Companion of ALTA-supported RON Bill Introduced in House

March 24, 2020

Less than a week after being introduced in the Senate, a companion of the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Introduced by Reps. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) and Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), the bipartisan HR 6364 permits immediate nationwide use of remote online notarization (RON) with minimum standards and provide certainty for the interstate recognition of RON. U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced S. 3533 in the Senate on March 18. The senateverion is co-sponsored by Steve Daines (R-Montana), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). The hope is that the bill is added to one of the emergency economic relief packages being pushed in Congress.

The SECURE Notarization Act would authorize all Notaries in the United States to perform RONs, requires tamper-evident technology in electronic notarizations and provides fraud prevention through use of multifactor authentication.

In 2019, MISMO released its RON standards, which allow the use of audio-visual communication devices to notarize documents in a virtual online environment. MISMO's RON standards support model legislation that was developed by ALTA and the Mortgage Bankers Association. Multiple U.S. states are now using this model legislation to enact RON laws in their jurisdictions. To date, 23 states have approved the use of RON technology.

While RON won’t be available for every transaction, it does provide another closing option in some circumstances. This could be extremely valuable for people looking to refinance. A recent CNBC article showed that the average American can save $277 per month by refinancing. Right now, refinancing orders are soaring, as people look to lower monthly mortgage payments or get much-needed equity out of their homes. There are currently 44.7 million homeowners with equity available to tap via cash-out refinance according to Black Knight.

Additional information:

What can you do? Contact your U.S. senators and representatives and ask them to support S. 3533 or HR 6364. 

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 communications@alta.org.

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