Update on Wisconsin's Remote Online Notary Law

In Knight Barry’s Summer/Fall 2018 newsletter, we wrote that in May 2018, the State of Minnesota became the 7th State in the Union to pass legislation permitting remote online notarization (RON), paving the way for 100% paperless real estate closings. We also peered into a crystal ball and predicted that through the efforts of partners in the real estate world including the Wisconsin Land Title Association and Knight Barry’s very own Angie Bodenheimer (immediate past president) and Cheri Hipenbecker (president elect), Wisconsin’s RON legislation would be introduced in Spring 2019.

Apparently our crystal ball was clear that day because the Wisconsin Assembly introduced Wisconsin’s RON legislation on June 13, 2019 (2019 Assembly Bill 293) with the Senate introduction on July 10, 2019 (2019 Senate Bill 317). That doesn’t mean that we are home free in Wisconsin to conduct RON closings, as the bills need to move through our legislative and executive branches.

We anticipate that the Assembly and Senate will each hold committee hearings in the next few months (Assembly Committee on Local Government and Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions) and then on to the Governor’s office for signature. Once signed into law, Wisconsin’s notary regulator, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), will be crafting the RON regulations. Rest assured that process is in motion, as we’ve met with the DFI to get the regulatory drafting ball moving.

If you want to keep abreast of RON legislation nationwide, the Mortgage Bankers Association has created the one-stop shop website to keep track of this changing landscape, or should I say lightning fast changing landscape. As of June 7, 2019, Florida became the 22nd State in the Union to pass RON legislation.

Finally, if you or your team wants to know more about the whens, hows, and whys of remote online notarization, please reach out to your friendly neighborhood Knight Barry office. Welcome to this brave new world.