Bipartisan push begins in Congress to allow remote online notarizations nationwide

  • By jack

  • 24 March, 2020

If “coronavirus” isn’t the phrase of the moment, “social distancing” certainly is. All across the country, people are holed up in their homes in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.

But what happens if one of those people wants to buy a home of their own right now? How are they supposed to close on that home in the age of social distancing?

Well, there’s now a bipartisan movement in Congress that would make that much easier.

This week, Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced a bill that would allow remote online notarizations nationwide, which would enable many people to close on a home or conduct other legal activities without compromising their social distancing practices.

The bill, which is entitled to the “Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020,” would authorize every notary in the United States to perform remote online notarizations.

Currently, nearly half (23, to be exact) of the states in the U.S. allow for the use of RON technology, in which a notary and signer are in different locations and use two-way audio-visual communication to securely execute electronic documents.

But the senators note that 55% of the country is unable to access this technology now, necessitating a bill that would allow for it nationwide.

The bill also requires tamper-evident technology to be used in electronic notarizations and encourages fraud prevention through the use of multifactor authentication.