DocMagic Blog

California Passes Remote Online Notarization Bill

This post is adapted from a detailed update on the new SB 696 bill in our Compliance Edge publication authored by Gavin T. Ales, Chief Compliance Officer at DocMagic.

On Saturday, September 30th, the California governor signed a bill into law, SB 696, that paves the way for legalization of remote online notarizations (RON) by California notaries. The groundbreaking piece of legislation has stipulations to review the technological requirements for RON, study laws of other states governing remote notarization, and determine appropriate regulations and rules necessary to enable the conduct of remote notarizations.

However, what sets this legislation apart is its forward-looking approach, with its full scope perhaps not becoming effective until years after its passage.

The legislation also requires the Secretary of State to conduct a Technology Project to assess the technological requirements for RON. The bill would enable remote notarizations within the state at the completion of the Technology Project, or in accordance with rules passed as part of that process, or in the event the project is not completed by the later effective date, would authorize remote notarizations on January 1, 2030.
 
The new law will include some of the common, familiar requirements for remote notarization that other states have also included with their legislation.  Unlike many other states, though, California did not simply adopt a version of the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (published by the Uniform Law Commission).  The law will require credential analysis and identity proofing, a requirement for keeping an electronic journal for a period of 10 years, which may be done with the notarizing platform or another registered depository, and use of an image of the notary public’s electronic signature with an electronic notarial certificate that includes a notation that the notarial act was completed via audio-video communication technology.  Remote notarization platforms and journal depositories will be required to seek approval from the secretary’s office prior to offering such services in the state, and approval cannot be sought until the Technology Project is completed.

DocMagic will continue to monitor developments on remote notarizations in California as the Secretary of State’s office proceeds through the steps for completing the required Technology Project. 

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Topics from this blog: Compliance Remote Online Notarization

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