Announced in April 2016, the NASS Remote Electronic Notarization Task Force was dedicated to promote a greater understanding of the issues and policies surrounding remote/video notarizations amongst states. The task force reviewed technologies that facilitated remote notarizations, tracked state activity and developed standards. Any new issues related to notarization will come before the NASS Business Services Committee, unless there is a need for a more in-depth review, which would then reactive the task force.
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: In July 2016 NASS reaffirmed its support for the National Electronic Notarization Standards, and in February 2017 NASS adopted the eNotarization Implementation Guide. 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.
Remote Electronic Notarization Standards: In July 2017, NASS took on the charge of convening the appropriate parties to develop remote notarization standards that would enable remote notarizations that would protect the credibility of the process, help prevent identity fraud and provide accountability to the public in order to advance secure electronic commerce. From August 2017 to February 2018, the NASS Remote Electronic Notarization Task Force worked to draft standards addressing remote notarization into the National Electronic Notarization Standards. In February 2018, the NASS members approved the Revised National Electronic Notarization Standards, to include remote notarization.
- NASS 2018 Winter Conference Remote Notarization Resource
- NASS 2017 Summer Conference Remote Notarization Resources:
- NASS 2017 Winter Conference Remote Notarization Resources:
- Louisiana State Law Institute Electronic Signatures Study Group – Interim Report to the Legislature on eNotary and Remote Notarization (January 2017)
- 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)
- CSG Shared State Legislation [VA 2011 Notary Law] (December 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
- Indiana SB 372 (signed into law 3/13/18; effective 7/1/19)
Authorizes remote notarial acts through audio visual communication
Authorizes remote notarization via audio-video communication
- Louisiana HCR 31 (introduced 4/6/18; passed House and Senate)
Directs the State Law Institute to make recommendations for electronic notarization, including remote notarization.
- Michigan H 5811 (signed into law 6/28/18; effective 3/30/19)
Requires the Secretary of State to review, and authorizes the Secretary to approve, remote electronic notarization platforms.
- Minnesota SF 893 (signed into law 5/20/18; effective 1/1/19)
Authorizes notaries to perform remote online notarial acts.
- Nevada A. 413 (signed into law 6/9/17; effective 7/1/18)
Authorizes electronic notarial acts remotely using audio-video communication.
- Tennessee SB 1758 (signed into law 5/15/18; effective 7/1/19)
Authorizes online notarization via audio video communication
- Texas HB 1217 (signed into law 6/1/17; effective 7/1/18)
Authorizes online notarization through two-way video and audio conference technology.
- ALTA Press Release: Eight Suggested Elements for Remote Notarization (02/15/17)
- ABA Memo to NASS on Remote Notarization (02/14/17)
- Letter from the American Land Title Association (02/13/17)
- Title Source Remote eNotarization Position Paper (2/10/17)
- Statement from Secretary Lawson on Indiana SB 539 (2/1/17)
- 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)
- Comments on ALTA Principles (1/16/16)
The Notary Public Administrators Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State.