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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Remote Online Notarization (RON)?
Remote Online Notarization (RON) is defined as the use of online audio-video technology to appear before a notary and electronically sign and notarize documents. RON is the key component to fully digital closings.
What isn’t Remote Online Notarization?
Conducting a closing over audio-video technology like FaceTime or Skype to watch someone sign paper documents that are then mailed or picked up is not Remote Online Notarization. Paper Remote Online Notarizations where the notary uses multi-factor authentication, but paper documents are signed with wet signatures that are mailed or picked up is also not considered Remote Online Notarization. RON service providers have minimum technical and security standards as well as eSignatures and eNotary Seals enabled.
What states allow remote notarization?
Each state drafts and approves laws and regulations regarding the use and implementation of Remote Online Notarization. “Check to see if your state has passed RON laws here.”
What is a RIN closing?
RIN stands for Remote Ink-signed Notarization and is a term coined by Fannie Mae to distinguish between Remote Online Notarizations and temporary approval of paper closings with the aid of audio-visual equipment under executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Title companies and notaries should refer to their state’s laws to confirm authorization of these closings and refer to “Fannie Mae’s RIN Job Aid for guidance.”
Is RON secure?
Yes. The technology to verify the identity of signers is more accurate than examining government-issued IDs with the naked eye. Tamper-evident sealing is applied to all documents to prevent interference with authenticity, integrity, and security of the notarial ceremony. After the closing, documents and recordings are protected and backed up.
Who can access the recording of a RON closing?
The notary is required to maintain the video recordings of RON closings for a minimum of 7 years or more depending on your state law requirements. Lenders must also have access to the recording of the notarial ceremony for the lifetime of the loan.
Will this affect title insurance policies?
No. Title insurance companies may not take any exception for the remote online notarization acts if they meet state requirements. There are some exceptions in states where it is not explicitly allowed in that state’s law.
Are borrowers required to use RON?
Lenders may not require homebuyers or sellers to use remote online notarization. Other notary options for borrowers must be available if RON.
Isn’t adding technology to my notary process difficult?
No! Anyone can easily sign up and start using the platform today. For buyers and sellers, it’s as simple as clicking an appointment link from the closing agent and following the identity verification checks.
How do I get started with RON?
How do I get started with RON?
Can I use remote online notarization on loans that require wet signatures?
Yes. Both eMortgages and non-eMortgages loans may be closed through the RON process. The note doesn’t require a notary seal, so what differentiates an eMortgage from a traditional mortgage loan is the presence of an eNote. However, only eNotes may be signed electronically and only lenders approved to deliver eNotes on the secondary market may collect eNotes. This process is usually referred to as a “hybrid” closing since it uses both electronic and wet-ink signatures.
Can a borrower use electronic signatures on a promissory Note that isn’t an eMortgage?
No. A “paper” promissory Note may only be wet-ink signed at closing due to restrictions of applicable law of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and foreclosure statutes and regulations with the Uniform Electronic Transfers Act (UETA). At this point, these laws do not recognize electronic signatures on paper notes. The only way to deliver an electronically signed Note is to be an eMortgage-approved lender by both GSEs.
What is required of Lenders?
Lenders who provide eMortgage options must have access to an electronic Vault (eVault) that integrates with the Mers eRegistry and MERS eDelivery. The eNote must be distinguishable as the “original” and Authoritative Copy from other copies. The eVault solution used by lenders must also prevent unauthorized viewing of documents with sensitive data through restricted access. Since the GSEs purchase the majority of eNotes on the secondary market, lenders must be a member of MERS and must register the eNote on the MERS eRegistry. eNote → eVault → Registration in the MERS® eRegistry
How do I know if my deal can be closed using RON?
RON is approved at the state level. If your state allows for RON closings, other considerations include whether or not this type of closing is approved by your lender and title insurance underwriter. Reach out to your real estate agent, title agent, or lender to determine if your closing can be conducted remotely.