The American Land Title Association (ALTA), the national trade association of the land title insurance industry, applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act, which would authorize the use of secure remote online notarization (RON) nationwide with key consumer protections. It also would allow businesses and consumers the ability to execute critical documents without the needing to visit a notary in person, a critical step to establishing a more accessible notarization process. The SECURE Notarization Act was rolled into a package of bills the House passed Wednesday evening by a vote of 336-90.
“Today, the U.S. House took a major leap toward establishing a more modernized notarization system that doesn’t leave anyone behind,” said Diane Tomb, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “Unfortunately, too many consumers and business across several states still do not have access to technology that allows them to execute critical documents remotely. This legislation is a gamechanger for homebuyers with disabilities and active-duty servicemembers stationed overseas, as well as those who need to social distance after testing positive for COVID-19 and those who cannot take time off work. We are optimistic that all consumers across the country will soon be granted permanent access to RON.”
The bipartisan SECURE Notarization Act was introduced in the House by Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND). It has 128 cosponsors in the House. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Mark Warner (D-VA) have introduced a companion bill in the Senate. The bill has 11 cosponsors in the Senate.
The SECURE Notarization Act includes critically important security standards to protect consumers, including requirements for two-way audiovisual communication, multifactor authentication and tamper-evident technology.
“The leadership of Representatives Dean and Armstrong in getting this bill through the House cannot be overstated,” Tomb said. “They have been tireless in their efforts to bring this common-sense legislation forward. We are grateful for their tremendous efforts.”
Currently, 42 states have enacted laws allowing permanent access to remote online notarization.
The American Land Title Association, founded in 1907, is a national trade association representing more than 6,000 title insurance companies, title and settlement agents, independent abstracters, title searchers and real estate attorneys. ALTA members conduct title searches, examinations, closings and issue title insurance that protects real property owners and mortgage lenders against losses from defects in titles.