The American Land Title Association (ALTA), the national trade association of the land title insurance industry, applauds Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) and 31 other members of the House of Representatives for reintroducing 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.
“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.”
Joining as original cosponsors on the bill are: Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA), Jim Banks (R-IN), Andy Barr (R-KY), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Ted Budd (R-NC), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Bob Good (R-VA), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Michael Guest (R-MS), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Young Kim (R-CA), David Kustoff (R-TN), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), Alex X. Mooney (R-WV), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), David Scott (D-GA), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Bryan Steil (R-WI), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), William Timmons (R-SC), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Ann Wager (R-MO) and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA).
Notarizations are used extensively in real estate transactions, as well as in many other areas, including affidavits, powers of attorney and advance health care directives. An ALTA survey conducted of major vendors in the space found use of RON increased 547% during 2020 compared with 2019. This increase can be 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.
“There is a need for this approach to notarization throughout the United States,” Tomb said. “Current requirements for a signer to physically be in the presence of a notary are often impractical and sometimes impossible due to social distancing limitations as well as other roadblocks, like overseas military service and time constraints.”
This bill follows the reintroduction of the legislation in the Senate, S. 1625, by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND).
The American Land Title Association is the national trade association representing the land title insurance industry, which employs more than 120,000 people in the United States.
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