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6 States Considering Webcam Notarization Bills

6 States Considering Webcam Notarization Bills

Webcam notarization is gaining momentum across the country as legislatures in 6 states are currently considering bills that would allow the practice. Webcam notarization allows the requirement for the signer to personally appear before the Notary to be satisfied by making use of video and audio technology via the internet.

Most states require the signer to be in the Notary’s physical presence at the time of the notarization. The 6 states considering webcam measures include: Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Webcam Legislation Restrictions
 

Virginia was the first state to enact legislation allowing webcam notarizations. Its law permits Virginia eNotaries to remotely notarize documents for anyone located anywhere in the world.

However, several of the current proposals would limit webcam notarizations.

  • The Texas bill (HB 1217) allows webcam notarizations only to be used for documents, transactions or signers that are somehow tied to the state. Examples include documents involving Texas real estate, documents that will be filed with a Texas court and signers who are in the state at the time of the notarization.
  • One Kentucky measure (HB 218) and the Minnesota bill (SF 893) would limit webcam notarizations to signers in foreign countries. Another Kentucky bill (HB 539) would allow a remote signer to be in any location.

For details of each bill, visit the NNA’s Notary Policy Tracking page.

Webcam Momentum
 

Apart from Virginia, only two other states — Montana and Florida — allow webcam notarizations in any form. However, this year’s legislative activity comes after a number of organizations embraced webcam notarization, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Quicken Loans.

In addition, the National Association of Secretaries of States is studying the issue, and the NNA recently published the Model Electronic Notarization Act of 2017, which included recommended provisions for webcam notarization.

Also last year, the Uniform Law Commission updated its Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) to allow webcam notarizations for individuals residing outside of the United States. This served as the basis for the measures Kentucky and Minnesota. Currently, the ULC is studying whether to expand the use of webcam notarizations to signers located in the United States.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

 

 

8 Comments

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A C Dye

06 Mar 2017

Have to read more before I am comfortable doing webcam notifications....

John Axt

06 Mar 2017

The NNA is not doing a good job of being clear about where webcam notarizations are truly able to be done for the general public. In Florida, the ONLY use of webcams is for court and jail house use. Please be clear in your writings!

Tom

06 Mar 2017

This will eliminate most of our work as the Lender, Title companies, or signing agencies will now do remote notarizations themselves or contract with a single notary to cover the entire country.

Lorraine Pereverziev

06 Mar 2017

My biggest concern involves elder abuse. How can we know for certain while doing a WebCam notarization that there isn't someone beyond the cameras view holding a gun, whether literally or figuratively, To the signers had to induce them to move forward with the signing? I have been in situations where I have had to ask a child of the signer or other relative actually leave the room in order for me to be certain the signer was acting of their own free will and volition. This is quite worrying to me.

James L. Hayes MBA & Co., Inc.

07 Mar 2017

Some fake IDs are tough enough to distinguish from the genuine article when I am holding it in my hand. How do we check the difficult (but not impossible) to mimic security features via webcam? With the ubiquitous presence of notaries I will always be suspect of somebody who is not willing to personally appear. I will stick with requiring signers to personally appear in my office. After all, I became a notary primarily for the purpose of bringing prospective clients into my office.

nina.torres@tripointehomes.com

15 Mar 2017

There's no way I would be comfortable with a webcam notarization. Too many variable that I can see going wrong. Hope this doesn't become a thing in CA.

Linda Hubbell

06 Aug 2017

"Apart from Virginia, only two other states — Montana and Florida — allow webcam notarizations in any form. " Florida does not. I would like to see the citation/statute that this statement is based on.

National Notary Association

08 Aug 2017

Hello. Florida Statutes Sections 92.525 and 117.10 were updated in 2015 to permit certain law enforcement and correctional officers who have the power to administer oaths and affirmations to administer oaths and affirmations using reliable electronic means without the oath-taker or affiant physically present. Please see here for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/fl-senate-bill-526

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