True Title Company announces new procedures allowing for remote notarization pursuant to Missouri Governor Parson’s Executive Order 20-08. The procedure – called “Audio Visual Notarization” or “AVN” – falls between a traditional in-person notarization and Remote Online Notarization (a/k/a “RON”):
- Closing documents are still handled on paper and wet-signed
- The notary and the signer utilize video conference software to view each other
- The notary and signer must be physically present in the State of Missouri
- The signer shows proper identification to the notary via video camera
- The signer wet-signs the documents on video in front of the notary
- The video is recorded and stored in the electronic title file
- The signer delivers the documents to the notary via overnight, courier, or drop-off at TTC branch
- The notary then wet-signs the documents and applies his/her notary seal
True Title will use a professional version of the Zoom platform to accommodate these programs and to ensure the proper level of security. Zoom, now a household name during the COVID-19 crisis, will provide the simplest access for our buyers, borrowers and sellers.
What does the process look like?
If you or your client would like to utilize the AVN closing option, please let us know as soon as possible. Once you confirm, we will proceed with pre-closing preparations:
- We will confirm, in writing, that the lender approves this process (if applicable).
- We will work directly with the signers to confirm:
- They have the ability to utilize the Zoom platform on either their computer or smart phone (if they do not have such capabilities, this is not an option);
- They will be physically located in Missouri at the time of the closing video conference;
- If they have the ability to print the package or if we need to overnight the documents;
- They are able to deliver the original documents to a FedEx/UPS drop-box (True Title will provide envelope & shipping label) or to one of the ten True Title branch offices;
- Approval of the AVN Fee of $75.00;
- We will then schedule a “pre-closing test” with the signers to confirm the audio-video quality is sufficient (this will take only 3-4 minutes);
- The closer will then coordinate with the parties to schedule the official AVN closing date.
PLEASE NOTE: True Title must have the originals in our possession before we can fund the transaction; as such, we will have to ensure the lender allows for pre-signing OR the agents may need to agree upon pre-funding occupancy or a late funding date.
The AVN Closing
- Once the closing date & time has been set, the closer will email the signers an invitation from Zoom containing the meeting link & meeting password.
- The AVN closing will commence at the scheduled time. The closer will verify the signers’ identity through the process set forth below.
- The camera must be positioned in such a way that the closer can see the person and the document being signed.
- The signer must state out-loud the name of the document they are signing.
- Once closing is complete, the signer will place all documents into the overnight envelope provided, and must drop that envelop at the appropriate drop-box location (or any True Title location).
Completing the Closing & Funding
- Once the closer receives the original documents, he/she will complete the notary acknowledgements accordingly;
- The rest of the closing/funding will take place as it normally would;
- As noted above, SPECIAL CONSIDERATION must be made with the timing of the AVN closing, funding and possession:
- True Title must be in possession of the original documents prior to funding;
- Many lenders do not authorize pre-signing (which is necessary here in order to close and fund on the closing day). If this is required, the clients will have to negotiate with the seller to determine:
- When possession will occur, and what requirements for possession are; AND
- Approving the delayed funding date.
Final Important Note
The above procedures apply only if True Title is the insuring title agency. If True Title is handling the seller only, we will confirm with the buyer’s side what their electronic closing options are.
We are very excited to offer this new service. Please call your closer with any questions you may have!