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By Ryan McNeill, Attorney

As eClosings become more and more routine, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Does my loan officer offer eClosings?

As a first-time buyer or experienced buyer, you should ask if your lender offers eClosings as an option. There are three common types of eClosings:

  • Hybrid eClosing – a combination of signing documents with the use of “wet” (pen) and digital signatures in the physical presence of a notary.
  • Remote Online Notarization (RON) – signing documents electronically with the use of audio and video technology without the physical presence of a notary.
  • In-Person Electronic Notarization (IPEN) – signing documents electronically in the physical presence of a notary.

While the pandemic and social distancing have only heightened the need for eClosings, there are institutions that still require the traditional physical presence of a notary. Research what works best for you.

2. eNotary Solution Providers

An electronic closing on a real estate transaction in North Carolina requires your signature be notarized. All signatures notarized must be done so through a North Carolina approved Electronic Notary Solution Provider. Before you start the closing process it is important to know which electronic notary platforms are approved in North Carolina.

According to the North Carolina Secretary of State’s website, “All electronic notarization solutions including electronic signatures and seals may only be obtained from the Electronic Notary Solution Providers authorized by the N.C. Department of Secretary of State.”

For a full list of eNotary solution providers authorized in North Carolina click here.

3. Showing Proof of Identity

Positive identification is still required for all electronic certified acts. According to the North Carolina Secretary of State, “You must identify the principal signer through one of two designated methods.” To meet the identification requirement, all individuals must confirm identity from the two following methods:

  • One current document issued by a federal, state, or federal or state-recognized tribal government agency bearing the photographic image of the individual’s face and either the signature or a physical description of the individual.
  • The oath or affirmation of one credible witness who personally knows the individual seeking to be identified.

4. Be Prepared

The closing process can be difficult and challenging for anyone, no matter if you are buying for the first time or an experienced buyer. Things can happen and change at any moment. It is always best to be prepared for any and everything that could possibly go wrong on the day of closing.

Please Note: The new House Bill 196, was signed into law on March 11, 2021. This new law gives notaries in North Carolina the right to continue emergency video notarizations until December 31, 2021.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with an attorney to discuss your options to handle your real estate transaction via eClosing, please call us at (336) 249-2101 or contact us online.