During the pandemic, homebuyers across the nation used new tools to adhere to social distancing protocols while the real estate industry continued to operate. While other states struggled with providing digital and remote home refinancing and closing options for buyers, Virginians have had access to remote online notarizations (RON) since 2012. Virginia’s use of this tool, which allows documents to be completed securely without all parties together in one location, should be a national model, and Congress has the opportunity to make this remote process available to all Americans.
Earlier this year, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced the bipartisan Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act that would allow remote online notarizations. If passed, this legislation would make the digital home closing options that became common during the pandemic permanent available to homebuyers across the U.S. This is especially important now as remote online notarization (RON) increased 547% last year. The bill also establishes national standards that will protect homebuyers from fraud.
As a title professional I’ve seen first-hand how this technology has helped sick or disabled homebuyers as well as military families complete home purchase safely and efficiently. Without RON, many deployed servicemembers would have to wait weeks or even months for all the necessary documents to be signed. I urge Congress and the Virginia delegation to support the SECURE Notarization Act to expand access to this important tool and help all American homebuyers.