Newlon: Remote online notarization a critical need in Arizona

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To help keep our communities healthy, the need for social distancing is imperative right now.

As such, on March 18, two U.S. senators --- Kevin Cramer and Mark Warner --- introduced a bill known as the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic – or SECURE – Notarization Act of 2020.

With this bill, title companies can help consumers close their transactions without coming in contact with anyone, as it would approve the nationwide use of Remote Online Notarization (RON). This technology enables customers and the notary to be in different locations using two-way, audio-visual communication to safely and securely execute important documents.

Arizona passed a law (SB 1030) in 2019 that would allow Arizona notaries to use this technology.

However, it does not go into effect until July, and the Secretary of State has indicated that even come July they are not prepared to implement. Thirteen states already use RON and many more, like Arizona, have passed laws that are not yet implemented.

Two states, New York and Wisconsin, have taken emergency measures to allow for immediate implementation of the technology. I believe that our state should follow suit, and that we should also make it available nationwide.

It is a perfect solution while practicing social distancing or self-quarantining during this uncertain time. The national bill will immediately enable any notary in the country to use RON.

State implementation of the law already passed would keep the clear guidelines and procedures in place that were negotiated by stake holders here in Arizona. Beyond that, all folks, including those in care facilities or those unable to easily physically get to a notary during non-emergent times would greatly benefit from RON.

Please call your elected officials to express support for the immediate implementation of RON both the state and federal level.

Editor’s Note: Tyler Newlon is an escrow officer at Pioneer Title Agency, Arizona’s largest locally owned and operated title company. He can be reached at Tyler.Newlon@pioneertitleagency.com.

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