The National Notary Association reports there are over 5 million notaries in America. Over the last few years, especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant rise in the popularity of remote notarization. The usage of remote notarization during the COVID-19 pandemic increased to enforce social distancing and help curb the spread of the novel virus.
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, many states also passed laws and regulations that govern remote notarization. For the states that placed urgent measures to legalize remote notarizations during the COVID pandemic, they have either expired or been replaced with lasting RON laws.
Subsequently, below are the common things you should remember about remote notarization.
What is remote notarization?
Remote notarization allows businesses, like banks, to communicate remotely with a rotary.
Electronic documents get notarized over a secure and protected audio-video connection. A signer and witness do not appear before a notary in person.
All the processes involved in remote notarization are recorded as an audiovisual so that if there is an issue later, it can always be retrieved to provide evidence.
Remote notarization is also called virtual, remote or webcam notarization.
The difference between remote notarization and electronic notarization
Although many think that remote notarization and electronic notarization are the same, this is incorrect.
Also called e-notarization, electronic notarization involves notarizing electronic documents. Moreover, the signer and notary sign the electronic documents with an e-signature.
However, like traditional notarization, electronic notarization has to comply with other requirements, such as the signers needing to be in the same room physically with the notary.
Electronic notarization and remote notarization are similar because they involve digital documents that signees sign and get notarized electronically. Still, with electronic and remote notarization, you transact online instead of physically.
States that have legalized remote notarization
More than 40 states have enacted laws and legislations that guide Americans’ use of remote online notarization. These states include Washington, Minnesota, New Jersey, Florida, Alabama, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Texas, Kansas, Idaho, New Mexico, Wyoming, and South Dakota.
The current state of permitting remote notarization in other states
About seven states are yet to pass legislation that allows remote notarizations. But, because they also want to take advantage of the immense benefits, the remaining states are expected to have permitted virtual notarization in due time.
Any time the remaining states pass laws governing virtual notarization, you will find that information in this updated FAQ.
How to prepare for virtual notarization
Check the specific requirements if you reside in a state with laws authorizing remote notarization. Requirements for taking part in a virtual notarization may vary from one state to another.
Choose your state from the National Notary page and learn more about your particular virtual notary legislation.
The technology you need for virtual notarization
As a state legally allows virtual notarization, it must develop the right technology, practices, and requirements.
Numerous companies provide technologies that securely support systems of virtual notarization.
Common companies that offer the technology you need for remote notarizations include DocVerify, Nexsys, and NotaryCam. As an online notary, if you sign up with at least one of those companies, you will get to use the right technology.
Your state may list the companies offering the technology you need for remote notarization on a website.
Will your service fee increase if you are a remote notary?
As a remote notary, you can work with clients across your state. You do not take hours to travel and meet clients physically.
Because of remote notarization capabilities, you can reach many clients and perform numerous notarizations daily. Therefore, as a remote notary, you may earn more, which increases your market value.
Still, whether your market value increases may depend on the market and the clients served.
How will customers know you work as a remote notary?
Some companies that provide the technologies and systems for remote notarization advertise what they offer directly to potential clients.
For instance, a company may have an app so that when you need a document notarized virtually, you download the app, pay the required service cost, and then get access to a virtual notary that can help you.
If the company offering you the technology for virtual notary does not advertise itself, you will need to market your services yourself.
Can you list that you perform notarizations remotely on your SigningAgent.com profile?
As long as you have a profile on that site, you can access the “additional information” tab and include your qualifications and the services you offer.