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Reps Reintroduce Remote Online Notarization Legislation

Nearly a month after U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer and Mark Warner introduced the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act, Reps. Madeleine Dean and Kelly Armstrong, along with 31 other members of the House of Representatives, have reintroduced the bipartisan Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act of 2021 (H.R. 3962), which allows for immediate nationwide use of remote online notarization (RON) technology. The legislation provides certainty for interstate recognition of RON and establishes minimum standards to ensure strong nationwide consumer protections.

“COVID-19 made it clear that certain methods needed to be updated to keep up with our ever-changing world and economy,” Rep. Dean said. “One of the areas that this was most prevalent was our notarization process passing legislation like the SECURE Notarization Act allows us to do just that.”

Joining as original co-sponsors on the bill are: Reps. Cindy Axne, Jim Banks, Andy Barr, Joyce Beatty, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Ted Budd, Suzan DelBene, Anna Eshoo, Brian Fitzpatrick, Jesús "Chuy" García, Anthony Gonzalez, Bob Good, Lance Gooden, Josh Gottheimer, Michael Guest, Ro Khanna, Young Kim, David Kustoff, Debbie Lesko, Alex X. Mooney, Donald Norcross, Ed Perlmutter, Guy Reschenthaler, David Scott, Elissa Slotkin, Bryan Steil, Eric Swalwell, William Timmons, Nydia Velazquez, Ann Wager, and Jennifer Wexton.

A survey conducted by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) of major vendors found the use of RON increased 547% during 2020 compared with 2019, a spike in usage attributed to heightened demand for RON during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the fact that 34 states have passed permanent laws authorizing its use.

"Since the onset of the pandemic, businesses have been forced to rapidly adapt to a new normal, and the real estate industry is no exception. RON has been one of the title industry's most important tools in this process," said ALTA CEO Diane Tomb. "We applaud Reps. Dean and Armstrong for recognizing the benefits of extending RON access to all Americans and introducing this bipartisan legislation, which offers a safe alternative to execute real estate and mortgage transactions. By passing the SECURE Notarization Act, we can take a much-needed step into the future by modernizing the notarization process with a secure system that has proven to meet consumer expectations."

Rep. Armstrong said, “Remote online notarization offers consumers a convenient way to safely and securely complete documents. Our bipartisan bill will permit nationwide use of remote online notarization, increasing access to this important process.”

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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