On June 23, 2022, the National Association of REALTORS®, along with 19 other housing and real estate organizations, signed a letter thanking Representatives Pallone, McMorris Rodgers, Schakowsky, and Bilirakis for including H.R. 3962 in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce hearing on May 26, 2022. H.R. 3962, the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act, is being spearheaded by Representatives Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), and now enjoys the strong, bipartisan support of over 100 cosponsors.
The SECURE Notarization Act would allow for the immediate nationwide use of remote online notarization (RON) technology, with appropriate safeguards to ensure strong nationwide consumer protections. RON allows businesses and consumers the ability to execute critical documents using two-way audiovisual communication. Current requirements for a signer to physically be in the presence of a notary are often impractical and sometimes impossible due to social distancing constraints resulting from COVID-19, as well as other barriers including military service or work travel. Forty states have already recognized the benefits of remote online notarization and passed legislation authorizing its use.
Notarizations are used extensively in real estate transactions, as well as in a variety of other important areas including affidavits, powers of attorney, living trusts, and advance health care directives, among others.