ATG COVID-19 Update #14: Remote Online Notarization

EDITOR'S NOTE: For all ATG updates related to this topic, see COVID-19 Updates.

ATG Illinois Agents

On March 26, 2020, Governor Pritzker issued COVID-19 Executive Order No. 12 (Order), which authorizes remote online notarization (RON) by Illinois Notaries Public via two-way audio-video communication during the pendency of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Order requires the Notary Public (notary) to be physically located in Illinois and otherwise follow rules promulgated by the Secretary of State’s office.

The Secretary of State’s Requirements (SOS Requirements) provide further guidance and definitions, including the following matters of note:

  • The notary and customer must both be located in Illinois;
  • The electronic communication must allow two-way, real time, audio-video communication that allows for direct interaction between the notary and the consumer and allows for clarity of resolution enough to examine IDs and every page of the document;
  • The notary must be able to record the audio-visual session and must retain it for a period of at least three years;
  • The customer must review and initial every page of every signed document;
  • For counties that do not allow for electronic recording, the online notarized documents may be printed and recorded.

ATG Guidelines

ATG will insure RON closings, provided all the following requirements are met:

  • ATG will insure documents notarized using RON that are completed using only the following RON vendor platforms: Notarize, NotaryCam, Pavaso, or Nexsys. These platforms require consent by the customer, multifactor authentication of identity for each customer, tamper-evident notary seals, and secure transmission of data.
  • ATG will not insure notarized documents completed using RON with any other audio-visual communication or platform. Applications such as FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and others do not contain the same level of security as the ATG-approved platforms, and so they may not be used for notarized documents. (For documents that don’t require a notary, DocuSign is an acceptable form of execution. Coming Soon: Watch for the ATG GO Video Conferencing center, which will facilitate video client meetings and execution of those documents using DocuSign.)
  • Each person whose signature will be notarized through RON must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Each person whose signature will be notarized through RON must successfully pass the identity-proving process using multi-factor authentication administered by the RON vendor platform. If a customer fails, then the customer may be attempting to perpetrate a forgery and the transaction cannot close. In such cases, please Contact an Underwriter.
  • The lender must approve the transaction to close using RON and must approve the platform to be used. The lender’s approval must be in the closing instructions or in another written communication and saved in your file.

If the county where the land is located does not allow for electronic recording, then, pursuant to paragraph 9 of the SOS Requirements, you must obtain a certified paper copy of the documents to be recorded. The RON notary must certify the document to be a true and correct copy that satisfies requirements of law and that the signatures and attestations contained in the document are original and authentic. Be aware that in some cases, lenders may not permit the certified copy to be used and my instead require a wet signature in counties that lack electronic recording capabilities.

Note: At this time, all the ATG-approved platforms are using out of state notaries. Accordingly, any RON closings using the ATG-approved platforms are not operating primarily under the Order or SOS Requirements, but pursuant to existing statutory authority in Section 20 of the Conveyances Act. 765 ILCS 5/20.

Questions? Contact an Underwriter. As always, we thank you for your business and continued support. We value your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.

Christine Sparks
ATG Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Posted on: Fri, 03/27/2020 - 12:16pm