowers the title insurance industry to limit their physical contact with clients to facilitate transactions when needed. Future homebuyers can now access the essential notarization services they need, and businesses can now operate with fewer limitations while serving those in need.

Although many companies are poorly prepared to adopt these remote changes, World Wide Land Transfer has actively evolved with these remote changes. Our teams have a record of going above and beyond for our clients. For assistance with everything from complex commercial transactions to residential refinance and purchase transactions, get in touch with our licensed title insurance agency and learn more today.

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