Bulletin: IL2020002

Date:
April 02, 2020
To:
All Illinois Issuing Offices
RE:
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - IL Executive Order Number 12 - Video Enabled Notarization [Revised 4-3-20]

Dear Associates:

Please note that remote notarization and Remote Online Notarization are different processes with different requirements. 

On March 26, 2020, Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker, issued executive order number 12; a copy of the order is attached, pursuant to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act which gives the Governor very broad powers. The Governor modified certain parts of the Illinois Notary Act by allowing the assistance of audio-visual technology to facilitate the social distancing necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additional guidance provided by the IL Secretary of State provided in the following link: Guidance for Remote Notaries and Consumers

Stewart is committed to our partners and providing solutions to allow agents and Stewart Issuing Offices to continue closing and insuring transactions. Given the uncertainty of how COVID-19 may impact real estate transactions, and in the interest of providing our Issuing Offices the tools necessary to provide service to their customers, we are implementing the following procedures, outlined below, which are EFFECTIVE for the duration of the public health emergency (unless extended or otherwise modified).

I. TECHNOLOGY

Stewart agents may use assistive audio-video technologies to facilitate the Notarial act.

To facilitate the use of the audio-visual notary feature, set forth in the attached Proclamation, the Stewart approved technology platforms and tutorials can be found at:

https://www.stewart.com/content/stewart/stewartcom/en/eclosing/customer-type/title-agency-info.html?refurl=%2Fcontent%2Fstewart%2Fstewartcom%2Fen%2Fcustomer-type%2Ftitle-insurance-underwriting-services%2Feducation-and-training%2Feclosing%2Foverview.html

In the event you do not use an approved Platform, the audio-visual technology must:

  1. Provide for the audio/video preservation of the entire notarial transaction;
  2. Provide for secure storage and transmission of the Non-public personal information; and,
  3. Provide for verification of location of signer (Principal must be in IL).

II. CONDITIONS FOR THE NOTARIAL PROCESS

1. Pursuant to the Order, only notaries who commissioned by the Illinois Secretary of State and located physically within the state of IL, may use this feature.

2. The two-way audio-video communication technology must allow for direct, contemporaneous interaction between the individual signing the document (“the signatory”) and the witness by sight and sound;

3. The two-way audio-video communication technology must be recorded and preserved by the signatory or the signatory’s designee for a period of at least seven years;

4. The signatory must attest to being physically located in Illinois during the two-way audio-video communication;

5. The witness must attest to being physically located in Illinois during the two-way audio-video communication;

6. The signatory must affirmatively state on the two-way audio-video communication what document the signatory is signing;

7. Each page of the document being witnessed must be shown to the witness on the two-way audio-video communication technology in a means clearly legible to the witness and initialed by the signatory in the presence of the witness;

8. The act of signing must be captured sufficiently up close on the two-way audio-video communication for the witness to observe;

9. The signatory must transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the entire signed document directly to the witness no later than the day after the document is signed;

10. The witness must sign the transmitted copy of the document as a witness and transmit the signed copy of the document back via fax or electronic means to the signatory within 24 hours of receipt; and,

11. If necessary, the witness may sign the original signed document as of the date of the original execution by the signatory provided that the witness receives the original signed document together with the electronically witnessed copy within thirty days from the date of the remote witnessing.

12. The transaction involves a cash sale/purchase; purchase money transaction with financing; or a transaction involving a refinance, either with or without cash-out. In other transactions, please obtain Stewart Underwriter approval.

Suggestions for Audio/Video Conferencing Technology:

The Emergency Rules do not identify technology which would satisfy the audio/visual requirements of the Emergency Rules and care should be taken that any platform chosen adequately provides for the ability to record the live session and that both the Signer and the Notary have devices which support the chosen platform. As a convenience to our agents and to aid your search in locating a service provider, we’ve listed some providers which offer audio/video conferencing and the ability to record such conference.

Zoom: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/203741855-Cloud-recording

Microsoft Teams: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/record-a-meeting-in-teams-34dfbe7f-b07d-4a27-b4c6-de62f1348c24

GoToMeeting: https://www.gotomeeting.com/features/online-meeting-recording

Cisco Webex: https://help.webex.com/en-us/nzpa89j/Manage-Cisco-Webex-Meetings-Recordings

III. ADDITIONAL UNDERWRITING REQUIREMENTS:

13. Parties, including lender, must authorize in writing the use of the video notary process.

14. If the technology platform is not listed in the above links, a Stewart Underwriter must approve the technology vendor. Please contact the local Stewart Underwriter for approval.

15. The approval of the Audio-visual feature is limited to policy amount up to $1,000,000. Real Estate transactions in excess of $1,000,000 will be considered, however Issuing Offices shall obtain Stewart Underwriter approval.

16. The notary must sign a certificate of compliance on a form provided by Stewart.

17. The title company must verify that the recording office will accept the Notary performed in this process.

A sample Illinois Certification for Remote Attestation is available here.

Please note we have a dedicated site on VU for all things COVID-19 related available: https://www.vuwriter.com/en/coronavirus-resources.html

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:
SLS2020003 UNDERWRITING - Remote Online Notarization
 
SLS2020004 UNDERWRITING - Remote Online Notarization
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None