Bulletin: MD2020004

Date:
April 23, 2020
To:
All Maryland Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Modification to MD 2020003 Authorizing Alternative Remote Notarizations

Dear Associates:

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide guidance for insuring alternative remote notarizations as authorized by Governor Hogan’s Executive Order Number 20-03-30-04 dated April 10, 2020.

Alternative remote notarizations (also termed RIN in GSE guidance) allows for documents to be wet signed by a party in Maryland while the notary is virtually present via approved communication technology. The documents are then sent directly to the Maryland Notary for the notary to wet sign and attach a notarial certificate.

Per the Secretary of State’s guidance, all of the following criteria must be met:

  • The notary must be a current Maryland notary in good standing.
  • You must notify the Office of the Secretary of State of your intent to use remote notarizations.
  • You must identify the communications technology vendor you will use and confirm that the vendor allows you to, in real time:
    • View the remotely located individual, and
    • Compare for consistency the information and photos presented as identification credentials.
  • You must create and retain an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act.
  • You must note on the notarial certification and in your notary log or journal that the notarial act was performed for a remotely located individual using communications technology.

NOTE: Zoom is Not an approved communication platform per Secretary of State. Additionally, the Secretary of State’s previous guidance specifically stated that services such as Skype or Facetime do not meet technology requirements.

Stewart’s dedicated site on VU for all things COVID-19 related can be found here.

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:
MD2020003 UNDERWRITING - 4/10/2020 Update Maryland State Executive Order 20-03-30-04 Authorizing Remote Notarizations
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None