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Webcam Electronic Notarization Standards Adopted And Other Developments

The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has adopted nationwide standards for performing electronic notarizations online — a major development for the expansion of webcam notarizations.

Currently only two states — Montana and Virginia — authorize signers of documents to appear before Notaries using online audio-visual technology to communicate with a signer remotely in lieu of personal appearance. Two other states — Texas and Nevada — have passed laws permitting webcam electronic notarizations that take effect on July 1, 2018.

In addition, a number of other states are considering measures to permit the practice.

NASS Webcam Notarization Standards

The revised NASS standards adopted in February are not laws or regulations, and do not authorize Notaries to perform remote electronic notarizations. Rather, they provide a framework enabling legislators and policymakers across the U.S. to develop their own laws, regulations and guidelines.

The standards include provisions for remotely notarizing electronic documents for signers located anywhere in the world as well as technology and security recommendations for the systems used to perform these notarizations. 

Mortgage Company Expands Remote Closings

In a separate development, United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) recently announced that it has expanded its online closing program from four to 16 states.

The company has partnered with Boston-based firm Notarize to provide the online electronic notarization and closing technology. The system allows borrowers to close their mortgage using a computer, tablet or mobile phone to connect with the Notary.

To complete the virtual closing, borrowers verify their identities with the Notary in compliance with Virginia law via webcam. The Notary then guides them through the signing and completes the required electronic notarizations. 

“We expect this will be the way all closings are done in the near future," said Mat Ishbia, President and CEO of UWM.

Additional Resources:

Model eNotarization Act of 2017