Online mortgage closings could soon become legal throughout US: What to know

A newly introduced bill in the House of Representatives would allow all 50 states to use an online notary.  (iStock)

Digital mortgage closings have been on the rise, especially in 2020 after states issued stay-at-home orders and many operations had to be done remotely. But while some states allow for remote online notarization (RON), or the ability to close a home loan from any device with an internet connection, other states are set against it. 

Recently members of Congress introduced a new bill that would make remote notarization instantly legal in all 50 U.S. states. Reps Madeleine Dean, D-Penn., and Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., alongside 31 other members of the House of Representatives reintroduced the bipartisan Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act of 2021, H.R. 3962.

Obtaining a mortgage has gotten easier than ever as 2020 accelerated the acceptance of allowing a notary to perform remote notarization across many states individually. Virginia was the first state to pass RON legislation in 2011, but other states joined years later with many more enacting legislation in 2019 and 2020. If you want to buy a home and want to see what your options are, visit Credible to compare multiple lenders at once.


Currently, 35 states have some form of permanent RON legislation in place which allows a notary public to notarize documents online, and many more put temporary emergency RON authorizations in place when COVID-19 hit. In fact, only two states do not allow remote notarization: California and South Carolina. 

"There is a need and demand for this approach to notarization throughout the United States," American Land Title Association CEO Diane Tomb said in a statement. "The SECURE Notarization Act allows businesses and consumers the ability to execute critical documents using two-way audiovisual communication. 

"Current requirements for a signer to physically be in the presence of a notary are often impractical and sometimes impossible due to social distancing limitations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other roadblocks for in-person signing, like overseas military service and time constraints," Tomb said.

Previously, Sens. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Mark Warner, D-Va., reintroduced the SECURE Notarization Act of 2021 in the Senate on May 13, 2021.

With many states allowing remote real estate closings, closing on a mortgage is much simpler than ever before, with many homebuyers able to ask to simply use an online notary to notarize documents and close on their home loan. Visit Credible to start comparing your home loan options and find your interest rate.


Digital homebuying has been on the rise, growing by significant numbers in 2020. Virtual notarization usage increased 547% during 2020 compared to 2019 as demand increased, more states passed legislation allowing it, and more technology was developed, according to a survey from ALTA.

Companies that specialize in online notarizations, such as Notarize, also saw significant increases as homebuyers moved away from using a traditional notary. In 2020, the company experienced about 600% annual revenue growth.

If you’re thinking of taking out a mortgage, and want to see the options available to you, visit Credible to compare multiple lenders at once.


"The SECURE Notarization Act is essential to support new homeowners and would help apply a measure of transactional freedom to the flow of essential real estate closing activities as Americans begin to fully emerge from the pandemic," said Bill Killmert, Mortgage Bankers Association senior vice president of legislative and political affairs. 

Are you thinking of completing an online mortgage closing? Or are you in a different stage of the homebuying process? Contact Credible to speak to a home loan expert and get all of your questions answered. 

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