What is Notarization?
Notarization is the process whereby a Notary certifies a document. Usually this is done by attaching a notarial certificate to the document. The notarial certificate contains statements of fact or law in relation to the document being certified.
What is a remote notary?
A remote notary is a legally commissioned notary public who is authorized to conduct notarization’s over the internet via digital tools and a live audio video call.
All notaries, no matter how they perform their service, must watch as someone signs a document. Historically, this has required that the notary and signer must travel to meet one another in-person where the notary serves as a witness during the signing event.
In 2012, Virginia became the first state to allow its notaries to conduct notarization’s online over live audio video calls. Specifically, they clarified that the requirement that the signer physically appear before the notary during the signing event could be satisfied via an audio video call. This law enabled online notarization’s and created the concept of a remote notary, but Virginia went further. They specifically empowered their notaries to serve clients nationwide. They also established strict requirements for ID verification, tamper proofing, and document retention that have made remote notarization’s safer and more reliable than a standard in-person notarization.
The name “remote notary” is derived from the fact that the notary serves the customer remotely over the internet.
How does online notarization work?
You are connected with a commissioned notary public via live audio-video call. The notary public confirms your identity visually using the scanned photo ID, and then witnesses as you sign the document. Just like a traditional notarization, the notary then signs and places their notarial seal on your document.
How does online notarization differ from standard notarization?
The only differences between the two are the tools that are involved. All notarial acts remain the same except the introduction of electronic signature, electronic notary stamps, and Video-Audio technology. Personal appearance, positive identification, and required notarial acts are still utilized with online notarization.
Do I need an appointment?
Yes. Since we provide virtual service, all appointments must be booked and confirmed at least 1 hour before the desired appointment time.
Is online notarization legal?
Yes, it is.
In 2011, Virginia became the first state to authorize its notaries to notarize documents remotely via live audio-video technology. These online notarization’s are accepted across the country due to a long-standing body of laws in each state that specifically provides for recognition and acceptance of out-of-state notarization’s. In addition to laws in each state recognizing and accepting common out-of-state notarization’s, the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution may provide an additional basis for states to accept out of state notarization’s.
Certain states and public agencies have specific additional requirements and limitations for accepting electronically-signed documents and out-of-state notarization’s, and not all documents may be electronically-signed. We always recommend checking with your intended recipient to confirm their acceptance of online notarization’s.
What types of documents do you notarize?
We notarize just about every document which needs to be notarized in the paper world. There are a few exceptions though, so see below:
In an online notarization, both you and the notary electronically sign the notarized document. Per federal and state laws such as the ESIGN Act and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), when both sides agree to perform their transaction electronically, electronic signatures are just as valid as handwritten signatures for virtually all documents. But, certain documents are excluded – see below. Also, some states, public agencies and court systems impose additional requirements and limitations for accepting electronically-signed documents, so it’s always important to check with your intended recipient to confirm their specific requirements for accepting electronically signed and notarized documents.
We currently do not notarize:
– Birth, Marriage, or Death Certificates
– Divorce decrees
– Court-issued documents
What if I have additional signers?
If your document must be signed by more than one person, you have two options:
1. You and your secondary signer can be co-located (in the same physical location), log into the session with the notary together, on the same device, and your documents notarized.
2. If your document requires two or more signers and they’re not co-located, all signers must complete separate transactions. Each signer would request and appointment and upload an unsigned copy of his/her document. When complete, you will have separately notarized documents that you may then submit to your recipient agency or institution.
What if my document requires a witness?
Many transactions require more than just a notary and signer. If you’re signing a document that requires a witness, you’ll want to make sure you let us know before your appointment. Just reply to your confirmation email and we will make sure they have access to the session as well.
If you’d like us to provide a witness for you, let your notary know by requesting a witness in your confirmation email response.