California Online Notary Act Approved by Assembly Committee on Business and Professions

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA – Assembly Bill 2368, a measure authored by Majority Leader Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) which authorizes remote online notarization, was approved by the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions today with bipartisan support.

“Technology and the internet have simplified most electronic transactions,” stated Majority Leader Calderon.  “California needs to keep up with 21st Century innovations and implement new technology in a safe, secure, and consumer-friendly way. AB 2368 provides that framework.”

In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a report that electronic loan closings can benefit consumers significantly by making the process more efficient, less complex and more understandable. On February 19, 2018 the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) released a resolution supporting technology neutral standards developed by the National E-Notarization Commission for secure and feasible implementation of in-person electronic notarization, and amended to include remote electronic notarization.

Consumers can already safely and securely apply for mortgages online, provide documentation through web portals or smart phones, and check the status of their application all over the internet. But when it comes time to closing, Californians are required to personally meet a notary or invite a mobile notary into their home. This requirement slows down the mortgage process and is a burden for some Californians, including first-time homebuyers, parents and active duty military.

AB 2368 authorizes remote online notarization in California by permitting an online notary public to take the acknowledgement or oath of a signer who personally appears before the notary by a secure two-way interactive audio and video communication. The bill would require the use of a secure, tamper proof technology, approved by the Secretary of State, to digitally record the notarial act between the notary and signer. A multilayer identity verification of the signer would be required including: presentation of a photo ID, credential analysis, and identity proofing.      

AB 2368 also provides that online notaries public must be approved by the Secretary of State and physically located in California. However, online notaries may perform their duties for signers who are located in California, throughout the U.S., and even outside the U.S., so long as the online notary has no actual knowledge that the act is prohibited where the principal is.

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Contact: Lerna Shirinian (562) 692-5858