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Progress Made on E-Notarization Bill

Tristan North - Dec 21 2021
Published in: Public Policy
Despite setbacks in moving e-notarization through Congress, significant progress was made on the provision and educating members of Congress on need

The SECURE Act Coalition, of which Worldwide ERC® is a member, has been advocating for passage of the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act (H.R. 3962, S. 1625). Sponsors of H.R. 3962 and S. 1625 came close to securing passage of the legislation before the end of the year but ultimately the efforts will need to continue in 2022.

The SECURE Notarization Act would allow notary publics to remotely notarize electronic records and also require states and the courts to recognize e-notarizations conducted in other states. The use of e-notarization, especially as part of real estate transactions, has been accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of social distancing requirements. H.R. 3962 and S. 1625 were first introduced just last year which makes its close passage that much more notable.

On November 22, the language of the SECURE Notarization Act was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4350) during its consideration on the House floor and subsequently passed by the House. Negotiators of the NDAA did not ultimately agree to include the language in the final agreement (S. 1605) which the Senate passed on December 15 by a vote of 88 to 11. However, significant progress was made on the provision and educating members of Congress on e-notarization within a short period of time.

The sponsors of the SECURE Notarization Act and SECURE Act Coalition are already looking for opportunities early next year for passage of the bill.