Remote Online Notarizations (RONs) FAQ

What is Notarization?

 

Notarization is the process whereby a Notary certifies a document. Usually this is done by attaching a notarial certificate to the document. The notarial certificate contains statements of fact or law in relation to the document being certified.

What is a remote notary?

 

A remote notary is a legally commissioned notary public who is authorized to conduct notarizations over the internet via digital tools and a live audio video call.

All notaries, no matter how they perform their service, must watch as someone signs a document. Historically, this has required that the notary and signer must travel to meet one another in-person where the notary serves as a witness during the signing event.

The name “remote notary” is derived from the fact that the notary serves the customer remotely over the internet.

What is an electronic notary?

 

An Electronic Notary or In-Person Electronic Notary is a commissioned notary public that is permitted to perform notarial acts electronically without the use of paper, but by state law the parties are required to be physically present. Electronic notary is often confused with remote notary, but it is important to keep in mind that they are different based on legal definitions.

Is online notarization legal?

 

Yes, it is.

Online notarizations are accepted across the country due to a long-standing body of laws in each state that specifically provides for recognition and acceptance of out-of-state notarizations. In addition to laws in each state recognizing and accepting common out-of-state notarizations, the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution may provide an additional basis for states to accept out of state notarizations.

Certain states and public agencies have specific additional requirements and limitations for executing and/or accepting electronically-signed documents and out-of-state notarizations, and not all documents may be electronically-signed. We always recommend checking with your intended recipient to confirm their acceptance of online notarizations.

How does online notarization work?

 

You are connected with a commissioned notary public via live audio-video call. The notary public confirms your identity visually using the scanned photo ID, and then witnesses as you sign the document. Just like a traditional notarization, the notary then signs and places their notarial seal on your document.

How does online notarization differ from standard notarization?

 

The only differences between the two are the tools that are involved. All notarial acts remain the same except the introduction of electronic signature, electronic notary stamps, and Video-Audio technology. Personal appearance, positive identification, and required notarial acts are still utilized with online notarization.