Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

House Passes Remote Online Notarization Legislation

On September 23, 2021, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4350, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022, by a bipartisan vote of 316-113. Cosponsored by Representatives Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Adam Smith (D-WA), the bill authorizes military appropriations for 2022 and incorporates an amendment to implement the SECURE Notarization Act. For the past two congressional sessions, the SECURE Notarization Act has been introduced on a bipartisan basis to promote the nationwide use of remote online notarization (RON) technology. In 2021, NAR and a coalition of industry partners successfully promoted the inclusion of the Act into the NDAA as Amendment #445.

If NDAA becomes law, this amendment would authorize every notary in the US to perform remote online notarizations (RON), with appropriate safety standards. To address fraud and security concerns, the amendment requires multifactor authentication, the use of tamper-evident technology, and the use of two-way, real-time audiovisual technology to enable the signer and notary to see and hear each other simultaneously. If a state has already passed a Remote Online Notarization law that meets the minimum national standards outlined, that state’s law would supersede the national law. In September, NAR signed a letter of support to the cosponsors of Amendment #445 ahead of its passage, thanking them for introducing this important legislation, and will now turn to advocating for its passage in the Senate.

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