The covid pandemic has given home closings a serious blow among other things in real estate. This is the reason we are seeing widespread adoption of remote online notarization that allows all parties to conduct the closing process over a video call and complete the transaction legally. 

Many states have permanently made remote online notarization and eClosing legal. Arizona has also passed its own bill to legalize RON and allows notaries to perform RON and eClosings in the current time. 

If you are a notary or attorney based in Arizona who wants to learn more about this topic this post is meant for you. However, before we do so, let’s learn some basics about RON.

What is Remote Online Notarization?

Remote online notarization (RON) is the process of notarizing documents electronically. During the closing process, the title company facilitates the RON where all parties including buyers, sellers, their respective agents, attorney, and other parties sitting at different physical locations come together to express consent and legally transfer the ownership of the property. 

The attorney applies the digital seal on the new deed and this is when the transaction is considered to be complete. 

Remote Online Notarization in Arizona

In order to conduct remote closings, notaries must adhere to a set of laws laid by the secretary of the state. Arizona RON laws are quite comprehensive and consider all possible use cases that can arise in the process of online notarization. 

There are a total of 8 sections in the new rules starting from R2-12-1301 - R2-12-1308. All of these can be summarized as follows:

  • The notary must obtain written permission from the secretary of the state to perform remote online notarization. Additionally, the office should not have revoked or terminated the authorization. 
  • The notary must submit the application form to the secretary of the state with a list of information about themselves such as their name email address etc. The notary must also let the secretary office know about the technology vendor they will be implemented to perform RON. 
  • The laws also dictate that the identity of the remote individual must be ascertained using proofs and should be verified using public and private data. The laws further lay out the procedure in which the identity should be verified that includes, but not limited to answering quiz for at least 5 questions related to the person’s history and much more, for the notary to have satisfactory information to validate their identity. 
  • The laws also lay out the standard of communication technology to be used by the notary to facilitate the transaction. 
  • The laws also emphasize record retention for the audiovisual session should be done by the notary. It is also necessary that the records be maintained for at least 5 years from the date of notarization.  

Now that we know about the governing laws of RON in Arizona, let’s look into the reasons that make RON worthy.  

Benefits of remote online notarization

There are many benefits of remote online notarization. These are:

RON is Safe. One cannot simply change or manipulate the details including the notary seal or signatures of a digital document unlike a physical one. In the current times, RON’s ability to provide social distancing during the closing process also adds to its 

Gives you happy clients. RON saves the hassle for buyers and sellers to travel or mail physical copies of documents. This adds to their positive experience. 

Saves you money. RON saves cost during title search and redoing physical documents and the paperwork needed in general. It also saves costs for the clients, they otherwise incur in mailing the documents. 

Remote online notarizations are going to become a norm in the future. If you are a registered notary in Florida and thinking about remote notarization, this may be the right time to add that to your list of services.