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Measure Would Bring Document Notarization into 21st Century

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to authorize federal courts and states to recognize remote and electronic notarizations performed by a notary public regardless of the state where the notary is commissioned if the notarization occurs in or affects interstate commerce.

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) strongly supports the bipartisan bill’s enactment. The measure is one of nearly thirty public policy proposals advocated by IRI in its 2023 Federal Retirement Security Blueprint, which was announced today.

“The bill will ensure the necessary verification of identity is made by the notary using tools and technology now readily available that permits the notarization to occur with the notary and signer in different geographic locations,” said Paul Richman, IRI Chief Government and Political Affairs Officer.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and businesses had to change how they conducted their daily lives and operations. Federal, state, and local regulators developed and approved new rules to provide for the temporary use of digital solutions to accommodate social distancing measures that had been put in place to address health and safety considerations. However, the insured retirement industry remained subject to a variety of laws and rules that require individuals to be physically present to conduct business.

The “SECURE Notarization Act” would address that issue by establishing minimum standards for the nationwide use of remote online notarizations (RON). Additionally, the measure will ensure states recognize interstate notarizations while allowing the essential transactions driving retirement preparedness to continue for millions of America’s retirement savers.

The House passed this bill in July 2022, but the Senate did not act before Congress adjourned in December. The bill was quickly reintroduced and brought to the House floor for a vote this year.

“By acting quickly and early to pass this bill in this new session of Congress, IRI and other advocates for this legislation will have more time to educate the Senate to consider and approve this legislation,” Richman said. “The bill will ensure businesses can continue to engage in interstate commerce to provide individuals with access to the financial products and services needed to provide security in retirement.”

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Contact: Dan Zielinski


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