Does Massachusetts Allow Remote Notarization?

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What is Remote Online Notarization (RON)?

Remote Online Notarization (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. 

It eliminates the inconvenience of having to coordinate a place and time to meet with a notary. It is essential to be aware that RON law varies state-by-state, with different requirements and regulations to be considered valid. 

How to have documents signed and sealed online

At the time of the document signing, the signers and the notary will appear on screen together via a two-way audio-visual internet connection. The document that will be signed is also displayed on the screen for all parties to see. At this time, the signers will review the documents before applying an electronically-created signature. 

Next, the notary will apply their own electronic signature, along with an electronic seal and their digital certificate. This certificate is a unique piece of code that will attach to the notarized document, verifying the notarization and providing a layer of tamper-proof security. 

Remote Online Notarization (RON) helps protect your document 

Remote online notarization is the most secure form of notarization. This is because, with online notarization, the signer’s identities are verified using a knowledge-based authentication system. On top of this, the online notarization platform will perform an in-depth analysis of the signer’s ID and documents to prevent fraud. 

In addition to verifying the signer’s identities, the entire notarization process will be recorded and stored. Records of all remote online notarization transactions must be securely stored and accessible to all parties for a state-mandated minimum of years. This detailed record ensures that if any disputes arise down the road, every bit of information will be available for review. 

Finally, the digital seal and certificate provided by the online notary ensure that the signed document is sealed with a tamper-proof code. This code identifies and tracks any unauthorized changes made to the document so that any disputes may be easily resolved. 

Does Massachusetts Allow Remote Notarization?

At this time, Massachusetts does not permit remote notarizations by Massachusetts notaries. However, there is currently nothing in Massachusetts statutes that prohibits an individual or business from using a remote notary from states who permit remote notarization.

Massachusetts remote notarization was temporarily authorized during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to Chapter 71 Of The Remote Notarization Act.  While Massachusetts remote notarization was extended temporarily through the end of 2021, the extension has since expired. 

Approved RON vendors in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, notary agents may utilize their choice of the following vendors:

PandaDoc Notary
DocVerify
Nexsys Clear Sign
Notarize
NotaryCam
Pavaso

The notary agent is responsible for determining if the vendor of their choice meets the current requirements in Massachusetts.

What types of remote notarizations are permitted online in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, remote notaries are not currently authorized to perform remote online notarial acts. 

FAQ

If I notarize a document in Massachusetts, will it be recognized by other states?

Yes. Notarial acts performed in Massachusetts will generally be recognized by other states, including ones that have not yet adopted RON law. While the specifics may vary depending on the other state’s requirements, established precedents have set forth that notarial acts carried out within compliance with the applicable state RON law can be recognized as valid across state lines

Do the signers have to be physically located in Massachusetts to receive services from a Massachusetts Remote Online Notarization provider?

The signers of the document do not need to be physically located within the boundaries of the state of Massachusetts at the time of notarization. To provide Massachusetts remote online notarization, however, the notary must be physically located within the state boundaries.

Disclaimer

The contents of this website are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The information presented on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments. No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this website, and we disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues and jurisdictions.

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