Dear PLTA Member -
The current unfortunate situation with the Coronavirus is an example of how technology could better serve the residents of Pennsylvania by completing important business transactions remotely. In particular, by allowing Remote Online Notarization, homebuyers could complete secure closing documents remotely. Even in the absence of a crisis such as the Coronavirus, the limitations with our existing laws may result in increased risk to the industry by hampering our ability to serve customers.
Several pieces of legislation and actions by the Governor have been considered for immediate action, but both Senator Doug Mastriano and Representative Mark Keller have introduced legislation on RON - SB 1097 and HB 2370, Their bills are a more permanent solution since, notarial acts are a necessary component of the real estate closing process. As the industry continues to serve consumers' needs by using online, mobile and other electronic means, it has become clear that our state notarial laws and regulations are inadequate to support this shift in technology.
Thus, the PA Land Title Association is supporting legislation that will lead to a significant modernization of the Notary Law by allowing user-friendly and secure methods for the electronic notarization of documents. This proposal does not replace notaries nor does it change in any way the types of services notaries provide. Rather, it would authorize the use of secure and reliable technology to assist notaries in the performance of their duties while at the same time providing a business and government-friendly alternative to being physically present.
Indeed, notaries would be given additional tools to perform their duties with the additional OPTION to perform notarial acts by audio-video communication: “remote/online” notarization.
This would be done by authenticating documents and identifying individual parties through communication technology and identity proofing to certify copies of electronic records are true copies. The proposed legislation establishes definitions for “communication technology”, “foreign state”, “identity proofing”,” outside the United States”, and “remotely located individual”. The Pennsylvania Department of State would be required to issue regulations for these new definitions and for retention periods for recordings.
Please utilize the information on this page to contact your local legislator to support this important action.
Please contact PLTA offices if you need further information.
Pennsylvania Land Title Association
Pennsylvania Land Title Institute
1010 W. 8th Avenue, Suite H
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Phone: 610-265-5980 or 800-545-7584