Are you a title company looking to implement remote online notarization or RON? Read this post to gain working knowledge,  understand governing acts, and advantages of RON.

A home buyer has to cut through a heap of paperwork during the home closing process. They must double check information in the documents and supposed to mail them within a restricted period of time. 

You can conclude that closing is an anxious experience for buyers and the current pandemic isn’t helping either. This is where remote online notarization or RON, is turning the tides for better. 

A large number of title companies have digitized their process to notarize documents using RON eliminating the need for in person meetings to complete the process. 

The RON set up employs a host of technology tools that enables aggregating digital signatures, interact and express consent over video conferencing and apply notarization seal digitally on the documents. 

We will learn about the various types of notarization, the working principle, and its advantages in this post. If you are a title company looking to make a transition towards remote online notarization, this post is going to be useful to you.  

What is Remote Online Notarization or RON?

Remote online notarization is the process of virtually notarizing the deed of trust using technology tools. Unlike traditional notarization where multiple parties come together to sign documents for closing, RON provides a virtual environment without the parties having to meet physically to complete the process.

There are 4 types of notarization in the real estate closing space and RON contributes to a significant part of it. These 4 types of notarizations are:

Traditional in person Notarization. The conventional notarization process with all parties meeting at the title company office and signing the deal with wet ink signatures. A lot of title companies are still following the in person notarization method.

Remote Ink signed Notarization. Here the parties sign the documents using a pen or wet ink signatures but express mutual consent using online using video conferencing or AV software. 

In Person eNotarization. Parties meet physically to complete the process while the documents are signed electronically.      

Remote Online Notarization. Signatures and notarization both are done electronically or digitally. Parties sign the documents using an eSignature app such as Docusign and express consent to transfer the deed over video conferencing. The attorney then affixes the digital notary seal on the document that concludes the process. 

While RON is favorable for all title companies, only a few have implemented it to serve its customers. A lot of companies have implemented a mix of online and offline processes to close the deal. 

Most title companies have in fact implemented in person eNotarization while aspire to completely digitize the process and go for RON in the future when possible.

This is because a lot of title companies are either not aware of the legal implications of RON or operate in a state that has not yet legalized RON. If you wish to adapt RON in the future then it is necessary to have a working knowledge of RON and the legal aspects that govern the process. 

How does Remote Online Notarization Work?

Making remote online notarization is more about the legal aspects of the trade than overcoming any sort of technological barrier. This is why when we talk about the RON process, we are talking about the laws and acts that govern the process. The tools included in the RON process must comply with these acts and laws as listed below.

Some of the major acts governing RON are:

ESIGN Act. States that electronic signatures are legitimate when parties have expressed mutual consent to do business electronically, intent to sign the document(s) digitally, create a record that associates electronic signatures with the record and allows retrieving the documents whenever needed by all the parties involved.   

UETA Act. Similar conditions as stated in the ESIGN Act. 

URPERA Act. Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. or URPERA allows the local recording offices to accept deeds in electronic form. 

Your process and tools must comply with these acts for RON transactions to be valid. The three acts listed above cover the three major operational aspects vital to RON. These are:

Aggregating the Signatures from Multiple Parties. This is validated and made possible by ESIGN and UETA. 

Expressing Consent. Expressing consent is made possible using any reliable audiovisual technology or video conferencing tools which is validated by the overall law of contract. 

Applying the Digital Notary Seal. The attorney applies the digital seal to the document and it is validated by the URPERA that allows electronic deeds to be accepted by the recording office.


Advantages of Remote Online Notarization (RON)

RON comes with numerous advantages which include benefits for the title company as well as home buyers and sellers. These include:

Cost Effectiveness. RON cuts down on costs otherwise incurred in conventional closing such as searching through a heap of records to determine property ownership, redoing documents in the event of an error, and recording the deed in the paper. 

Security. One cannot simply change an electronic deed or the signatures within those digital documents after the digital notary seal is applied, making foul play difficult. 

Transparency. The ESIGN mandates that the signed copy of the documents be sent to all the parties involved in the transaction, making RON transactions transparent and trustworthy.

Better Customer Experience. RON elevates overall customer experience during the home closing process. Documents do not take multiple days to reach the buyer and signing documents do not need appointments. The final step of the transaction to transfer the deed is also online by the attorney, making RON a hassle free process.   

Notarization is integral to the real estate business. The lender, real estate agents, listing agents, and other parties depend on the title companies for their income. An ability to process more land titles with the help of RON means more income and revenues for all the parties involved in the transaction. 

Hope you found the insights valuable in this post. Wish you a smooth crossover to Remote Online Notarization.