Remote Notary Legal Basics

Whether you’re a single consumer in need of a notary or are a large enterprise looking to close on dozens of deals at any one time, it pays to understand the legal arena surrounding notaries and remote notary services in particular.


While the history of official notary is hundreds of years old, the concept of a digital notary is barely decades old.


Remote Notary vs. Standard Notary


The global economy has required contract security for centuries, and notaries play an important role. They have acted as documentation organizers, key witnesses to signings, and more. Notaries served a key role in educating individuals and organizations signing contracts by making sure all parties were aware of the details in these agreements.


One of the most important aspects of this has historically been face-to-face confirmation. A notary public needed to be in-person and confirm that whoever was signing or closing a deal was informed and capable of making their mark.


A remote notary is the same official with training in digital documentation and security. This allows official notarization to occur in secure, digital channels, allowing for a wider range of accessibility for people and businesses.


Legal Requirements for Remote Notary


As there is no physical meeting during a Remote Online Notarization (RON), states have had to come up with various ways to enforce security and confirm that all parties are acting within legal bounds. While these laws vary from state to state, you can expect to find the following:


  • A notary registration with the state in question
  • Communication through audio-visual technology
  • A process using verified credential analysis technology
  • An application of electronic signatures, seals, and certificates
  • Established storage and record-keeping
  • Adherence to local, state, and federal data privacy principles


Most of these requirements are to make sure the finalized document assures trust and identity. Digital solutions to these legal requirements include robust audit trails and tamper-evident seals. Many states also require a digital certificate for every transaction.


Digital Notaries Are Still Very New


The earliest state to legalize remote notarization was Virginia in 2011. Before the pandemic—despite many companies, governments, and consumers needing to close their signings remotely—only 21 states allowed it. In the last three years it’s gained wider acceptance with RON now federally legal and allowed in 47 states. 


That is a lot of legal upheaval to navigate all at once! No matter where you are, it is important to understand the nuances of remote notary services. You can rely on resources whose business it is to know the ins and outs of every state’s statutes revolving around this tricky subject.


A Better Way to Close with BNN Services  


Since 2008, BNN Services has been trusted by title agencies, mortgage lenders, servicers, and consumers to perform loan and document signings in multiple languages across the country.  


Unlike other signing services, BNN Services “touches” every file 8 to 9 times, ensuring the process moves forward free of delays. That is why we have completed over 250,000 signings in all 51 jurisdictions and maintained a closing ratio of 96 percent.  


Ready to experience the BNN Services Difference? Get started today! 

Ready to experience the BNN Services difference?

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