Countless establishments such as banks and law firms utilize notaries for their business transactions. When signing crucial files such as powers of attorney or property deeds, the state government licenses public notaries to perform functions like confirming the individuals executing documents’ identities and administering oaths.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen many organizations shifting to online notarization for contactless yet effective interactions. Online notarization might seem challenging or impossible to use if you’re not used to it.
Surprisingly, it isn’t. It makes mingling easier and provides a sense of security. Perhaps you’re new to online notarization. And you wonder how it works. The post below has answers to this and many other questions.
Online Notarization: What is it?
In the simplest terms, also referred to as virtual notarization, webcam notarization, and remote notarization, online notarization uses technology to notarize a document.
A notary public can attach a digital signature or seal to a document to certify that it was signed or witnessed by the notary. The act of notarization makes the document legally binding.
What Type of Documents Can be Notarized Online?
Almost any type of document can be notarized online. The most common documents are real estate deeds, powers of attorney, and loan documents. However, just about any document that needs to be notarized can be done so online with the right tools.
Things You Should Know About Online Notarization
The following are some vital things you should learn about remote online notarization to understand it better:
It’s Not the Same as Electronic Notarization
During electronic notarization, experts notarize files in an electronic form. The signature occurs between a signer and notary with an electronic signature. Physical notarization applies in this type of notarization.
The mix-up between the notarizations arises because remote notarizations typically comprise digital files that are notarized and signed electronically. However, they take things to a new degree since people do online transactions instead of face-to-face.
You Need Specific Technology to Carry it Out
Individual states will administer technology requirements and standards. It’s no surprise that technology bureaus have made remote notarization structures, considering it’s becoming a profitable enterprise. These structures include:
You Need Rotary Insurance
A notary’s insurance policy is essential to protect them and the public. Whether it’s remote or physical, notarization helps to buy an errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to shield you from negligence claims stemming from accidental mistakes.
Documents Must Be Legible
The signer’s signature must be legible on documents to be notarized. The entire document must be readable, too. If the notary cannot read it, they will likely reject the request.
How to Carry Out a Remote Online Notarization
Here’s a general guideline of how professionals handle remote online notarization:
- A signer contacts a RON service provider or notary to ask for a remote online notarization.
- The system relays the signer’s file to the notary so they can notarize and sign it.
- The system screens the signer’s identity as per the notary’s commissioning state’s requirements.
- The signer and notary communicate online via audio-visual technology such as a webcam. They don’t meet physically.
- The notary and signer have to sign the file. The system will immediately fix the notary’s seal once the signer’s identity has been confirmed and all the other requirements for the notarization have been met.
- The notary records any necessary details for their journal records.
- The signer gets the remotely notarized document.
Where to Find a Notary for Remote Online Notarization
If you need to find a notary for a remote online notarization, the National Notary Association (NNA) has an online search tool. You can also check your state’s notary website or with the American Society of Notaries.
How Can You Switch to Online Notarization Services?
Transferring to online notarization is impressively simple. Here are some tips that you can follow:
Locate a Remote Online Notary Service Provider
There are many online notary service providers to choose from. You can establish a notary service of your own, but the procedure is tedious and time-consuming. Do your investigation and find one that fits your needs. You should consider a reputable online notary service provider for several reasons:
- They have safe storage for your delicate documents
- To abide by all state rules
- They have the ideal software and tools for your online notarizations
Establish Your Notary Area
Laws vary based on where you are. However, you’ll generally need several things for you to use an online notary service successfully:
- A webcam
- A quiet place
- A speaker
- An online connection
- A microphone
You might also have to record the notarization, depending on your state. The bottom line is that you’ll have everything in one place if you find a notary area in advance, making notarization more stress-free and convenient.
Learn How Remote Online Notarization Works
Many RON (remote online notarization) services provide information to guide you through the first establishment and learn your online notary service’s dashboard and service.
Online notarization might be similar to regular notarization, but you have to learn what you need to perform it and its technical aspects.
Make Sure the Notarization is Safe
You shouldn’t trust just any notarization service with your files. A quality service ensures the signatures’ originality and documents’ security. It takes things further by displaying a digital certificate that’s X.509 compliant, confirming that no one has changed the file since its signing.
Train Your Workers on How to Use it
You’re aware of how to use the system. Congratulations! The next step is passing that knowledge to your employees. Some of the areas you should explore during training are:
- The various features they must complete as they utilize the system
- Your state’s online notarization laws
- Your preferred RON provider’s platforms
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Allow your employees to take the system for a test drive. Let them make mistakes so they’ll learn. Consider going through the notary process again using a straightforward notary transaction. Then, add the other more complex paperwork along the way.
Remote online notarization is a safe and secure way to notarize documents. As long as you understand the requirements and follow the guidelines, your transactions will go smoothly.
If you know what to expect, you’ll be able to take advantage of this growing industry. Try it today for your business if you haven’t already for fast and maximum results.