Remote online notarization (RON) is a service that states have implemented to expedite transactions like loan closings during the COVID-19 emergency. If you are a notary, you can perform RONs if they are legal in your state.
If your state has not authorized RONs or has yet to implement RON best practices, then you cannot perform RONs yourself.
How Does Remote Online Notarization Work?
RON is also called webcam notarization and virtual notarization. Rather than being physically together in the same room, the signer appears before the notary by way of a video conferencing system.
Remote online notarization is different than electronic notarization. Electronic notarization means that you are using digital documents that are signed and notarized electronically. Although RONs are often performed using digital documents and signatures, the signer and the notary are present with each other via video conferencing technology rather than in person.
Which States Permit RON?
Twenty-four states currently have laws authorizing RON. Fifteen of those states have fully implemented procedures for notaries to follow. Some states have notarization laws in place, but they haven’t yet implemented RON best practices or remote notarization technology.
Some states that have yet to implement RON best practices or that have RON legislation pending have issued special orders permitting notaries to conduct RONs anyway because of the COVID-19 emergency.
Procedures can differ from state to state. For example, South Dakota limits remote notarization to paper documents, and signers must be known personally by the notary.
Notaries who wish to perform RONs in their respective states should contact their notary regulatory agencies for detailed information.
Do I Need Special Training to Perform RONs?
States with RON authorization must provide notaries with state-specific guidance and RON best practices. Ohio, Florida, and Nevada offer training programs. You can access this information on the website of your secretary of state.
Not all states have training systems up and running. For example, although North Dakota’s webcam notarization law became effective on August 1, 2019, the state did not issue guidance until March of 2020.
The National Notary Association has a notary law database with detailed information and updates. That list is constantly being updated as states implement remote notarization systems.
Different states have different technology requirements. A variety of companies provide audiovisual internet technology for RONs. These companies include Safedocs, SIGNiX, DocVerify and Nexsys, and they will train you on their systems.
For more information about RON, please contact Madeline or David Ricci at 817.984.9160!