New electronic, online notary standards to be developed by mortgage industry

The Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) is looking for feedback from mortgage industry professionals on developing new electronic and online notary standards and best practices.

In recent years, several states have approved laws that allow the use of a remote, online notary in situations in which it is not convenient for consumers to be located in the same place. Several other states are considering such laws.

Recognizing the need for consistency across the country, MISMO has prioritized an initiative to develop standards for electronic and online notary actions. This will enable states to adopt consistent regulations for electronic and online notarization and permit lenders and industry participants to adopt new practices to meet consumer demands.

“Technology has advanced to the point where online notarizations are possible, but there is no consensus yet on how to conduct them,” Mark Ladd, vice president of regulatory and industry affairs at Simplifile, said. “By creating standards and best practices, MISMO seeks to create consistency in online notarizations from state to state. We look forward to collaborating with mortgage industry participants as well as state agencies and county recorders to develop common practices that ultimately make things easier for consumers.”

Rick Hill, executive vice president at MISMO and vice president of industry technology at MBA, said MISMO is well positioned to create remote, or online, notary standards and best practices.

An Online Notary Workgroup will be appointed to create a set of industry standards for electronic and online notaries, including credential analysis, borrower identification, and capturing and maintaining a recording of the notary process electronically. In addition to creating standards, the workgroup will develop best practices, implementation guides, and other educational materials.

“Online notary has the potential to transform the consumer experience,” said Nancy Pratt, vice president of business relations and government affairs, Pavaso. “Just think about one example. A soldier or sailor is away serving his/her country while their spouse closes on a new home. With online notary, the service member can fully participate in the loan closing via audio/visual connection. The spouses can see each other and talk through any questions they may have.”

To participate in the effort, please send an email to with “Join MISMO’s Online Notary Workgroup” in the subject line.