Public Policy Guiding Principles

The association’s public policy positions are informed by the deep subject matter expertise of its members and guided by the following four guiding principles.

First Principle Protect the integrity, stability, and security of electronic record ecosystems to advance public trust in electronic transactions.

Second Principle Promote responsible applications of electronic signatures and associated electronic signature technologies.

Third Principle Advance standardization and innovation to ensure synergy and interoperability across electronic records and electronic signature applications.

Fourth Principle Identify the impact of new technologies on electronic records and electronic signature applications.

The objective of our public policy efforts is to educate and advocate before legislative, regulatory, industry, and community leaders about the laws, regulations, policies, and business practices that foster safe, sound, and efficient use of electronic records and electronic signatures to modernize the way individuals, businesses, and governments conduct electronic transactions.

The purpose of this initiative is to advocate before state and federal legislators as well as regulatory agencies about the benefits of congruent remote electronic notarization (RON) laws and regulations with the objective of establishing a nationwide common framework, inclusive of minimum security standards, for notarizing documents electronically, securely, and remotely.

Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation permitting remote online notarization. The absence of nationwide availability of RON continues to impede more robust application of electronic signatures for business or individual transactions that necessitate notarization. Similarly, substantial variations in RON regulatory requirements across the states will inhibit widespread adoption. Consistent RON laws and regulations across the nation would promote broader adoption of electronic signatures by enabling the digitization of tasks that are currently dependent on manual, paper-based processes. Moreover, consistency in RON laws and regulations would also increase the consistency and standardization of consumer experiences with electronic signatures and unlock innovation in the market segments that are currently constrained by the limitations of having to deal with paper assets. A common framework for the implementation and performance of RON transactions will attribute a level of confidence in documents that are electronically signed and notarized, thereby enhancing public trust in electronic signatures and electronic records.

To educate and advocate for a uniform policy across all 12 Federal Reserve Banks that defines the criteria in process, system design, and standards adherence for accepting pledges of electronically signed credit agreements.

There are 12 Federal Reserve Banks (districts), each of the 12 Reserve Banks is separately incorporated, and lend to their member banks via the discount window by taking loans as collateral. Since 2020, the Federal Reserve has become a more consistent source of liquidity support due to changes in policies and competitiveness of the discount window. As a result, collateral pledged to the Federal Reserve grew to over $450B annually and remains an important source of liquidity support for banks of all sizes. At the heart of the Federal Reserve pledge program is the BIC (Borrower in Custody) program in which pledging institutions commit and demonstrate adherence to standards for origination, managing and protecting the security interest of the Reserve Bank on pledged collateral. Each Reserve Bank has developed their own BIC program and requirements which has historically applied to wet signed assets.

With the development of digital lending and creation of electronic assets, the Federal Reserve has stated that they will accept collateral that has been originated electronically. The decision to accept electronic collateral and the requirements for accepting the collateral varies by Reserve Bank and requires separate certification under their individual BIC standards. While some of the Reserve Banks have developed questionnaires, limited guidance is available for deposit institutions to reference when developing their digital lending and electronic asset management processes. The lack of guidance creates uncertainty in investment, electronic asset pledge acceptance and system designs that may not fully adhere to a particular Reserve Bank’s expectations.

Standardization promotes responsible representation of electronic signatures, makes interoperability and digital lending expansion more attainable, and fosters electronic asset liquidity while safeguarding the integrity of electronic record ecosystems and trust in electronic transactions.

To educate and advocate for the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) agency in each state to focus on eTitling interoperability and access across the United States.

  • West Virginia recently announced it is pursuing a plan to become the nationwide leader in eTitling and have all other states leverage their approach.
  • California recently announced it is now pursuing a blockchain approach with a Non Fungible Token (NFT) for the electronic title. See DMV Blockchain – YouTube.
  • Auto Data Direct, Inc. indicates at that they already offer electronic lien and title access in twenty-four states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  • Integrated Dealer Solutions indicates at that their USA ELT service provides DMV certified electronic lien and title access in seven states: California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

As states explore eTitling initiatives, ESRA seeks to promote consistency and interoperability between each state specific system. If each state pursues their own novel approach then there is a risk expanding eTitling access across the remaining states and the District of Columbia may stall out.

By advancing consistency and interoperability between the states, we can safeguard technology innovation, integrity, stability, and security of the eTitling ecosystem which will enhance public trust in electronic signatures and records.