The practice of remote online notarizations continues to grow in popularity. Thanks to the advances in technology, and the necessity of social distancing after the beginning of COVID-19, notaries have been conducting their notarial acts in a remote manner, rather than in-person notarizations as done with traditional notarization procedures.
What is remote online notarization?
Remote online notarizations occur when documents are signed and notarized where the signer and notary meet virtually over the internet instead of physically appearing in front of each other like traditional notarizations. Notaries and their signers can connect anywhere, at any time to conduct their notarial acts.
Remote online notarization provides unmatched fraud protection, convenience, and cost savings to all parties involved in the process.
What kind of technology do I need to perform a remote online notarization?
Notaries must use RON technology platforms that comply with their state notary laws to perform remote online notarizations. Each state where RON is permitted has their own technology standards and requirements.
In general, some of the technology required for RON includes:
- Fast and reliable internet connection
- Digital notary seal
- Audio-video communication technology
- Identity proofing and credential analysis tool
Notaries can find more information on their state’s specific technology provider requires and a list of approved vendors on their state’s notary agency website.
How to use remote online notarization
Remote online notarization procedures and legal standards differ depending on your state and your RON service provider.
A remote online notarization typically begins when a signer contacts a RON service provider or a remote online notary directly to request a RON. The signer sends the documents, typically uploaded electronically as a PDF, they want to be notarized to the public notary.
Because the notary public and the document signer do not meet in-person, they will usually meet with each other over a video call to complete the transaction. Similar to a traditional notarize, the notary will verify the signer’s identity while adhering the state requirements where they are commissioned. A signer’s identity can be verified with knowledge-based authentication which involves questions about their personal history. The signer may also be required to submit their identification card to an electronic examination known as a credential analysis. Alternatively, the signer may only need to hold up their identification for the notary to review and verify visually. Depending on state RON laws, the notary may need to use more than one identification method.
After the signer’s identity has been verified, the signer signs the document then the notary signs and attaches their seal. For an electronic document, this requires electronic signatures and an electronic version of your notary seal.
The notary must retain an audio and visual recording of the notarization session. Depending on the state where the notary is commissioned, they also need to record the session in their physical journal as well.
When the notarization is complete, the notary sends the notarized document back to the signer.