CLTA, Trade Associations Issue Letter to Gov. Newsom Requesting Executive Order on Notarization
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
A coalition of trade associations led by the California Land Title Association sent a letter to Governor Newsom respectfully requesting the issuance of an executive order expressly providing or affirming that California law recognizes the validity of documents legally remotely notarized outside the state. In order to ensure uniform acceptance and recording of documents by all 58 counties, the letter also requests that the Governor mandate the recording of such documents, whether electronically or via a “papering out” process, by county recorder offices across the state.
The request was submitted as over 20 states across the country have issued emergency proclamations related to notarization, with government authorities and public health officials stressing the importance of physical distancing during the ongoing spread of coronavirus.
The letter notes that, by allowing Californians to utilize remote online notarization (RON), real estate transactions and projects such as refinances and home construction could be completed in compliance with state and county shelter-in-place orders. The letter also points out that the order would codify written guidance recently issued by the California Secretary of State in communications to the National Notary Association and State Senator Hurtado, and that updated selling guidance from government-sponsored entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, provides that for purposes of selling mortgage loans on the secondary market, lenders may sell loans containing documents that have been remotely notarized if the state “expressly accepts remote on-line notarization performed out-of-state in accordance with the law of the state in which the notarial act is performed.”
The Secretary of State’s office, which was sent a copy of the letter as a courtesy, has issued a request for industry data in response, seeking to quantify the impact of California’s in-person notarization requirement on transactions or “projects” that involve notarized documents. CLTA members that believe they may have data related to this issue are encouraged to contact CLTA staff at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A copy of the letter is available for viewing here and can also be found on CLTA's Coronavirus/County Recorder Operations Resource Page.