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.

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