Remote Electronic Notarization Task Force

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 Remote Electronic Notarization Task Force Members

Taskforce Activity

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.

Position Letters/Statements

Questions/Contact

The Notary Public Administrators Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State.

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