As we know, most local and state governments have initiated a "Shelter in Place" order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to allow the housing market to continue closing transactions, various states have passed emergency legislation authorizing the use of Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (RIN) to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus during face-to-face notarizations. These authorizations are temporary and will last for the duration of the state of emergency or for a specified time after the emergency is lifted.
What is Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (RIN)?
Remote Ink-Signed Notarization eliminates the need for in-person signings, allowing a notary and signer to be in different physical locations. Notaries witness wet signatures utilizing audio-visual technology and then later use wet ink to sign their names and notary seal once they receive the physical documents. No electronic signatures are required.
How is Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (RIN) different from Remote Online Notarization (RON)?
A RON transaction is a fully digital transaction. All the documents are digitally signed and then the notary digitally signs, applies a digital notarial certificate and tamper seals the digital document. RON also requires that the signers be authenticated using 3rd party ID verification services and knowledge-based authentication processes that are built into the video conferencing solution.
A RIN transaction is a paper transaction where everyone “wet” signs the documents and the notary still ink stamps the documents. With RIN, the process of seeing the other party sign is done via a video conferencing tool such as GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Google, WebEx, or Zoom. The RIN solution uses the video conferencing software to fulfill the requirement that a document signer personally appear before a notary. The notary verifies the identity of the signer based on existing state notary laws or by methods specified in the emergency order issued by the state. Paper documents are signed in pen and then remitted to the notary who then physically applies their notary stamp to the documents.
How does this pertain to COVID-19?
The “Shelter in Place” order caused by COVID-19 has caused the need for temporary orders allowing for the use of real-time video technology to satisfy the physical presence requirements and remove the requirements for physical presence under applicable state law for notarial acts.
How does a typical RIN transaction work?
- The paper closing package is delivered to the borrower.
- The Notary and signer appear before each other using a live, real-time video conferencing solution such as WebEx, GoToMeeting or Microsoft Teams, etc.
- The notary identifies the signer using the methods allowed under current state notary law.
- The notary uses audio-visual technology to witness the borrower ink-sign the document.
- The borrower returns the signed document to the notary (via mail, fax, electronically, delivery service, or in person).
- Upon receipt of the package, the notary physically applies his/her notarial seal or stamp to the documents.
- A recording of the signing portion must be retained for the minimum period required by the applicable state laws. If no period is specified under state law, then the recording is required to be retained for seven years.
- The lender should maintain a recording for the portions of the signing that were notarized for the life of the loan.
How can SoftPro customers prepare for RIN in their state?
- Confirm that your state authorizes the use of RIN.
- Every state has required regulations that need to be followed. Be sure to follow all requirements specified in the temporary RIN order as well as any state notary laws.
- Know the time frame in which you are authorized to perform RINs. Remember, many of these are temporary orders.
- Confirm that the lender has provided approval to perform a loan signing using RIN.
- Research the various video conferencing tools to find the best fit for your company. Be sure to set up the required accounts and test the tool prior to conducting a RIN closing. Since the consumers will be disclosing non-public personal information during these video sessions and on these recordings, ensure that you have chosen a highly secure video conferencing tool and have enabled all the necessary security components within the solution you have selected. (e.g. end-to-end encryption, encryption of the video storage, multi-factor authentication, meeting passwords, waiting room features, etc.)
How can a customer prepare their office for RIN?
Follow the checklist below to ensure your office is prepared for RIN:
- Create a Standards of Professional Practice outlining your company’s requirements to conduct a RIN closing. This should be a clear outline of the process within your company. Below is an example:
- The notary should confirm that the angle of the camera on the signer’s end allows the notary to view the signer who is signing the document.
- Outline your RIN procedure and distribute to all parties within a transaction.
- Create a “How-To” or FAQ resource that employees can reference when conducting a RIN transaction.
- Stay up-to-date with your state’s regulations and requirements.
If you have any additional questions about RIN, please do not hesitate to contact us below.