The foresight of the State of Tennessee has helped the Real Estate community to navigate Social Distancing with ease.
“Remote Online Notarization” is a phrase that has been uttered in hopeful whispers for over 10 years, but only recently has this technological step forward become possible. In the State of Tennessee our legislature was able to see the potential benefits of allowing a Notary Public situated in the State to notarize a document from afar. The Remote Online Notarization law went into effect on July 1, 2019.
With travel shutting down across the world, it has been harder than ever for some to do something as simple as having a licensed Notary Public to witness their actions. As our cities and countries issue Stay-at-Home orders to protect our citizens, we have been given an opportunity to handle real estate transactions in a novel way. Across town or across the world, if the seller of a piece of property cannot meet face-to-face, Remote Online Notarization provides the answer. We can often assist buyers as well, but their side of the transaction is complicated by the fact that electronically signed Promissory Notes are still not widely accepted by mortgage lenders. (They are quickly getting there though.) By using a platform that has been vetted and approved, like Pavaso, we Closing Attorneys can provide assurance to all parties that the RON process is taking place just as if a person were sitting in the room with us.
When Tennessee adopted and passed the law that would allow Remote Online Notarization, I was ready. I obtained the third license in the State of Tennessee and then began working with Pavaso, the platform that is used to perform the notarization, to learn everything about the process. At first there was little demand for this service. It was not until the world came to a screeching halt that we needed to be able to keep things moving despite our inability to travel. Thanks to RON, I have performed closings for people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and cannot leave the house, for doctors who are on the front line, for people that cannot return to this State to sell their property, and for people who are stuck over seas and cannot get to a foreign consulate, much less back home.
If you feel that this information may help you or a client, please reach out. It is my mission to help others.
Jeremiah L. McGuire