NASS Resolution on the Development of Remote Notarization Standards

WHEREAS, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) formed the NASS Remote Notarization Task force in April 2016 with state notary professionals, industry stakeholders and private sector advisors to promote greater understanding of the issues and policies surrounding the adoption of remote notarization amongst the states. 

WHEREAS, notaries public are among the oldest public officials in the United States commissioned and regulated by the Secretaries of State or other state authority; and, 

WHEREAS, the Secretaries of State or other notary public commissioning authorities possess essential and unique knowledge of the regulation of the notarization process; and, 

WHEREAS, notaries public are the time-tested defense against identity fraud by providing an impartial, third-party witness in a broad spectrum of transactions, giving a higher level of credibility and reliability to signatures on vital documents; and, 

WHEREAS, as digital technology evolves, remote video notarization is being addressed in numerous state legislatures, by the Uniform Law Commission and by industries such as the financial and real estate sectors. 

WHEREAS, the long-held notarial principle that 'personal appearance' requires physical presence," is being reassessed to review the merits of physical presence versus virtual presence. 

WHEREAS, the advent of remote notarization demands that issues of security and identity fraud in the remote notarization process be subject to accountability and standards in order to continue to foster public trust and protect consumers. 

WHEREAS, for remote notarizations to provide the same level of credibility and reliability as traditional paper and electronic notarizations, it is imperative that appropriate, substantive and secure standards and procedures be adopted. 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NASS will convene the appropriate parties to develop remote notarization standards enabling remote notarizations that will protect the credibility of the process, help prevent identity fraud and provide accountability to the public in order to advance secure electronic commerce. 

Adopted the 10th day of July 2017 

in Indianapolis, Indiana 

Expires: Summer 2022