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How ProperSign can help with KBA and ID Proofing Obstacles

Remote online notarization continues to grow in popularity among consumers and businesses. For real estate closings, more and more people are using the technology to refinance and purchase homes. Still, there are several challenges hampering the full adoption of the tool. Even for consumers who are tech-savvy enough to troubleshoot common problems on their own, there remain some barriers when it comes to accessing the systems to sign and notarize documents. 

That’s because a remote online notarization tool isn’t simply a video conferencing tool with a user interface to review and sign documents. Instead, these tools must create a secure collaboration space, which requires each participant to pass security checks verifying their identity. While this is usually more rigorous for notaries, the pared-down verification process for a signer can still cause hang-ups. 

Here are some of the common problems we hear and how ProperSign can help.


Challenges when verifying the signer’s identity

Many state remote online notarization laws require two methods of identity proofing to complete a transaction: 

  1. ID verification – the signer’s ID is scanned and verified as authentic
  2. Knowledge-Based Authentication – commonly referred to as KBA, where the signer is asked to verify personal information based on their credit history. This will include questions about what cars the person has owned and what associated street addresses. 


While these standards provide important steps in preventing fraud, they can create barriers for legitimate transactions with certain individuals. Here are some of the common issues we’ve heard and how ProperSign helps solve it. 


My client doesn’t have the right kind of ID

For the majority of signers, passing these ID proofing checks is relatively easy, but for some individuals it’s impossible. If the signer holds a foreign passport or has no to little credit history in the United States, some remote online notarization platforms are unable to accommodate these signers. 

ProperSign can accept multiple types of government-issued identifications, including foreign passports and even some foreign national identification cards. 


My client doesn’t have a credit history

According to a study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, about 26 million adults in the United States are “credit invisible.” That’s about 11% of the adult population. On top of that, foreign investors and homebuyers continue to show interest in US properties. In 2020, nearly 7.4 billion dollars worth of properties were sold to foreign nationals. 

Unfortunately, both of these demographics typically lack the established credit history with the three US credit bureaus to successfully pass a KBA check. 

In these cases, ProperSign can help title agents and real estate attorneys find a RON or mobile notary to help complete the transaction. 


My client is having trouble passing KBA

Even for individuals with the required length of credit history, passing a KBA requires answering 4 out of 5 of the questions correctly. This can include various addresses or items loosely associated with your financial history, so it’s easy to forget the address of the college apartment lease you cosigned for your child 10 years ago or the make and model of the car you briefly owned thirty years ago. 

We recommend coaching signers to choose any answer that is familiar to them or a family member. 

With ProperSign, notaries and title agents won’t be charged for failed KBA attempts. Learn more about our remote closing solution


Finding a Notary for a RON Real Estate Closing

ProperSign’s newest service helps connect professionals with a notary signing agent to complete a remote real estate closing or schedule a mobile signing appointment. 


When to use a Virginia Notary for RON 

We’ve partnered with RON-approved Virginia notaries specifically to address the issues of working with signers who can’t pass KBA and can’t meet in person for a mobile or in-office signing. 

Virginia was the pioneer of remote online notarization in the United States, and as a result, has flexible identity proofing processes that were updated as recently as March 11, 2021. Notaries in Virginia are required to use one of the following identity verification processes: 

  1. Personal knowledge of the principal 
  2. The oath or affirmation of a credible witness 
  3. Or at least two of the following: (i) credential analysis of an unexpired government-issued identification bearing a photograph of the principal’s face and signature, (ii) identity proofing by an antecedent in-person identity proofing process in accordance with the specifications of the Federal Bridge Certification Authority, (iii) another identity proofing method authorized in guidance documents, regulations, or standards adopted pursuant to COV 2.2-436, or (iv) a valid digital certificate accessed by biometric data or by use of an interoperable Personal Identity Verification card.


If you need help with an upcoming closing for a signer facing these challenges, you can request a notary for your upcoming real estate closing.

Woman searching for notary online
This content is provided for informational purposes only. PropLogix, LLC (PLX) is not a law firm; this content is not intended as legal advice and may not be relied upon as such. PLX makes no representations as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of this content. PLX may reference or incorporate information from third-party sources, upon which a citation or a website URL shall be provided for such source. PLX does not endorse any third party or its products or services. Any comments referencing or responding to this content may be removed in the sole discretion of PLX.

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Amanda Farrell

Amanda Farrell is a digital media strategist at PropLogix. She enjoys being a part of a team that gives peace of mind to consumers while making one of the biggest purchases of their lives. She lives in Sarasota with her bunny, Buster, and enjoys painting, playing guitar and mandolin, and yoga.