SECURE Notarization Act Update

Tristan North - Jun 03 2022
Published in: Public Policy
Bill permits immediate nationwide use of remote online notarization

On 25 May, Worldwide ERC®, a member of the SECURE Notarization Act Coalition, joined the American Land Title Association and 16 other national trade associations in sending a letter of support to over 90 bipartisan cosponsors of the SECURE Notarization Act. The Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act (H.R. 3962), introduced by Representatives Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), would provide a national framework of minimum standards to allow for the use of remote online notarization (RON).

The SECURE Notarization Act provides businesses and consumers with 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 due to social distancing constraints resulting from COVID-19, as well as other barriers including military service or work travel. The bill permits immediate nationwide use of RON, with minimum standards, and provides certainty for the interstate recognition of RON. Forty states have already recognized the benefits of Remote Online Notarization (RON) and passed legislation authorizing its use.

The SECURE Notarization Act will give Americans a secure method to execute important transactions. Notarizations are used extensively in real estate transactions, as well as in a variety of other important areas including affidavits, powers of attorney, living trusts, advance health care directives, and automotive transactions, among others.

A survey conducted by the American Land Title Association of major vendors working in the RON space found that use of RON has increased 547% during 2020 when compared to 2019. This increase can be attributed to heightened demand for RON during the pandemic, in addition to the expansion of States with permanent law recognizing its value. Clearly there is a need and demand for this approach across the country.

Given the dramatic adjustments businesses have had to make during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government should provide the critical tools to leverage technology to continue to keep Americans safe while also meeting their needs into the future through innovation. The past few years have shown technological solutions can increase accessibility and reduce burdens for people across the United States.

The SECURE Notarization Act would allow for the immediate nationwide use of RON technology. and establish robust minimum standards to ensure strong nationwide consumer protections.