Secretary of State Dr. Weber Hosts Virtual Information Briefing on Remote Online Notarization

Secretary of State Dr. Weber Hosts Virtual Information Briefing on Remote Online Notarization

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We are now recording, feel free to go ahead. Well good afternoon, I am Dr Shirley Weber, the Secretary of State for California, and I want to welcome you to this webinar on online remote notary, and I'm very pleased that we're here today for this information session because obviously it's an item that is a concern in California and across the nation and California is looking at it in terms of some legislation and other kinds of things that with regards to the possibility of, of having online remote notary so we're pleased to be with you today, and I'm pleased that I'm being joined by some very important individuals who have various positions on this particular topic, and who can share this with us as I said this is an information item with data, a hearing for on a particular bill but on the topic itself. That has obviously got much attention over the years. I want to remind and I'm very grateful that we have some very important guests with us are going to speak today, and that our staff is made an effort to try to get us individuals who are very much in favor of it individuals who have a neutral position then those who may be opposed to it for various reasons. And so that will give us a sense of balance with regards to the topic itself. I want to remind everyone that this is a public event it's open to anyone who chooses to do so, we have a section at at the bottom of the, of your probably your computer that says q amp A. So if you have questions and answers, please be sure to use that as we get to a section in the of the program where we'll have an opportunity to do so, we hope that there's plenty

of time that remains for public comments. And then during that time, you can be able to raise your hand as you see, to indicate that you would like to basically have something to say with regards to public comment. Today we have a number of important persons with us not only those who are presenting. But those who are part of the California legislature, and who are activists in our community who have an interest in this who have legislation before us, or who are committee chairs. And as a result, we have with us senator Ember, Assembly Member of Mark Stone, Assembly Member Reginald Jones Sawyer, I'm not sure if there's any other elected officials here but if so, if you put it in the chat I'll know that you're

here and at some point I will try to indicate that you're with us today. But those individuals who have named are persons who chair, the various legislative committees in the Senate and the Assembly will be hearing bills on this matter. And of course, Mr Reginald Jones Sawyer, who is an author of a bill that basically provides the opportunity for California to have the remote online notary. And so at that point I was going to give them an opportunity to have any of them have the comments that they'd like to make very brief comments. I want to emphasize it I don't know that's a difficult thing for elected officials to do, but very brief comments because we do have some experts who are going to present us with some information, and we'll have be able to have questions of them so I know Mr Jones Sawyer has a commitment that he has to make and I want to make sure that if he's online with us and He will have an opportunity to to make his comments so if Mr john Sawyer is online, you're welcome to unmute yourself and to make some comments. Mr john saw your online is not online Dr. Webber, he's not online, or any of the others is Mr Umberger Mr Stone online.

If any of them wanted to make any comments now's the time to do so before we begin with our with our panelists. Looks like they have not joined quite yet. They have not joined quite yet well hopefully we'll have something to say before the end I'm looking down and seeing that we have over 500 participants on this webinar which is absolutely amazing. And so there are a lot of folks who want to learn about this you want to participate in it, and and that's great. I we have with us three individuals who are going to address this issue from different perspectives and. And we want to give them a chance about approximately seven to 10 minutes to share with us their view of remote online notary. What this means what it would impact it would have for them, we're looking at, obviously the fact that we are we're in California concerned about it because we we surely want to make note of ization convenient. We want to make it accessible to so many individuals and and utilize the tools that are now available to accomplish that, but we also want to do about protecting the interests

of Californians Against fraud against any kind of illegal activity that may reduce undue loss for them, or complications in their lives and so as a result we are we are looking at this from both perspectives. I need to let everyone know in also disclosure that I am not. I have made no. Take a no position on this particular item in fact my interest in hosting this webinar is because I want to learn, I want to hear what is happening around the state, and then hear from those who are in California as to how they think of would operate and. And so I have not taken a position so I'm glad that we have the pros and the cons and the neutral positions, so that we can so that I personally can get the information because at some point. I'm sure I will be asked to weigh in on any legislation that deals with this particular topic. We're going to begin today by having with us Lori ham who is the Montana, a secretary of state from the Montana Secretary of State's office, and she her job

is she leads the education and outreach and compliance and administrative function of the notary division in Montana. She developed the state's live and online education programs as well as the website and handbook that was had increased the knowledge and skill of thousands of Montana notaries public Republic's over the past 13 years so we're honored to have her with us as a pioneer and the concept of the statewide notary conference, and she's hosted the fourth one most recently in April 2019, so we she's recognized as a national Trailblazer in this area, and she has been an advocate for for remote notre ization early on and with instant and with instrumental and was instrumental Indianapolis of the implementation of the 2015, and subsequently the the 2019 remote notification statues in Montana. She currently serves as treasurer of the notary public administrative section of the National Association of secretaries of state. so I'm very pleased to have my colleague with us. Miss Lori ham who's going to share with us what is going on in Montana, and hopefully answer some questions later on for us. At this time, it gives me a pleasure to welcome Lori ham. The loader, who's in charge of the program in the Montana Secretary of State's office.

Lori. Thank you, Secretary Weber, thank you so much for inviting me to participate in this discussion. I'm really gratified that you're including so many interested parties and stakeholders in this process. It was something that we did in 2018, when we were drafting our comprehensive notary bill. And as I look back over the last year, particularly, I have to credit that strategy for as being the main reason why we haven't needed to amend our laws, based on some serious deficiencies or other concerns that were spotlighted by the NSA expected demands of the pandemic. Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I'm not really neutral about the use of communication technology in the performance and military all apps.

I've been a supporter and a proponent of the concept since I was introduced to it back in 2012. Shortly after Virginia's remote authorization law took effect. But today I intend to be both a pragmatic and an honest voice about the stark raving reality, Ron. Let me share a quick history about our experience with remote ization in Montana.

In 2015, our legislature enacted the revised uniform line no Terry LX Ramona. And we included a provision that was the Montana centric version of remote other ization. That gave us an opportunity to assess the potential viability of this new technology, while avoiding the two big unresolved issues of the day, which was jurisdiction, and the interstate recognition. Admittedly is there was very little application for this restricted version of run, but when it was enough to allow us to see the concept in action in our state, and it gave us some time to see what some other states, Texas in Nevada, for instance, we're doing and how it was working in those states. It ultimately allowed us to incorporate the lessons learned from both experience and observation into our 2019 bill you in California have a huge advantage in that you can draw on the experiences of some 33 states that have already enacted, and in some and to some extent implemented technology integrated notre ization, as well as looking at the other states that have authorized some form of it through emergency or temporary orders. You also have the opportunity to hear from the multitude of industries profession and individuals who have have experienced from remote ran Pran or whatever firsthand.

I promise you won't suffer from a lack of input or information. Before I go any further, I do want to clarify my use of the new acronym for this discussion and they're popping up like crazy. But I'm using technology integrated notation to encompass all of the forms and variation of donations that involve technology so Ron ran prawn iPad, whatever.

This is just because it's getting the list is getting too long. Let me share a few of the insights that I've garnered over the years from my experience and I think will be helpful for you as you consider enacting this kind of legislation for one of the main lessons that we learned is that although remote another ization had its conception, and the major impetus from the mortgage industry. The reality is that remote modernization is appropriate for lots of other applications. For example, Montana really isn't a hotbed of mortgage activity. But we do have a lot of real estate in this that covers the Big Sky Country. So there are many situations where time distance, and even weather can make notations inconvenient costly and even hazardous.

My research indicates that well over half of the tents that have already been performed around the country involves what we usually refer to as general notary work for individuals. At this point, some 19 months after our bill took effect. I can tell you that in Montana. Most of the active 10 notary's are lawyers or paralegals, particularly those practicing in elder in a state law. They realize the benefits of having the AV recordings to substantiate the capacity and willingness of the principles. And of course the benefits of social distancing when dealing with vulnerable populations. I'm also seeing a great deal of interest from federal, state and local government agencies, health care providers and others whose requirements and priorities don't necessarily align with the model envision by the mortgage industry. So the potential use of 10 can be unnecessarily restricted. If there isn't an industry neutral focus on to the standards that are adopted in the statutory and regulatory environments. Some states are already finding out that their statutes and rules are creating barriers rather than opportunities for 10s.

Fortunately, we did consider input from many other sectors as we drafted our legislation, and we haven't encountered any statutory limitations. The second most important lesson we learned is that ran, or remote Inc modernization is an important feature to include in the statute. Not every one is ready to accept digital signatures on every document, and the pandemic is certainly understood underscored the fact that in person contact isn't always desirable. Our lot actually define remote notre ization to allow for acknowledgments to be performed using tangible documents and communication technology, while still being completely in compliance with traditional memory loss and best practices. Some of the temporary orders and new enactments that we're seeing around the country are stretching the concept of personal appearance and contemporaneous completion of the new material certificate to what I think is a dangerous degree. And I suspect that there will be a number of notary authority to make it rich as expert trial witnesses, as some of these laws get challenged down the road.

Let me discuss a few other issues that I think need your attention during your deliberation. In Montana we're starting to see some concerning activities being performed by notaries with insufficient understanding of the fundamental notary laws ethics and best practices. I firmly believe that there's no such thing as too much education. And I certainly endorse additional education and testing for 10 notaries, but because modernization is by its very nature situational. There's no way to minimize the benefits of experience.

I have to come in to that effort, including an experienced threshold in their law. And now it's one thing that I wish we would have included ours, they require all of their Ron notary's to have already completed at least one full commission term before they're eligible. Another big issue that we're hearing virtually on a daily basis share Montana concerns the fees that notaries are allowed to charge.

It's just a simple fact that 10s are more complicated challenging and expensive than traditional notations. There are significant startup expenses that have to be incurred. But you also have to consider that there's additional time that notaries must spend pre qualifying the request prepping the document, educating the customers and dealing with situations where the transactions can be completed that aren't necessarily applicable applicable in the tangible world, because this is such a new concept in the marketplace, the costs aren't well defined yet, allowing for flexibility for notaries to establish fair and reasonable fees so that both cost and value can be weighted into the myth is critical to both acceptance, and the endurance of online notary ization. I think we got that one right here in Montana, we set the maximum fee for the new material act itself, but we authorized a notary to charge a reasonable fees that is agreed to in advance for the service on someone to mention standards. Again, something that's coming up. That probably wasn't as high on the radar, or two years ago.

because technology changes so much faster than legislation. Keeping technology standards and statutory requirements as broad and neutral as possible, will allow for the evolution of technology. We're seeing several states that adopted their chin laws, only two or three years ago and there now struggling because the statutes are two specific. For example, the inherent limitations of knowledge based authentication are becoming more and more apparent and more of a problem. as this concept expands beyond the mortgage environment. Not everybody who needs a notre ization have to credit history.

Again, I think Montana did a pretty good job on this issue because I allowed this lock in specific specific methods, but it established the standard of multifactor identification by quote, two or more different types of technologies, processes, or services approved by the Secretary of State, we referenced KB and credential analysis, but we don't limit to those two methodology. And finally let me share the criteria that we used as we evaluated. Any and all proposed changes for 2019 bill. First of all, we asked, Will this change the will this change enhance the integrity of the note Ariel app. Will this change improve the reliability of the notarized record. Will this change increase the perception or value of the notary office, and will this change help to deter fraud or protect the public as you move forward, I urge you to keep focused on the fundamental purpose of the military all app, regardless of the tools or the technology used performed.

Technology is not the end all be all of memorization. It's a tool that works sometimes, but not in all instances. It's a tool that requires a level of proficiency to work properly. And like anything else, it can be misused and misapplied, and there will be negative consequences as a result. But the bottom line is, there's a place for it, a demand for it, and potentially benefits to be gained from Dr. Webber, once again, Thank you for inviting me to join you today. I congratulate you and your amazing staff and all of those who are participating in this process of developing California is online militarization laws. I look forward to answering any questions that anyone may have, and I'm willing to help in any way I can as you move forward in this exciting challenging and rewarding endeavor. Think you want to thank you very much.

miss him for sharing that information with us and I'm sure once we're going to go to the other two speakers, we will circle back with questions and input from others, so that we can because I think some of the questions may overlap with regards to where we want to go, but thank you for the presentation very interesting and very good resource. We have followed by Matt Miller is our next presenter, who is the president and founder of the California legal independent notaries. Matt is a notary public and certificate loan signing agent offering mobile notary and fingerprinting services to the San Francisco Bay Area. On behalf of independent practitioners Matt advocates for policies that strengthen the Office of notary Republic and approve represents members, common interests so we're very pleased to have with us. Matt Miller, Mr. Miller. Good afternoon Madam Secretary, thank you for the opportunity to be here. My name again is Matt Miller, and I'm an active California no republican the president of the California League of independent notaries.

I'm here today representing the common interest of independent notaries all over the Golden State, having been active on the issue of remote online militarization for several years. We acknowledge that there is some appetite for in California for this type of Notre ization amongst practitioners, the public and business alike. However, concerns remain. Today I'd like to share with you those concerns, and the solutions that we propose the first of four pressing concerns is data privacy, the current state of data privacy protection the technology sector is flawed at best.

This is evidence by the ongoing data breaches by the largest technology companies in the United States and beyond. During an online material transaction how much better amount of personal data is collected, including ID credentials facial features voice, and the contents of personal data legal documents, rather than during a traditional notre no Terry transaction. We would like notaries to maintain explicit control of all personal data collected during an online know Terrell transaction, much like we've been trusted notary to do for over 2000 years so that that data remains a safe and accessible as it is today. Also, we would like to mirror what the state of Colorado has done and now at the state of Florida is trying to accomplish and codified language that would prohibit the sharing sale and use of the data collected during an online tutor a transaction by both the New Republic, and the platform platform provider. The second concern of course is liability protections in the current iteration of remote online militarization the platform provider takes on the live the identity and proofing and vetting process that would normally be satisfied by the notary public.

Recently, an exit executive of a prominent technology company revealed to me that it's not a matter of if this technology will fail, but more a question of when and how often without liability protection for practitioners, when a platform provider fails to that identity proper properly, and then fraud occurs, these companies could point to the notary and effectively shield themselves from all liability. This is undesirable for practitioners and potentially harmful to the public. We suggest that liability be delineated, and a platform providers will be required to file a bond and or carry insurance that aligns with current law.

The third concern is jurisdictional protections in the current state of Ron, a California resident may seek the services of an online notary located in another in another state, possibly with lesser lesser standards. Not only does this leave our residents at the whim of other states laws and officials, but more importantly, when an irregularity occurs with the militarization the principal may face an expensive and complicated legal challenge or no help at all. This is because no California enforcement agency will go to the state where the online notary is located and force the surrender of evidentiary evidentiary value records, or can discipline and out of state notary performing erroneous no Terrell acts for California residents. Also, larger corporate companies driven by the profit motive may attempt to consolidate the material business and fell it through notary farms located and low tax week regulation states, resulting in a loss of tax revenues to the state of California, and potentially restrict access to no notary services, locally as in state practitioners are driven out of business. We support expanding current regulation which specifies that a California notary public performs no reservations for principles located

in the state of California to include remote online militarization. The last of our four pressing concerns is unique to California and the regards to collect the collection of biometrics for certain material transactions currently under the mandate of California Government Code 8206 G. If the document notarized as a document affecting real property or as a power of attorney document, the notary is required to collect the right thumbprint and the notary journal. This practice has proven very successful in preventing fraud and abuse, and is frequently used by the California Civil Justice System to solve many crimes involving fraud, abuse, even murder. However, in the interest of getting something started in California. We propose relaxing this regulation for real estate documents notarized online, while at the same time protecting our aging population from ever from ever increasing outer fraud and abuse by restricting power of attorney and Testament Terry documents from remote online notre ization.

If these concerns can be met. We could support a pilot program with tight controls and a defined sunset. Otherwise, we and others that are with us will remain opposed, and continue to address these concerns until they are resolved. Thank you again Madam Secretary, I appreciate the opportunity to be here today. I now we use the remainder of my time for questions. Thank you very much for, for your for your information, and I'm going to at this time we will we will hold off on our questions until we've had our last presentation, and then we will have a discussion or have questions being asked. At this time, it gives me pleasure to present to you a quick page, who's the executive vice president of the California land title Association. We're happy to have Mr page with us today and we're going to yield the floor to Mr page Mr. Craig page.

Madam Secretary. Again, my name is Craig page I'm the Executive Vice President and counsel the California land title Association. I appreciate the opportunity to speak today in support of the adoption of remote online militarization California. As a part of the settlement and escrow services we provide to customers we do a lot of notes ization of documents and as you probably know, in the millions of documents that were notarized. There were employing thousands of notaries that are commissioned by your agency. I would like to point out that it's worth noting that CLJ was opposed to the expansion, or the adoption of Ron notation some three years ago, when it appeared in a bill AB 2368.

At that time the industry was concerned that it was the bill was being rushed, and that it was not incorporating safeguards into the bill that we thought necessary to protect in the industry and consumers. However, since that time we've seen a number of changes that I'll allude to in my presentation that I brought us around from an opposed position to a support position for remote online militarization in California. from our perspective Ron is pretty simple, and can be described in simple terms, it's a meeting online where commission notary authenticates the identity of the consumer signing the document checks for a valid ID government ID gets the consumer to sign the required documents for notification in a short, short video tape captures the exchange the video tape is then stored in a secure repository and the military notorious journal that's now paper becomes digital, just like the the the Attorney General and da is in California the title industry aggressively fights against any industry practices or technologies that might further consumer fraud, including no tutorial fraud real property and loan fraud cost that the industry is highly insurance industry billions of dollars a year. And so we are low to any to promote or support any technology or policy that would promote fraud in California. We wouldn't be supporting Ron technology if we believe that it would be contributing to fraud or concerns about consumer privacy.

What changed our mind. Over the last three to four years of platform providers providing Ron. That would be fraught providing Ron and California have dramatically improved their systems, and their a new platform providers coming into the marketplace or into the, into the arena. So we think there's going to be vigorous competition over providing the best and most secure platform for consumers. As mentioned earlier over 32 or 3233 states and have in the nation have adopted, Ron, including Texas and Florida.

We I'm in constant contact with my colleagues in those states and we have yet to hear anything that the title industry is hearing that indicates that there is a problem associated with with Ron technology in those states. The only thing that we have heard of at one point was that in some counties that do not do electronic record ation there needs to be a paper in our provision that's added to legislation but I think that can be dealt with and legislation. If that were to, if we were to move forward and california, title companies. Another reason this title companies are adopting their own Ron platforms we're already putting together the ability to do Ron either with other partners or using some of the

third party vendors. So, from our perspective, The Ron platforms will be the more secure for involved in that as well. Another thing that helped to convince us to move to a support position is the passage of the California consumer Privacy Act and the California Privacy Rights Act. Both of these initiatives which which protect California consumer privacy, we think will ensure that any one program adapt adopted in California will make sure that the consumers are adequately protected through those laws that are already in effect in California.

Again, another issue that's changed our mind is Ms mo the mortgage industry standards maintenance organization which adopt standards for the mortgage industry documents throughout the country as adopt the new and improved standards that have incorporated into the remote online militarization platforms, stronger, more stringent standards that have existed before. So that gives us comfort that they'll be less of a problem. Another issue of states with week long run laws like notably Virginia have a change their remote online notary laws recently to higher standards that gives us comfort as the time that title industry that if someone sets up shop and operates out of, out of Virginia, that we think that the higher standards now would create more and more security, and less concerns for us in the state of California for Ron notarized documents there. Another issue is that the secondary market fannie and freddie mac are strongly supporting remote online militarization at the national level, because we don't have a Ron program and California this unfortunately puts us, California generated loans at disadvantage when it comes to marketability in the secondary market to investors. And as we contemplate. And I think most importantly something I'd like to raise that I think very few people are thinking about is, as we contemplate whether we will pass or enact Ron and California Ron legislation remote online localization in California. Ron militarization of documents is already occurring in other states. And those Ron notarized documents are starting to trickle into California and they're being recorded.

While it may surprise you under the interstate commerce clause of the US Constitution on well established legal doctrine of Interstate recognition of documents and all of notaries notarized documents in all 50 states documents are being notarized throughout the country by notaries and they're accepted by other states for recreation. Under the interstate recognition and principal, and it's happening in California. So I think that what I would like to highlight is that those documents are being recorded. Now, numerous large county recorders in California are accepting the runners notarized documents from out of state, and based on the principle interstate recognition those Ron notarized documents can be legitimately recorded in California, but according to them. Madam Secretary, I would argue that this fact alone but whose California to pass the remote online notarized notation programs quickly as possible, it's sealed cheese position.

I hope you agree that the lion's share of wrote Ron notarized documents for California consumers are best handled by commission notaries subject to your regulatory oversight CLT believes the California commission notaries have the best choice for the job. In closing, I want to touch briefly on the issue of thumbprint requirements that I think that some have put a great deal of confidence in currently under current under current law and a paper notre ization world. A thumbprint is required for a number of documents, not all documents, but some. I've been with cltpa for 27 years now when I was around when that was adopted and thumbprint requirement was violated because it creates a disincentive against fraud, and also provides evidence after the fact of frauds committed that's that you have the person who committed the material fraud because you have their thumbprint. Now we've supported that we were around and we've been supported we think it's been a good thing that's been in place. However, I would say that, in our view that Ron technology offers some pretty impressive disincentives via the audio visual file that's left behind after the normalization is taking place, it would give it provides the ability to clearly see the face of the signatory over a number of frames. It provides the voice of the signatory through the audio portion of the file for analysis, and the government, Id provided by the signatory while signing is also captured in the video.

I think the best way for me to put this I think is analogy. You either committing know terrible for otter or committing bank robbery. Bob brain bank robbery. If I were to, to have to risk leaving behind a single thumbprint that may be smug, or maybe last Orange Bowl that's lost or stolen versus having a videotape at simply excellent CCTV capturing my image my voice my mannerisms, I think I'd rather risk. A thumbprint than a using the run notarized document. I mean run notarized process. I think it's it provides more disincentives. I have just in closing, Madam Secretary, I have waiting in the wings Mickey Vandenberg with the Western Regional escrow. She's a Western Regional escrow officer for the North American Title company, she's there as an expert if you have any quite any questions that exceed my understanding of this process or this technology, again, I thank you for the opportunity address you. Thank you very much and I want to thank our, our three persons are three experts who have had an opportunity to share with us their experience and their position, Lori ham.

Matt Miller and Craig page. And so I want to thank them very much for that for doing that for us for providing us with that information. This now brings us to a section where we do have some public questions, and I want to make sure that we ask those and then eventually we have some folks who are here to do some public comments that were not on the panel but but nonetheless want to basically have some comments so we're opening the floor for questions. We do have some questions in the chat box. Many of them are are obviously some of them are comments that we have 500 limit in the past I limit so some folks are slowly getting in but not able to get in as many as we want.

So, you know, and others want to know if this will be available in terms of recording I believe it is being recorded. And so those who could not get it, we hope we can share the information with you, probably on our website, in terms of the Secretary of State's website. And because our objective is to try to get as much information as possible to those who are interested in the subject, and who are most affected by the subject itself. We did have some questions and I think some of you may have answered it but nonetheless I think it's it's worth. Basically answering again, some of you want to know if. How would we protect those who are notaries, who are just the regular Notary will, will they basically be at risk of losing their positions. How much does it cost to basically begin the process of, of being a remote online notary person, those kinds of

things I think the individual notary wants to ask that information and I think maybe Mr. Craig can answer that for them since he represents the association wetland Association, as well as Mr. Miller, who represents the professional association. Do you have a response to those who are in their own private industry who are working in want to know how is this going to affect them and how is it going to affect their ability to start up the business and to get involved, how much would it cost them to do that. Madam Secretary, this Craig page of the California Association. Most of the notary's are employed by the California by our title insurance companies so those costs would be covered by them when they start. So I think that, Matt Miller might be better to answer that question, Matt.

Madam Secretary, Matt Miller here in in pulling notaries around the country and states that are already working as ro ends. The cost to get into this technology is very. It can be, you know, as Craig mentioned free, all the way up to five 600 bucks, and then, you know, for an independent notary who's working on their own their ongoing costs monthly software charges. These two that identity fees to apply seals fees for digital certificates. And then there's some states are acquiring education as Laurie had mentioned.

So there's no average there's no definite cost. The technology is so new that you know the platforms are still trying to iron things out. Some are employee based business models, some are not. Okay. How do you, how do you respond to them as you as you list the class that is going to take to to basically to participate. I agree with them. That's a serious concern of ours as well, because the independent notary cannot compete with the larger platforms. As far as startup costs and ongoing costs. That's why we are in favor of jurisdictional protections at least during the pilot to see how things go. But I definitely share their concern because notaries that are currently performing Arlen's, tell me that it's difficult to make the standard of living that they're currently making as traditional notaries.

Okay, I and and and I guess one, and I think some of you that actually address the issues of cyber security is someone saying they enjoy doing what they do, because it allows them to interact with the public and. And now this would change that. In terms of them being in an office most of the day and compromise, but they're also concerned about the compromise compromising their cyber security in terms of the information that's there but I think you may have addressed that in but if you want to address it again, I true. Others would like to know a little bit more about that. As they as they interact with the public.

Sure. Again, it depends upon the platform and the setup the notary's using some of the platforms host the data some of the platforms host today for 90 days and then forced the notary to download it and and some platforms the notary downloads the data directly in an interest in keeping in line with California is current code, which stipulates that the journal and personal data is excluded in exclusive control of the Notre rate, we would we would, we definitely would favor that being expanded into our We would we wouldn't, we definitely would favor that being expanded into our on as well. And then also in an effort to satisfy public privacy concerns we would like to mirror what Colorado and Florida has done and include language that would prohibit the sharing mining and selling of the data collected during a know trail transaction. Okay, sounds good. One of the other questions was a question about what is reasonable, as we talked about reasonable cost reasonable fees.

Will the fees change significantly from those who are for the consumer, who's obviously having this done. in comparison to what the fees were in the past. Currently, the average price across the country that has been set legislatively is $25 per remote online militarization, which is $10 higher than our current paper notre ization fee. However, due to the increased cost to online militarization, it would be prudent to allow the notary to negotiate a service fee.

In addition to the neutralization feet, much like we do currently with paper notifications I get a call, they asked him, I asked him a note or ization so I couldn't feel on that. And then I asked where you are and we said a pre determined fee based on travel. So I believe it would be prudent to leave that up to the notary, and just set a PR militarization fee, as Laura had mentioned earlier. Okay. Okay. Can we have some, I'm not sure if Mr Jones Sawyer his, his, I saw him come in the room earlier I'm not sure if he's still here, who's the author of the bill, Mr.

JOHN saw your Are you with us, may have had to leave again I think he came in for a while and we get started, we do have some folks who have hands raised, we want to hear their question. And, and then we have time for their question and then of obviously we'll have time for those who are who are planning to come in at the end some public comments from Mr. Anderson is Friday was candle Kaiser, Mr. Kramer. And I think it's neat, nine, Aaron, or Matt excuse me Matt Roman and Jim light. We have some comments from them but if you'd like to also have a question isn't, raise your hand. Symbol at the bottom, be sure to raise your hand. Is Mr john Sawyer with us yet. Okay, he was in I saw his picture pop up and I guess he may have had to leave. Again, we have someone from foothills bar. I'm not, I'm not sure if that's their name or their location.

But you have a question. Someone from foothills bar. Do you have a question that you'd like to ask.

What about chris Christie Gomez, whose hand is up Christie Gomez. Eric or Dominic, are there for folks to get off mute or can you unmute them for us, Mr. foothills bar, could you unmute them. What about Linda mosquito Crusoe. She's not muted and then Linda Mark who So, are you able to hear me now, I am now. Yes. Great. Okay, Mike. My question is is that as an independent notary and I've been doing this now for 20 years in California, is that with this kind of software we would have to implement it on our current computer is what I understand, and again having to access that or bring that computer with us wherever we go. since it wouldn't be supplied and we are not signing in title companies most of this is done remotely, what, maybe somebody can answer that that's already

spoke to this, what, what's the implication of that, and accessing computers remotely and making sure you get on the internet and how can that software affect some of what we have been using laptops right now. So, can someone answer that for her. metal sector, this isn't that an alert again. Okay. Typically, the hardware requirements are predetermined by whichever platform platform provider you sign up with. Sometimes they require you to have a separate piece of equipment for this kind of work.

Sometimes you can just download everything down to a, you know, like a zip drive or an external drive. But generally, that is pre determined by the platform provider. Has anyone that's currently used this type of service, had any has said, if it's shortening the length of doing the signing particularly when we're looking to loan docs and stuff has it made that timing for the client and the notary smaller or shorter because of using the remote node ization. Does anyone have that as a comment.

Madam sector it's Matt Miller again typically what I'm hearing as far as feedback from notaries is that it takes much longer. Because the documents, come to you raw, so if you've ever used. Say for example, assigning platform where it shows you where you have to sign where you initial where you date, the notary has to set all of that up prior to the appointment. And then of course things arise, like, technical issues so you end up becoming more tech support than you are a notary so it's it's wearing a lot of hats, the same time and because of that, the process typically is longer than it would be for a traditional paper closing and Lori. I think that is consistent with what you were saying correct. Lori. Yes. Yeah. Okay.

Um, Yeah, what we are finding in Montana, is that in fact it does take longer for a online notre ization into in then from where traditional notre ization as Matt mentioned you've got all the document prepping. You've got all this pre qualification outside of what normally happens with a traditional notation. And because this is so new. It's also a case of

educating the customer. The notary's are having to do the hand holding. So, right now what we're seeing and this is for general notary work primarily not the loan docs which involve, you know, greater number of negotiations in each session. The average session is is lasting about 45 minutes to an hour, and that's so that's not even counting the pre prep time there is significant time. I fully expect that as people get more used to it and their use that time is reduced, but its significance. Okay. Okay. Any, any other any we have not a day isn't either a yummy.

You want to ask a question or um yeah if California goes it has this. This law policy will a notary be able to choose whether they still want to do the traditional notary or will everybody just be sent to the Ireland. Question, our author, the bill is not here maybe someone who has since familiar with the bill has that information, who is one of our staff persons because I'm not sure if if God has an information or not, this is Betsy Bogart and if the way the current legislation reads, is to notaries choice to sign and add the additional resource of remote online voters ation skills. Okay. No, it's not for anybody. There will be a choice. Right. Amy. Amy sets sets

sights. Thank you. Okay, sorry about that. Not a problem. It happens all the time. So I am actually a remote online notary out of Ohio, who actually is opening a platform in July. So, I've done a whole lot of notaries, and I'm very familiar with the technology and the requirements there. And I wanted to give you kind of an insight into that realm is that okay.

If it's brief Yes, okay. So a typical notre ization for me, most of the work is done before the client gets on the, on the session, dragging and dropping the signatures dragging and dropping the date, but once you're on actual session, it typically is 15 to 20 minutes as long as they can connect. If there's technical issues, it'll take longer for them to get connected. But, that is where the bulk of the issue becomes. Okay. In addition to that, as far as the question on the software capabilities.

Most platforms, only require you to connect to a website, so you don't have to download a ton of software as a notary you just are logging into a website and initiating the transaction through that web browser. Okay. Someone asked the question is is similar to doc you sign. It is it what some, some platforms actually use DocuSign as their signature solution. you are just dragging the signature it's an electronic signature and going from that route.

Okay, thank you. I think is Cindy, Cynthia Steinberg has said that she has used it and it is actually shorter and maybe because of the pre work that's done. Thank you very much. We have Michelle online Michelle. Do you have a question. Yes. Can you hear me. Yes we can hear you. Thank you. The question I have is, Are there going to be more protections for the notary i mean i i understand more protections for the state, but I know that we can always increase our errors and omissions coverage but are there going to be additional protections for the notary's that decide to do the wrong.

That was, that was one of the questions someone just put into, you know, will they be liable for the errors and things of that nature is anyone have an answer to that. What happens in Montana. who's liable in Montana. Lori, would you know. Thank you Madam Secretary, that was actually one of the issues that I brought up in my presentation, we haven't really fully addressed that. And most states have it.

You know, the, there's certain expectations obviously that the notary is going to be responsible for the performance of the note Aereo act itself. That goes without saying. We do have in our lives, and most states do some directives that the notary is ultimately the one who is responsible for accepting or refusing the identification of the, the signer so you know there's the liabilities and that accrues to the notary from that. But the whole concepts of liability for inadequate or missing or destroyed records the audio visual records and stuff, probably needs more discussion and more deliberation. If it hasn't, you know, we put it out there you know what we had, you know, three years ago when we were discussing this the the providers that were at the table were very confident that they had sufficient protections. What we're seeing now I mean, three years ago there were probably six or eight providers in the arena. As of today, there are some 46, and we don't know a lot about a lot of those providers how financially stable they are, how much control they have over there.

components the identity component, the signature component, the meeting component and and we're not seeing all of that that was not an issue of two or three years ago and now it very much is an issue that I think most of us have to look into and address going forward, because it is, it's a new issue. Okay. Sounds good, doesn't love me, I think your dad left me. Yes Hello Dr. Webber, Doug laughing from DocuSign, I was asked to potentially comment on some of the questions before regarding the DocuSign e signature platform and how it's similar different to remote online notary technology.

With regard to this I think the thing to take away from this and actually was a comment made earlier that I think may be a little misleading is remote online notary, maybe a new use case, but the technology is literally 20 year old technology that is enormously mature and enormously, shall we say, secure, and so for example, our product document notary is based on a secure platform, and relies upon identity technologies that actually had been used and continue to be used by banking associations. Land Title associations, all around the world. And so a lot of the concerns regarding, a lot of these technologies is in fact not a concern about basically the technology itself, but the unfamiliarity as relates to the new use case, using very mature technologies that have been used time and time again in 500 million users of ours have used it without event, over time.

So, and I hope that helps with at least a little bit more context and again if there any other questions we would be happy to further elaborate on any of it. Thank you Mr pairs, did you have a question or comment I see your hand up earlier there was a question about the timeframe and I wasn't quite sure whether we were supposed to jump in or we were supposed to handle this the speakers. I think the time frame we're seeing in other states I'm hearing is short, but I think it's like any other technology it's brand new just as all of us had to learn to use, zoom, and we were stumbling through it and I think a lot of consumers as this, it's a newness to this but as it gets more and more familiar and notaries get more and more familiar with it I think the the time that we're seeing is shorter than it is longer. Okay, thank you. Rosemary Miller, did you have a question.

Yes. Can you hear me. Can you hear me. Yes. How do I know where my customer is. If I were not arising, a document for you, Madam Secretary. How would I know you're really in California or the state. I believe you to be in. Does anyone have an answer for that. How do we know where the location is of the person that's being involved in the notary. Yes, sir. We also have on the line I believe people from notarized and also think Doug love and from DocuSign can probably address that as well.

Right, okay. Laura Did you have a comment I thought so. Yeah, I'm in in Montana in our law we have made the provision. you know that of question remote notary can notarized for a signer located anywhere in the world, but part of the audio visual recording and the interaction between the notary and the signer requires the signer to state where they are. And part of the platform technology that's inherent in platforms that we've seen so far anyway. Through IP addresses and such. Actually confirms the physical location and that becomes part of the tamper evident audit trail is part of the. So, you know, that really isn't a particular concern, unless there is some sort of boundary or limitation that set by state law that says For example, a California notary could not notarized for anybody who was outside of the state of California or outside of the United States or something like that so it isn't a particular concern.

Mr Luqman Did you ever respond to that. Oh, sure. So, similar to just our electronic signature platform remote online notary, you can actually use several factor authentication the beginning of the engagement, where it is actually asking for the identity of the person, as well as have a physical. Should we say identification to confirm who the person is and that they actually have a bell with identity in the state further with regard to the, what we call the certificate of completion which is actually the digital audit trail, it does allow for the IP address to actually be identified as part of the transaction as well. And of course, in addition to that there is obviously the video element of it that if the notary does not have competence of persons in the state. You presumably can do something with regard to that as well, to get further information, but with all of those different pieces of information, the notary should have comfort as relates to where the person is located.

And the beauty of I think all of these platforms, is if an order is uncomfortable. There is no requirement for the notary to actually execute the Notre ization and so it leaves the judgment as relates to the identity of the person, as well as location to the notary to make the final decision based on up quite a bit of additional information than a notary would otherwise have within a traditional platform. Okay, um, Now I am, I think it's an I am, you have a question. After him is Nancy shop shop. Okay. I am. Yes, thank you. Thank you. Yes. So I guess I'm a bit concerned about adoption to the Ron is, is, is slow moving like from notaries and to those requiring an organization. How will Ron or what's the, what are other Secretary of State's I think Montana maybe she might be able to address this, how is, how long is the adoption process and.

And what does this look like for notaries to transition from traditional notaries that we do today and organizations that we do today to the wrong model, and how our adoption. How long is it taking for notaries to adopt to this new process. This is Lori it, if I can respond to that. That was a great question. As far as the implementation. Once the bill is passed that's under the control of the bill sponsors the legislators are bill was signed into law on April 3 of 2019 it went into effect on October 1 2019. Although there were some delays in some of the educational requirements to give us a little bit of time to implement that that's something that's under control of the legislature. As far as, you know, once it's implemented statutorily and through a rule. How long does it take to the notary to get up and running again it's kind of a function of what the qualification requirements are, how long it takes to meet it.

As I mentioned, I have to confess done October 1 of 2019, and I had maybe a half dozen notaries that got qualified in the first six months. When the pandemic hit in March. We went from about six to 298 and about six weeks. It was panic because suddenly there was an urgency to the whole thing in Montana. Being a run qualified notary is totally optional. And, and my sense of this whole thing is that, you know, once the novelty wears off will find it. There will always be some Ron qualified notaries.

But I think the vast majority of notaries will operate in a transitional world for a while, whatever that is, you know, depending on external factors, things like pandemics certainly changed the landscape. Sure, and any any law passed in California, always has a discussion of implementation of that law, and sometimes it's delayed implementation of a year or two depending upon what the requirements are those are the kinds of things that probably if there is a bill and it's moving forward. It's probably the kind of thing that not only the committee that is looking at it but probably the Secretary of State my office will weigh in on. If the bill passes, what do we think would be the timeframe for implementation to get our folks up and ready to, to be engaged with it as well. So, all of those things weigh in on when a bill is passed and so they're generally, and if it turns out to be more time as needed you always go back and ask for more time for implementation so we'll have to see john software. I thought I had someone else up with now it's john software okay.

Did you have a question. Uh huh. Yes ma'am are independent notary in California, a two part question one is I understand that these video sessions are being kept on the servers, of the people like the platforms like DocuSign or that that is that a subscription that needs to be covered by the notary. Good question. Yeah, you have a response. Uh huh. Sure, I can't speak for PR notarized or other vendors, but with regard to DocuSign the approach is that you should be able to download the video record with regard to the video and allow you to locally store it to provide you basically the ability to access information and in addition, the typical model that we have is that the notary doesn't pay anything for the platform because, ultimately, for example it whether it's a mortgage bank or other type of lender or title company, they will be the ones that actually incur the cost by initiating the overall service, and the notary would be basically someone invited to the session in order to notarized so unlike others that may have a vertically integrated solution. Again, I can only speak for our tool is that we provide basically a software tool that notaries our participants with regard to it and so they're not necessarily cut out of the transaction, as I think it has been suggested before.

So think of it just like if you want to electronic design something. It's a tool to allow you to electronically sign for this, it's an electronic tool to allow a notary to actually put their stamp. After getting identification like and work with the signer as well as ultimately the customer or the user who initiated the normalization request. Thank you. There was one question asked in the, in the, in the question area may jump in. This is Nicole booth from notarized and I apologize that I've had trouble getting on but very glad to be here. In response to the record retention, and the recording. We believe that the record retention should be owned by the notary but for our platform, you hold that for them, so that that onerous isn't on them so we can be a custodian of the notary's record recording, but they are the owner of it so to shorten that up a little on our end.

Thank you. Someone had asked a question and I guess it should be we will probably have to answer it in the process is that if a notary goes out of business. Those the Secretary of State, become the owner of the records. Good question. Okay, our net. I think it's America. The have a long name, a net McCarver harissa.

Are you there. Yes, America Kenyan. Okay, thank you. Yes. I have a question. As far as verifying the identification, are we the only person responsible to verify identification, or is it going to be a secondary. Basically the platform is going to do the verification because I remember when we got our first notary license they told us, you need to verify hold identification in your hand and verify the identity identity and basically the identification before doing the. Your notary so how is that going to work, who is going to verify the identity, who is going to be responsible if that identification is not correct. Okay, and anyone don't has a quick answer yes. Yeah, sure. Thanks Dr. Cooper. So with regard to our approach we view that basically the electronic notary approach or the remote online notary approach would be analogous to what a notary would do in person, merely remote.

And so the obligation, and the decision making for the notary with regard to identification remains with the notary the differences and this is where actually this is an improvement upon the in person is the notary's that provided with a variety of tools to allow for the for the authentication of the person, whether it is knowledge base authentication, whether it is an auto identification of an ID, as well as really just visit visual inspection of the ID by the notary, as well as the person that is on the call. And so, net net there's actually multi, multi factor authentication that is birthright as a tool to the notary and the notary ultimate makes the final decision whether or not they're comfortable with the authentication before notarized event thing better Kramer from ACLU is also here, Becca you have a comment on that. I do those additional tools actually raised a number of concerns for us multifactor authentication that can easily be validate someone who is not the actual person.

For example, using information that a landlord might have, or a former spouse or close family member and so it's not an appropriate way, or a foolproof way to verify someone's identity. Likewise, we also have concerns with facial recognition which we've also heard thrown about as a way to verify identity through online militarization, and that raises a number of concerns, not the least of which is the racial and gender bias in the facial recognition algorithms that frequently misidentified people of color. Older people and women. Denise Mertz, you have a question. The nice meant.

Hello, Dr. Webber Can you hear me Yes, I can hear you now. All right, I used to do and trust, he signs. Is this Ron technology is it somewhat like an E sign that we used to do I haven't seen those in a few years, but there was a couple companies that did do a science, and the second part of the question is, most of these documents the borrower has never seen so I don't know who really goes through a whole loan packet in 15 to 20 minutes. Because if there's 100 to 200 pages in there. They're going to sit and read for hours, and especially if we're doing it online. I'm usually the only face that anybody sees, usually they do everything by email and phone call. And when I show up at somebody's house, I'm the only face they ever see during the whole process.

Okay, so and your for your question is, one more time I was at the beginning in the am trust e science is the Ron technology is it going to be just like that they're just going to click their name and that's it. Lori, more might know that Lori. Are you familiar with the sun. I'm, I'm a little unsure about the definition there are you talking about the electronic in person. Signature that was, We thought kind of out there in the early. Oh, maybe 2006 2008, it never really took off because she had to have signing pads and stuff and you were still required to have in person, appearance with the notary is that what she's asking about yes I'm asking about that is that how they're going to be signing their documents, actually know depending on the platform they'll have different ways of doing with, they can use most of the time they can either type, use a font to sign their, their name DocuSign does that all the time. Some of the platforms allow.

Like if they're using an iPhone or smartphone, they can use their finger or a stylist to sign a some amount of fully allow them to upload a secure digital image of their actual signature so there's a lot of variation available depending on the platform that's used in depending on the requirements of the receiver of the documents what they need. So, you know it, the technology has definitely matured since the old in person electronic notification world. And Secretary may jump in here real quick. Thank you, Lori and I this is Nicole I agree with everything Lori says one thing that I would like to mention that may be helpful for you is that, for I can't speak for all around technology vendors but notarized we pre tag those documents so that you can quickly go through them and you don't have to worry about searching through those all the time so that 200 page document hopefully is easier for you because you're able to go through where the things need to be signed, it's uploaded as part of the closing document so that the consumer has time to look at those documents ahead of time. So the whole process is multi layered so that it's hopefully easier for you to walk through that process.

We have a number of questions I want to try to get this so I'm going. I'd several of you are listed as persons to speak near the end, and who wanted to have public comments so I'm going to ask that we hold those comments from Anderson fry candle Kaiser Kramer, new number nine Milla Milla Aaron I'ma and Jim lights for the end. Let me see. Clayton Dixon have a question a quick question you can ask. Clayton Dixon online still so many years.

Do we have Paul by in Pauline excuse me Pauline volume. Hi. Can you hear me. Um, oftentimes when I'

2021-05-06 08:03

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