The House on July 27 approved the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act. The legislation would help small businesses and consumers, including those engaged in the home building sector, as notarizations are used extensively in real estate transactions.
The SECURE Act would establish nationwide standards and technical requirements for remote online notarization and allow a notary public commissioned under state law to remotely notarize electronic records and perform notarizations for remotely located individuals.
The bill would also require United States courts and states to recognize remote notarizations, including remote notarizations from notary publics commissioned in other states or U.S. territories, that occur in or affect interstate commerce.
Current law requires a signer to physically be in the presence of a notary. This requirement is often impractical, costly or even completely unworkable due to social distancing constraints resulting from COVID-19, as well as other barriers including military service or work travel that prevents face-to-face interactions.
Prior to the House vote, NAHB signed a joint letter with several other business organizations in support of the SECURE Act.