September 29, 2022

Volume XII, Number 272

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House Passed SECURE Notarization Act of 2022

Recently, the House of Representatives passed the SECURE Notarization Act of 2022 (H.R. 3962). The legislation that creates federal minimum standards to allow notaries in all states to perform remote online notarization transactions. Highlights from the bill include the following:

  • Allows notary public commissioned under state law to remotely notarize electronic records and perform notarizations for remotely located individuals.

  • Provides technical requirements for such notarizations, including the creation and retention of video and audio recordings and the use of communication technologies (i.e., video chat).

  • Requires U.S. courts and states to recognize notarizations—including remote notarizations of electronic records and notarizations of remotely-located individuals—that occur in or affect interstate commerce and are performed by a notary public commissioned under the laws of other states.

  • Allows a notary public to remotely notarize electronic records involving an individual located outside of the United States, subject to certain requirements.

The legislation will now be considered by the Senate, where companion legislation (S.1625) has been introduced by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Putting It Into Practice: At the beginning of 2020, only 16 states allowed RON. As of August 1, 2022, 40 states already permanently allow RON or have passed legislation that will permanently authorize RON before temporary authorization expires. In addition, five states have granted temporary authorization. The five states that do not currently allow for remote online notarization either permanently or temporarily include California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Passage of the federal legislation would expand RON to all 50 states.

While concerns have been raised regarding the potential for increased fraud via remote notarization, many companies operating in states that have authorized RON have experienced expedited routine banking and finance transactions and real estate closings, since they give greater flexibility in times and places to acknowledge documents.

Copyright © 2022, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 230
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About this Author

Moorari Shah Bankruptcy Lawyer Sheppard Mullin Law Firm
Partner

Moorari Shah is a partner in the Finance and Bankruptcy Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles and San Francisco offices. 

Areas of Practice

Moorari combines deep in-house and law firm experience to deliver practical, business-minded legal advice. He represents banks, fintechs, mortgage companies, auto lenders, and other nonbank institutions in transactional, licensing, regulatory compliance, and government enforcement matters covering mergers and acquisitions, consumer and commercial lending, equipment finance and leasing, and supervisory examinations,...

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A.J. S. Dhaliwal Bankruptcy Attorney Sheppard Mullin Washington DC
Associate

A.J. is an associate in the Finance and Bankruptcy Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. 

A.J. has over a decade of experience helping banks, non-bank financial institutions, and other companies providing financial products and services in a wide range of matters including government enforcement actions, civil litigation, regulatory examinations, and internal investigations.

With a diversified regulatory, compliance, and enforcement background, A.J. counsels financial institutions in matters involving...

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