In 2012, Virginia became the first U.S. state to pass legislation allowing for remote online notarization.
However, the use of RON didn’t become widespread in the U.S. until 2020, when COVID-19 forced lenders and title companies to look at new contactless options for closing mortgages and getting families into their homes.
When Virginia first passed RON legislation, it was widely believed that Virginia notaries would take care of RON closings across the entire U.S. That certainly did not end up being the case.
Unlike Texas, which has strict laws for identifying the borrower and is considered the “gold standard” for RON legislation, Virginia’s identity proofing is much less strict. Experts argue the pros and cons of the less stringent regulation, but it does allow notaries in the state much more freedom on the types of mortgages they can close.