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VA House Bill 1372


State: Virginia
Signed: April 08, 2024

Effective: July 01, 2024
Chapter: 832


House Bill 1372 now authorizes Notaries to use knowledge-based authentication to identify a principal or credible witness in a remote online notarization and enacts provisions on the validity of notarial acts. 


Amends Sections 47.1-2, 47.1-16, and 47.1-20.1 of the Code of Virginia. 

  1. Defines “knowledge-based authentication assessment” to mean an identity assessment formulated from public or private data sources.
  2. Requires a knowledge-based authentication assessment to meet the following requirements: (a) The principal must answer a quiz composed of at least 5 questions related to the principal's personal history or identity; (b) At least five possible answer choices must be available for each question; (c) The principal must achieve a score of 80 percent or higher to pass; (d) The principal has 2 minutes to answer the questions on the quiz; (d)  If the principal fails the first quiz, the principal may attempt up to two additional quizzes within 48 hours following the first failed quiz; and (e) No more than 60 percent of the questions from the initial quiz can be reused on additional quizzes.
  3. Authorizes a Notary to use a knowledge-based authentication assessment to identify a principal and a credible witness for a remote notarial act.
  4. Clarifies that a credible witness used to identify a principal for a remote online notarization must either be personally known to the Notary or identified by at least two of the following: (a) Credential analysis of an unexpired government-issued identification bearing a photograph of the principal's face and signature; (b) An antecedent in-person identity proofing process in accordance with the specifications of the Federal Bridge Certification Authority; (c) another identity proofing method authorized in guidance documents, regulations, or standards adopted pursuant to COV 2.2-436; (4) A valid digital certificate accessed by biometric data or by use of an interoperable Personal Identity Verification card that is designed, issued, and managed in accordance with the specifications published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 201-1; or (5) a knowledge-based authentication assessment.
  5. Clarifies that an antecedent in-person identity proofing used to identify a principal or credible witness for a remote notarization must be done in accordance with any supplements or revisions to the specifications the specifications of the Federal Bridge Certification Authority.
  6. Clarifies that the failure of a Notary Public to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified by law does not invalidate a notarial act performed by the Notary Public.
  7. Clarifies that the validity of a notarial act does not prevent an aggrieved person from seeking to invalidate the record or transaction that is the subject of the notarial act or from seeking other remedies based on the laws of the Commonwealth or the laws of the United States.
  8. Clarifies that nothing in COV 47.1-20.1 validates a purported notarial act performed by an individual who does not have the authority to perform notarial acts.
  9. Provides that the new validity of notarial acts provisions summarizes in #6-8 above apply retroactively to any notarial act performed before July 1, 2024.
  10. Clarifies that an electronic notarial certificate completed by an Electronic Notary Public must include the county or city within Virginia where the Electronic Notary was physically located at the time of the notarial act.
  11. Makes technical changes.

In 2012, Virginia became the first state to enact and implement remote online notarization. Being the first, it had to create new ways to identify principals and credible witnesses that did not exist previously. At the time, the technology sector was just beginning to formulate how to identify an individual remotely over the Internet and thus, Virginia’s definition of satisfactory evidence of identity was based on the best information available at that time. It wasn’t until at least 2017 that knowledge-based authentication (KBA) enacted in state remote notarial act laws as a method for identifying remotely located principals and credible witnesses. Up until House Bill 1372 was introduced, KBA was used to identify remotely located principals as an “antecedent in-person identity proofing process” even though it wasn’t explicitly listed in the statute. House Bill 1372 therefore adds standards for using KBA as an acceptable form of identity proofing to the black letter of the statute and Virginia’s law now conforms with virtually all state remote notarial act laws that authorize the use of KBA.

The new law also enacts the validity of notarial acts provisions from the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA).

Read House Bill 1372.