Bulletin: AR2021001

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Bulletin: AR2021001

Bulletin Document
V 1
Date: July 16, 2021
To: All Arkansas Issuing Offices
RE: UNDERWRITING - Remote Online Notarization (RON)

Dear Associates:

On April 29, 2021, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed Senate Bill 340/Act 1047 (see attached), which amends several provisions of the Arkansas Electronic Notary Public Act found in Title 21, Chapter 14, Subchapter 3 of the Arkansas Code. The new provisions of the Act became effective immediately upon the signature of the Governor and authorize remote online notarization (RON) by an “online notary public” authorized by the Secretary of State. While the new law may already be effective, it specifically provides that the Secretary of State shall: a) require the registration of electronic notary publics seeking to perform remote online notarization; b) approve of credential analysis and identity proofing services to be used with communication technology required for remote online notarization; and c) promulgate rules to enforce requirements under the new law. Thus, until a registration system and list of communication technology are approved by the Secretary of State together with the promulgation of rules, an Arkansas notary public will not be able to perform remote online notarization.

Requirements for remote online notarizations in Arkansas:

1. The notary public must be physically located in the State of Arkansas and registered for remote online notarizations with its Secretary of State;

2. The notary public must use communication technology with credential analysis and identity proofing systems approved by the Secretary of State, which allows for simultaneous communication by sight and sound with the principal (a principal with a vision, hearing, or speech impairment must be accommodated by the communication technology);

3. The notary public verifies identity of principal at the time of their signature by either:

a. Personal knowledge;

b. Satisfactory evidence of the identity of the principal from a credible witness (NOTE: a credible witness must have their identity verified by the notary public in one of the same processes listed here); or

c. Remote presentation by the person creating the electronic signature of government-issued
identification, including but not limited to a U.S. passport or a state-issued driver’s license that contains a signature and photograph of the person sufficient to allow (i) credential analysis and (ii) identity proofing through which a third person affirms the validity of the credentials and the identity of the person;

4. The notary public verifies that the document being executed by the principal is the same document before the notary;

5. The notary public creates an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act to maintain in an electronic record for 5 years following the notarization (NOTE: said electronic record is to include details of the notarization);

6. Attachment of an electronic notarial certificate that includes a notation confirming that the notarization is an online notarization.

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:
  • None
Underwriting Manual:
  • None
Exceptions Manual:
  • None
Forms:
  • None