ALTA, Industry Partners Develop Draft Bill to Permit RON Nationwide

March 17, 2020

ALTA—along with the MBA, NAR, vendors and notarial experts—have developed The Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 (SECURE Notarization Act), which would permit immediate nationwide use of remote online notary (RON) with minimum standards and provide certainty for the interstate recognition of RON.

“With the need for social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus, we want to provide options to consumers to close their transaction remotely,” said Diane Tomb, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “The SECURE Transaction Act provides an alternative that allows for remote closings nationwide. The strong standards in this bill are important to prevent fraud and offer consumers a more secure alternative rather than FaceTime or Skype when buying property or refinancing a mortgage.”

Additional information:

The SECURE Notarization Act would:

  1. Authorize every notary in the US to perform RON.
  2. Require tamper-evident technology in electronic notarizations.
  3. Provide fraud prevention through use of multifactor authentication for identity proofing and audio-visual recording of the notarial act.
  4. Allow signers outside the US, such as military personnel and their families, to easily and securely notarize documents.
  5. Complement existing state laws, while allowing states the flexibility and freedom to implement their own RON standards.
  6. Builds on the foundations of the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations (IRON Act of 2011), while adding additional consumer safeguards.
  7. Follow a similar structure of complementary state and federal legislation, such as the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA).
  8. Implement 2018 Treasury Report recommendations that Congress consider legislation to provide a minimum uniform national standard for electronic and remote online notarizations. Noting federal legislation is not mutually exclusive with continued efforts at the state level to enact a framework governing the use of electronic methods for financial documents requiring notarization.

The SECURE Notarization Act wouldn’t:

  1. Impede consumer choice.
  2. Preempt state laws that adhere to uniform consumer protections, such as those laws based on the non-partisan model state law - Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, 2018 - proposed by the Uniform Law Commission.
  3. Infringe upon state data privacy laws.
  4. Impact state law on testamentary wills and trusts.
  5. Change state law governing the practice of law.
  6. Favor specific technology or restrict the use of new and emerging advancements.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or