ALTA Helps Develop Model Emergency Notarization Order Language

July 2, 2020

ALTA, along with the Mortgage Bankers Association and National Association of Realtors, developed draft model emergency notarization order to help create uniformity and provide legal certainty for use of remote notarizations in states promoting social distancing measures.

The efforts to create the model emergency notarization order language started a few months ago when states started issuing orders allowing for various types of remote notarizations such as remote ink notarization (RIN).

When considering long-term use, ALTA believes it is important to note that the RIN process does not provide the same anti-fraud protections the notary process is intended to solve for, especially when it comes to identity verification.

In addition to creating consistency, the model helps ensure adequate consumer protections and anti-fraud measures.

Model legislation by the Uniform Law Commission, as well as laws enacted by states to allow remote online notarization (RON), incorporate core principles for the safe use of remote notarization technology. Safeguards include requiring multilayers of third-party identity verification, use of tamper-evident technology and retention of an audio-video recording of the notarial act.

In real estate transactions, notarizations must provide certainty for property transfer. Industry professionals support remote notarization options that leverage technology to improve the consumer experience, while protecting consumers from fraud and providing enough confidence for use in real estate transactions.

Rather than making permanent measures designed to be short-term solutions, lawmakers should pursue technology neutral notary legislation containing robust standards to protect consumers, prevent fraud and provide legal certainty.

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

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