Announced in April 2016, the NASS Remote Notarization Task Force is dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of the issues and policies surrounding remote/video notarizations amongst states. The task force is reviewing technologies that facilitate remote notarizations, tracking state activity and developing possible proposals for NASS consideration.
Understanding the Issue
As digital technology evolves, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) and others are reconsidering the long-held notarial principle that “personal appearance” requires physical presence.
Some jurisdictions now allow for a person to appear before a notary using audio/video applications, also known as remote notarization. Virginia allows for remote approaches in electronic notarizations, while Montana allows for remote notarization in conducting both traditional and electronic notarizations.
RULONA Revisions: The long-held physical appearance requirement currently reflected in model notarization laws is under reconsideration by the ULC, as it considers an amendment to the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA). The amendment allows U.S. citizens living overseas to use remote methods for both traditional and electronic notarizations.
eNotarization Standards: NASS National Electronic Notarization Standards were set to expire in July 2016. In addition to the merits of physical presence versus virtual presence, state policymakers need to address the potential validity and interstate recognition of remotely e-notarized documents.
- National Notary Association Model eNotarization Act of 2017
- National Notary Association White Paper: What Businesses Need to Know About eNotarization - Technology, Trends, and Webcams (2016)
- American Land Title Association Draft Principles for State Remote Notarization Legislation
- National Notary Association (NNA) Article on Webcam Notarizations
American Banker Association Newsletter on Remote Notarization
State Legislation and State Laws
- Florida SB 526 (Enacted 5/15/2015)
Authorizes law enforcement to remotely administer oaths
- Washington SB 5081 (Introduced 1/12/17)
Allows the Department of Licensing to adopt rules as to what constitutes personal appearance before a Notary.
- Nebraska LB 388 (Introduced 1/13/17)
Authorizes remote notarizations through video and audio conference technology.
- Indiana SB 539 (Introduced 1/17/17)
Authorizes remote notarizations through audio visual communication technology.
- Letter from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (6/9/16)
- Letter from the Mortgage Bankers Association (6/23/16)
- Letter from HID Global (6/29/16)
- Letter from Quicken Loans (6/8/16)
- Letter from American Society of Notaries (7/11/16)
Letter from the Electronic Signature & Records Association (7/11/16) (ESRA)
- ESRA Statement of Policy on eMortgage
- ESRA Statement of Policy on eNotarization
Summary Chart of Statements/Positions Submitted to NASS
Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN)
E-Notarization Map and Status in the U.S. (Pennsylvania Association of Notaries)
ABA Resolution on Modernization of Signature Verification (2014) Supports changes to international cross-border notarizations for document use in the U.S.