Remote Online Notarization: The Future of Closing Is Nearing

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, Minnesota Law will allow Remote Online Notarization. What does this mean for you and your closings in the coming year? Well, let’s start with the basics.


Unlike our customary closings where buyers, sellers, Realtors all meet at a designated location to sign closing documents. Remote online notarization closings use electronic devices to not only electronically sign the final closing paperwork, but also allows the notary to “stamp” or notarize the signers’ signatures. In these closings, the borrower or seller (commonly referred to as a signer) and the notary are located in two different physical location. The identity of the signer is established with a two-way audio-video technology in addition to credential analysis.

In order to perform these closings, there are certain requirements that must be met for title insurance underwriters to insure and provide owner and lender title insurance policies.

No. 1: The notary must be licensed as a remote online notary in Minnesota. The MN notary must be commissioned as a traditional notary public before becoming eligible for an appointment as a remote online notary.

No. 2: Location of the notary, signer and property. The location of the notary must be located within the borders of the state of Minnesota. The location of the signer must be located within the borders of the United States and the notary must verify the signer’s location at time of signing the documents. The property must be located within Minnesota as well.

No. 3: Consent must be given by all parties. All parties including the lender must approve and provide consent in writing to use remote online notarization and video recording of the same.

No. 4: Technology vendor must meet statutory requirements for identity proofing and credential analysis and electronic storage. The remote online notarization recorded video must be stored and maintained by the notary or employer for at least 10 years.

No. 5: Electronic Recording must be accepted by the courthouse in which documents are to be recorded. The county where the property is located and its jurisdiction (Abstract or Torrens) must accept electronic documents for recording. If not, the more traditional notary and closing process shall be utilized.

I personally attended and was seated at the table with the many forward-thinking individuals that helped adopt and revise the current statute language to make this new legislature possible here in Minnesota. The time and devoted attention that many gave to this future streamlined closing process is appreciate and will continue to be appreciated as more and more customers reap the benefits of convenience. Many underwriters and lenders are expecting e-closings and online remote notarizations to become more widely used and adopted as a regular business practice in the coming years.

As more and more technology providers fill this need, be prepared for your closings to have a considerably different look and feel. Start to enhance and create more ways you can keep the personal touch throughout your client relationship including a remote online closing.

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