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 July 27, 2022, The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill creating federal minimum standards for notaries nationwide to perform Remote Online Notarization (RON).
In this blog, we will take a closer look at how RON works and provide an up-to-date list of states that allow online notary.
- Is online notary legal in US?
- What states allow online notary?
- What states allow temporary online notarization?
- States that don’t allow online notary
- The SECURE Notarization Act
- Remote Online Notarization made easy with PandaDoc Notary
Is online notary legal in US?
Online notary is now legal in the US. In 2011, Virginia became the first state to legalize Remote Online Notarization (RON). In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for further use of RON, and almost every state enacted legislation or executive orders allowing for its legal use. With the reintroduction of the SECURE Notarization Act of 2021, the goal is to have all acting notaries in the U.S. performing remote notarization services using authorized RON service platforms on a federal level.
Remote Online Notarization (RON) platforms such as PandaDoc Notary allow document signers and commissioned state notaries to connect online via a secure, two-way audio-visual connection. Completing a notary session without scheduling a time and physical place to meet has never been easier.
What states allow online notary?
Currently, these states have adopted permanent Remote Online Notarization (RON) laws:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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.
What states allow temporary online notarization?
States that don’t allow online notary
Currently, there states don’t allow online notary: Delaware (however, 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 Columbia (does not allow any kind of remote online notarization services at this time), Georgia (temporarily authorized remote online notarization services, however this authorization has expired), and North Carolina (however, state regulations do not prohibit online notarizations conducted by notaries commissioned in other states).
The SECURE Notarization Act
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.
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.
How does a remote online notarization work?
When you choose to notarize a document with Remote Online Notarization (RON), you will use a state-approved RON platform to meet virtually with a commissioned online notary public. At the time of notarization, in addition to paying all appropriate online notary fees you will need to present the notary with some form of identity verification.
Depending on the state and platform you use, this can involve different methods, such as credential analysis and knowledge-based authentication (KBA). Once this has been completed, you and all other signing parties will review the eDoc and apply eSignatures to the document.
Finally, the online notary will apply their own eSignature and digital seal, ensuring that the document is legally valid in all 50 states. With the convenience of online notarization, you can have your document notarized within minutes from the comfort of your own home!
Can an online notary notarize in another state?
All online notaries must be actively commissioned to practice in the state where they currently are and intend to perform notarization. In other words, an online notary can only perform document notarizations for documents in the state in which they are commissioned. They must be located within the state borders at the time of notarization for it to be considered valid.
How to notarize a document remotely?
To notarize a document remotely, you must first double-check to ensure the state that you are located in allows RON. To meet with an online notary, you need to use a state-approved RON platform, such as PandaDoc Notary, to meet with a notary virtually.
Once you have connected with the online notary, they will walk you through the process of identity verification and eSigning. A document notarized with RON will be considered legally valid in all 50 states, including those which have not yet legalized online notary services.