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Remote Online Notarization Technology Requirements


Performing online notarizations is a straightforward process. However, acquiring the technology to conduct them securely and in compliance with your state notary laws is often difficult. Additionally, developing and maintaining a compliant platform that meets the RON standards of your state is also expensive, especially for an individual notary.

Consequently, your employer will most likely need to pay for and develop a platform approved by your state to allow employed notaries to perform online notarizations. If you are an individual notary, you will have to establish a relationship with an approved RON service provider. Most RON-approved service providers will guide you step by step to meet your state requirements to perform online notarization.

1. Fast and Reliable Internet Connection – Remote online notary law requires that, for the RON act to be valid, the notary and the signer must hear, see, and communicate with each other clearly during the entire notary session. Fast internet connection is a must to achieve this requirement.

2. Digital Notary Seal – Your RON service provider will provide you with a list of third-party vendors to purchase a digital certificate that is X.509 compliant. The digital certificate provides evidence to the receiving parties that the notarized document has not been altered or changed since it was signed, which is a requirement for a lawful online notarization.

3. Audio/Video Communication Technology – The RON service provider will provide the communication technology to satisfy your state’s RON law. At  a minimum, the RON platform should provide:

  1. a recording and archiving of the audio-video communication session;
  2. sufficient audio clarity and video resolution to enable the remote online notary and the principal to see and communicate with each other simultaneously through live, real-time transmission; and
  3. reasonable security measures to prevent unauthorized access to the live transmission or the recording of the audio-video communication.

4. Identity Proofing and Credential Analysis Tools – In traditional notarizations, notaries physically examine the signer’s identification for alterations to confirm the signer’s credentials and examine the physical descriptions, signer’s signature, and signer’s photo on the identification to confirm the signer’s identity. In contrast, RON law requires stronger identification methods to identify the signer. Each signer must go through a three-step identification process that includes:

  1. Identity proofing of the signer
  2. Credential analysis
  3. Remote presentation of signer’s identity  

5. E-notary Journal – Remote online notaries are required to record remote notarial acts in a secure electronic journal. Your remote online service provider will provide you with these electronic journals to comply with your state remote notary laws.

5. Backup and Storage – All electronic journal entries and audio/video session recordings must be stored and backed up according to your state notary laws. Usually, most states require a backup system for your electronic journal and audio/video session recordings and require that you retain the backups for five to ten years depending on your state. Your remote online service provider will provide you with backup support for your online notarial acts.

Notaries must use RON technology platforms that comply with their state notary laws. They are also responsible for every remote notarial act they perform. As with traditional notary law, notaries must fully understand the remote notarization laws of their state to ensure they conduct lawful notarizations.

Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding notaries' best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss or consequential loss out of or in connection with the use of the information contained in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states' notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

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