Bulletin: OH2019001

Date:
March 26, 2019
To:
All Ohio Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Remote Online Notarization (RON)

Dear Associates:

On December 19, 2018, then Governor Kasich signed Senate Bill 263, The Notary Public Modernization Act, which amends sections of Ohio Revised Code Chapter 147 governing the commission of notaries public in Ohio. The new law will permit online notarizations beginning on September 20, 2019, making Ohio the 10th state to recognize remote online notarization (RON). The delayed implementation period provides time for the Secretary of State (SOS) to comply with the statutory requirement to adopt rules necessary to implement, set, and maintain standards for online notarizations and online notaries public, including adopting applications, forms, technology platforms and other processes and procedures necessary to carry out the mandates of the new law. This bulletin will be updated when the SOS has completed this task.

The new law will permit any notary public who resides in Ohio to apply to the SOS for authorization to administer acknowledgments and perform notarial services online utilizing live video links, and electronic signatures and notary seals. The RON notary public will be required to complete an educational program, pass a test and non-attorney RON notaries public will have to pass a criminal background check. There will be an application fee not to exceed $150; a separate fee for the criminal background check shall not exceed $60. An appointed and commissioned RON notary public will be subject to continuing education requirements.

The new law contains a “papering out” provision for those county offices that do not yet permit electronic documents to transfer real property or are not yet set up for processing electronically submitted transactions. It states in part that a printed copy of a document executed electronically and acknowledged or sworn before a RON notary public shall be accepted to the same extent as any other document and shall not be rejected solely by reason of containing electronic signatures or an electronic notarization, including a RON, if that document contains a certificate as required by the statute.

Please note that effective immediately, you may proceed to recognize a remote online notarization performed in another jurisdiction. Prior to doing so you must review and comply with the provisions contained in Stewart Bulletin SLS2018003 linked below.

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
SLS2018003 UNDERWRITING - Remote Online Notarization
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None