Interesting article from VLW:
Published: February 09, 2011
RICHMOND — Legislation that would allow notaries to use an electronic means of confirming signatures on documents is making its way through the General Assembly.
Virginia could become one of the first states to authorize procedures such as real estate transactions using video and audio conference technology, coupled with electronic ID cards, for verifying a document signer’s identity.
Del. Kathy Byron, R-Campbell County and sponsor of HB2147, told a Senate committee Wednesday that the measure was sup-ported by the Virginia Bar Association, high-technology businesses and several other interest groups.
The measure’s audio and video aspects would take effect July 1, 2012 under Byron’s bill, and she said that the yearlong delay would allow businesses time to set up the technology.
Other aspects of Byron’s bill, which also would allow the use of an electronic ID card for document signers, would go into effect this year.
Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County, opposed Byron’s bill and asked whether Virginia would, in fact, become the first state to allow electronic notaries. No one in the hearing could name another state that uses the technology.
Byron said she had received e-mails from notaries who feared the measure would require them to buy expensive equipment to stay in business. That fear is unfounded, Byron said.
“Nobody is required to use it,” Byron said. “They still certainly can do their paper transactions the way they have always done,” Byron said.
In addition, she said, the electronic method allows even more security on document transactions, because the law would require that video records of the proceedings be kept on file for five years.