Charles Jones Blog


Has your opinion of Remote Online Notarization (RON) changed since the pandemic? RON “is when documents are notarized in an electronic form where the signer uses an electronic signature and appears before the notary using online audio-video technology.”[1] As up on technology as I am, I admit, I had reservations about it. I was concerned it could lead to further deed fraud, as I had read of serious instances of that in Philadelphia and inNew York City even with an in-person notary.

Perhaps you had similar concerns. But then the scourge of the pandemic caused government and businesses, like ours, to re-think and, in many cases, change the way work is conducted. RON appears to be here to stay. This is evidenced by a Bipartisan bill introduced for remote online notary nationwide, an increase in remote online notarizations during the pandemic, Remote Online Notarization Legislation - HB 2370 & SB 1097 in Pennsylvania,and Remote Notary Services Get A (Temporary) Green light in New Jersey.  

Like other changes, RON has and will continue to lead to additional challenges for our industry. The good news is that our national organization, the American Land Title Association (ALTA) teamed with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), National Association of Realtors (NAR), vendors and notary experts to develop the “The Securing an Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020”. It includes important security safeguards such as:

  • Require tamper-evident technology in electronic notarizations.
  • Provide fraud prevention through use of multifactor
    authentication for identity proofing and audio-visual recording of the notarial
    act.
  • Builds
    on the foundations of the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations (IRON Act of
    2011), while adding additional consumer safeguards.

Click here to read more specifics.

In just a few months’ time, our industry has transformed itself. Staff and leadership at companies (and government entities) were forced out of their comfort zones to evaluate processes in order to continue to meet customers’ needs while social distancing.

An increased use of RON may provide those with nefarious intent another avenue to commit fraud. However, important safeguards (like those listed above) and the eagle eye of title professionals, and others involved in real estate transactions, can keep this to a minimum. I have no doubt our industry will rise to the occasion; it always has.

How has or will RON impact your business?


[1] https://www.notarize.com/blog/how-to-prepare-for-remote-online-notarization-2019#:~:text=Remote%20online%20notarization%20is%20when,physically%20needing%20to%20meet%20them.

Patrick T. Roe, General Manager

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