Remote Notary Regulations Filed

On April 15th, the Secretary of State filed their First Notice of proposed regulations, which opened a 45 day period for public comment. See page 5 of the Flinn Report for a summary of the proposed rules and see page 5874 of the Illinois Register for the full filing.

For background, remote notary legislation was signed into law last summer as Public Act 102-160, and most aspects of the new law are effective the later of January 1, 2022 or implementation of administrative rules by the Secretary of State.

*** Updated May 6th***

The joint ILTA committee working group (Agents, Title Counsel, Legislative) met twice following First Notice to conduct its assessment and provide recommendations on several areas of interest to the title industry prior to June 1st:

  • Confirm general notary, employer, and vendor responsibilities;
  • Standards for remote, online vendor approval, see Rule Sec. 176.805;
    • Clarify parameters on a notary’s use of one or more platforms, see Rule Sec. 176.300(c)(2); and
    • Clarify process for changing platforms, see Rule Sec. 176.300(d)(2);
  • Any additional identity authentication standards;
    • Confirm when multi-factor authentication is necessary;
    • Confirm Freddie Mac guidance and MISMO standards regarding multi-factor authentication;
    • Clarify 24-hour waiting period for failed authentication, see Rule Sec. 176.835(c)(7);
  • Certification standards to distinguish remote notarized documents, see Rule Secs. 176.730 & 176.865;
    • Confirm rule implementation of PA 102-160 Secs. 3-101(b-5)(4) & 6A-106(b); and
    • Confirm impact on pre-printed forms;
  • Privacy and storage standards/requirements, see Rule Subparts I & J);
    • Confirm new journal requirements and July 1 effective date for both remote and in-person notarization, see PA 102-160 Sec. 3-107;
    • Clarify overlapping notary and vendor responsibilities that may satisfy requirements, see Rule Subparts I & J; see also PA 102-160 Sec. 3-107
    • Clarify transfer of records after death of notary, see Rule Sec. 176.960(d)
  • Notary commission issuance and renewal requirements, see Rule Subparts C & D;
    • Confirm end of county certification effective July 1, see PA 102-160 Sec. 2-106 repeal
    • Confirm commission number application for both remote and in-person notarization, see Rule Sec. 176.300(f)(3);
    • Clarify impact of continuing education on commission renewal, see Rule 176.350;
    • Clarify continuing education vendor requirements, see Rule Secs. 176.205(c) & 176.215;
  • Cost and fees separate from remote, online vendor charges, see Rule Subpart D.

Other Laws & Regulations of Interest

Another bill relevant to at least “remote ink notarization” was also signed into law last summer as Public Act 102-167In particular, title practitioners and legal counsels may want to be familiar with Section 15-20 regarding “[r]emote witnessing and notarization during the COVID-19 emergency declaration,” and also Section 15-5 regarding the remote witnessing of documents other than wills.

Further assurances were also provided in Illinois law last summer regarding remote notarizations in other states through Public Act 102-500, which clarified that acknowledging someone’s appearance for a notary includes “in a manner prescribed by the laws or regulations applicable in the place in which the acknowledgment is taken.”

And although Illinois has set standards for remote ink notarization that does not include multi-factor authentication, please note guidance released last summer by Freddie Mac with a multi-factor authentication requirement. Click here for more guidance details from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.