MISMO® Seeks Public Comment on New Standards for Remote Online Notarizations

Adam DeSanctis
(202) 557-2727

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 19, 2019) - MISMO®, the mortgage industry's standards organization, announced that new standards for remote online notarizations (RON) have been released for a 60-dayday public comment period. The comment period will remain open from Tuesday, February 19, until Monday, April 22, 2019. Any comments received will be reviewed and dispositioned; after which the standards are expected to be elevated to Candidate Recommendation status.

Over the past few years, a number of states have enacted laws allowing the use of audio-visual communication devices to notarize documents in real estate transactions. These devices have provided borrowers, homebuyers and sellers the convenience of signing their closing papers online from a remote location.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) collaborated to prepare model legislation that provides the framework for any state to adopt a RON process. At the same time, the mortgage industry asked MISMO to develop standards to promote consistency across the states that passed RON legislation. MISMO's RON standards enable states to adopt consistent practices and permit lenders and other industry participants to quickly adopt new procedures to meet consumer demands for convenience and a better consumer experience. 

"As new state laws legalizing remote online notarizations are passed and await implementation, MISMO's remote online notarization standards provide a blueprint for regulation that secretaries of state can use to expedite the development of draft regulations," said Eddie Oddo, Vice President of Corporate Business Solutions at First American Title Insurance Company. "The proposed standards are designed to enable all mortgage industry participants, including various state officials, to adopt standard processes, procedures and technology requirements for implementing remote online notarizations which will promote consistency nationwide."

The new standards include credential analysis, borrower identification, capturing and maintaining a recording of the notary process electronically, audio and video requirements, record storage and audit trails. MISMO is communicating with secretaries of state across the U.S. to encourage the adoption of the standards in their respective regulations. Uniformity of regulations benefits all parties that might utilize RON services, from lenders to notaries to consumers.

In addition to creating standards, the MISMO Remote Online Notary Workgroup is developing best practices, implementation guides and other educational materials to help industry participants leverage the standards in their businesses. To download the new proposed standard, visit: http://www.mismo.org/standards-and-resources/emortgage-specifications. Industry participants who have comments, concerns or questions about the new RON standards can contact MISMO at info@mismo.org.

The comment period is also intended to afford work group participants who worked on the proposed RON standards at least 30 days' notice prior to final release of the standards to review them and disclose any applicable Patent Rights (as defined by MISMO's 2018 Intellectual Property Rights Policy). Disclosures and comments should also be directed to info@mismo.org.

At this time, MISMO also requests that organizations, including those involved in the development of RON technologies, disclose in writing (to info@mismo.org) any patents and patent applications that might be infringed by an organization that uses or is compliant with these proposed MISMO standards.

The release and use of MISMO standards, including the MISMO RON standards, are governed by the MISMO Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy. For more information on the policy, please click here.