SB 696 - Online Notarization Act Hearing Set, Tues. Jun 27th, 9am


SB 696 - The Online Notarization Act

Dear Fellow California Notaries,

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to you today regarding a matter that will significantly impact you and your business. SB 696, pending legislation that would enable remote online notarization (RON) in CA, has been scheduled for it’s final policy committee hearing on June 27th at 9am in Room 437 at the state capitol.

While we appreciate the effort to embrace the digital age, the bill as it stands now has one key issue outstanding that may severely affect our future as notaries and the public that we serve.

The proposed legislation lacks clarity on jurisdictional protections. This bill, if not amended, will create a permissive environment that allows large technology companies that facilitate online notarizations to consolidate and monopolize the notarial market.

This is a call to action for each one of us.

I urge each of you to take a moment to express your concerns and opinions regarding this legislation. Law makers need to hear our collective voices and understand the potential implications of this bill on our industry and the constituents that we serve.

To send the following email message directly to the Chairman and Ranking member of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, click the blue button below:


Dear Chairman Maienschein and Ranking Member Essayli,

I am writing to express my concerns regarding SB 696, the remote online notaries bill presently under your committee’s review. Though the spirit of the bill may be good, its current iteration causes much concern.

While proponents of the bill claim that it will expand access to notarial services for California residents, as drafted, SB 696 creates a permissive environment that will allow large technology companies, who facilitate online notarizations, to consolidate and monopolize the notarial market and channel it through notary farms located in states with the lowest costs and lesser standards, which ultimately puts California residents at risk. Also, the lack of jurisdictional protections in the bill will lead to local notaries being driven out of business, leaving online notarization as the only option. This would create an undue burden for California businesses and residents seeking in-person notary services.

To illustrate, Sierra County, California, which is home to over 3200 residents, currently has only 4 active notaries public. While technology proponents have asserted that remote online notarization is the solution to this scarcity, it’s important to note that effective online notarization requires a robust internet connection and the ability to scan and upload documents—resources not universally available. Further, the Annual Mortgage Experience Survey published by Solidifi, one of the nation’s most trusted networks of independent appraisers and notaries, consistently indicates that more than 80% of borrowers prefer an in-person signing experience.
Given these concerns, I urge you to amend SB 696 to include provisions that protect and maintain access to in-person notarial services within our state. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and for your consideration.

[Your Name, Company Affiliation and County]

Click Here to Send Your Email Now!

All emails are due no later than midnight this coming Tuesday, June 20th. Please, take two minutes right now to send this message to the Judiciary Committee. If we act together and make our voices heard, we can influence the policies in this bill and ensure that it protects the future of our individual businesses and the needs of the public that we serve.

Together, we can make a difference!

Thank you for your time and dedication to our profession.

Best Regards,
Matt Miller, President
The California League of
Independent Notaries

Jurisdictional protections? Where? The only protection that exists is the policy of the title company to use notaries in the same state as borrowers. They could change that policy tomorrow.

Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. The link didn’t open into my mail program so I copied the link and pasted into the recipient field of my email app. I don’t know how this got this far with no mention in the forum? I am very concerned about this grab for big tech to take away one of the last ways a person can work. I’m reminded of the dinner guest that gorges at the table and then puts rolls and sweets in a napkin to eat later.
This bill will open the door for fraud and loss of rights, ours included.


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