Missouri Passes Remote Online Notarization Bill

May 21, 2020

After a three-year process, Missouri passed a bill that allows for remote online notarization (RON) in the state.

HB 1655, which was supported by the Missouri Land Title Association (MLTA), passed both legislative chambers and awaits the signature of Gov. Mike Parson. Missouri became the 25th state to pass RON legislation.

“The Missouri Land Title Association fought hard to get the ALTA/MBA language in our bill and it was certainly a group effort to accomplish that,” said Rick Pierce NTP, MTP, who is chair of MLTA’s ad-hoc committee that worked on the bill.

In 2019, MLTA President Chuck Bowman appointed an ad-hoc committee that focused on moving the legislation forward. Pierce said there were two competing bills. The first was MLTA’s model bill and a bill supported by the Secretary of State. 

“While we had quiet support from many ancillary industries, many of them did not want to oppose the Secretary of State,” said Pierce, who is vice president and agency manager for FNF Family of Companies in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. “Through outstanding leadership from our bill sponsor, Senator Sandy Crawford, we were finally able to bring both sides together and get a bill passed that largely follows the model language.” 

The bill originally called for RON to go into effect July 1, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, language was amended to enact the legislation on Aug. 28, 2020. MLTA will work with the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations prior to implementation.

The legislation requires a notary to be in the state and registered with the Secretary of State to perform RON.

The Secretary of State must approve the software to be used for RON. At a minimum, the software must:

  • Records and archives the remote online session
  • Provides sufficient audio clarity and video resolution to enable the remote online notary and the principal to see and communicate to each other simultaneously through live, real time transmission
  • Provides reasonable security measures to prevent unauthorized access to the live transmission of the audio-video communication; a recording of the audio-video communication; the verification methods and credentials used to verify the identity of the principal; and the electronic documents presented for electronic notarization
  • Utilizes video technology to be used in a remote electronic notarization session that provides sufficient high-definition for the notary to reasonably assess the principal's comprehension and volition
  • Permits the remote online notary to identify the principal to the remote online notary's satisfaction through a form of authentication that complies with section 486.1145
  • Permits the principal to identify the remote online notary to his or her satisfaction
  • Presents the document being notarized as an electronic document.

To perform a RON, the notary must have satisfactory evidence of the principal’s identity. This can be achieved by personal knowledge of the identity or by

  • Remote presentation by the person of an identification credential, including a passport or driver's license, that contains a photograph and the signature of the person
  • Credential analysis
  • Identity proofing
  • Any other method that complies with any rules adopted by the secretary of state
  • A valid certificate that complies with any rules adopted by the secretary of state

Pierce acknowledged Elizabeth Blosser, ALTA’s senior director of government affairs, for support along the way. MLTA used ALTA’s Title Action Network to contact state legislators in inform them about the bill.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.