Remote Online Notarization: What states allow online notary services

These days, businesses of all sizes operate in a fast-paced and highly connected world. This means that the ability to get a job done quickly and accurately in order to keep the workflow moving forward is critical. 

When it comes to notarizing documents, there are many traditional in-person notarization options to choose from. Unfortunately, many of these services are costly and require you to schedule a meeting time well in advance. Remote Online Notarization (RON), on the other hand, provides convenient and affordable access to these services without any of the hassle. 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic people and businesses in need of notarization services were often unaware or unsure of using a remote online notary. In addition, many states had not yet enacted any form of RON law. Since then, more and more states have begun to allow the practice and many have discovered how easy and secure RON can be when compared with traditional in-person notarization. 

In this blog, we will take a closer look at how RON works and provide an up-to-date list of what states allow online notary services.

  1. What is Remote Online Notarization (RON)?
  2. How does remote online notarization work?
  3. What states allow remote online notary services?
  4. States that temporarily allow online notarial acts
  5. What states do not allow remote online notarization?
  6. The SECURE Notarization Act of 2021
  7. Remote Online Notarization made easy with PandaDoc Notary

1. What is Remote Online Notarization (RON)?

Remote online notarization (RON) provides convenient and secure access to notary services that save both time and money. It gives you the flexibility to notarize your documents when you need them, without the hassle of tracking down a notary. 

RON is a form of notarization carried out entirely online using audio-visual technology and electronic forms. This is different from traditional notarization services, where document signers appear in person before a notary to complete a signature. Online notarization allows both notaries and document signers to complete a notarization act within minutes from wherever they happen to be located.

Using RON, a notary can virtually witness a document signing online regardless of where the signers are located. Unlike traditional notarization services, such as walk-in and traveling notaries, RON eliminates the need to coordinate a time and place to meet with a notary and allows you to notarize a document within minutes, all while keeping a detailed and secure record of your transaction.

2. How does Remote Online Notarization work?

With online notarization, the signer’s identities are verified using a Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) system. This is a system that matches a person’s proof-of-identity with private information from official sources, such as statements from a financial institution. In addition, the online notarization platform will perform an in-depth analysis of the signer’s ID and documents to help further prevent fraud. 

In addition to verifying the signer’s identities, the entire notarization process will be recorded and stored for a certain period, as stipulated by the individual’s state. Keeping detailed records ensures that if any disputes arise down the road, every bit of information is available for review, for all parties involved. 

Unlike traditional notarization services, such as walk-in and traveling notaries, RON eliminates the need to coordinate a time and place to meet with a notary and allows you to notarize a document within minutes, all while keeping a detailed and secure record of your notarial transactions.

3. What states allow remote online notary services?

Currently, these states have adopted permanent Remote Online Notarization (RON) laws:

Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Florida
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Each state has its own specific set of laws and regulations that determine how RON services must be carried out. This includes stipulations that both notaries and signers will need to be aware of and prepared for. For this reason, you should  be familiar with applicable state law prior to the notarial act to ensure that your notarization is valid.

4. States that temporarily allow online notarial acts

AlabamaPer Senate Bill 275
GeorgiaPer Executive Order 06.30.21.02
MaineThrough June 23, 2023, per Executive Order 37 FY 19/20
MississippiPer Executive Order No. 1467
Rhode IslandTemporarily allows online notarization

5. What states do not allow Remote Online Notarization?

ConnecticutTemporarily authorized remote online notarization services due to COVID-19, however this authorization has expired as of July 1, 2021.
CaliforniaDoes not allow any kind of remote online notarization services at this time.
DelawareHowever, there is currently nothing in Delaware statutes that prohibits an individual or business from using a remote notary from states who permit remote notarization.
District Of ColumbiaDoes not allow any kind of remote online notarization services at this time.
MassachusettsTemporarily authorized remote online notarization services due to COVID-19, however this authorization has expired as of December 15, 2021.

6. The SECURE Notarization Act of 2021

In May, 2021, the U.S. senate reintroduced a new bi-partisan legislation in the form of the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act of 2021 (Senate Bill 1625). The goal of this bill is to establish a federal code of standards for interstate electronic and remote notary acts to be carried out.

The introduction of this legislation signals the growing desire to establish a national standard for RON laws, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic placed a significant strain on traditional forms of notarization. If the SECURE act were passed in its current form would allow all acting notaries in the U.S. to perform remote notarization services using authorized RON service platforms.

7. Remote Online Notarization made easy with PandaDoc Notary

If you are looking for an online notary service in your state, PandaDoc Notary can support you with a fast, secure, and 100% state-compliant solution for Remote Online Notarization that won’t break your bank.

Our platform utilizes world-class security, with all audio and video encrypted at REST. Stored documents are encrypted and stored via AWS. In addition, we utilize the latest 256-bit SSL when processing all stored information. This gives you peace of mind knowing that your data is protected against any kind of data breach.

In addition to this, PandaDoc Notary guarantees various levels of identity verification and detailed record-keeping of all your notarial acts as required by your state, mitigating risks, and reducing fraud. The result is 100% valid and legal signing. Interested to learn more? Book your demo here.

Guy has been a commissioned notary for more than 6 years. He also runs one of the most established Facebook groups for Remote Online Notarization with over 7000 members nationwide.

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