New Jersey and Colorado have joined several other states in declaring that remote webcam notarizations are unacceptable and that personal appearance is a requirement for all notarial acts.
Most recently, the New Jersey Department of the Treasury — which regulates Notaries in the Garden State — posted a notice on their website, stating the following:
Notice Concerning Online Notary Services Using a Webcam or Other Video Equipment
The Division of Revenue requested legal guidance concerning the practice of online notarization services utilizing a webcam or other video in lieu of a personal appearance in front of a valid New Jersey Notary. It has been determined that New Jersey’s statutes do not allow for this type of notarization.
A similar alert posted on Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s website stated that electronic notarizations in Colorado “do not mean remote notarization. As with all notarizations, the signer must appear in the physical presence of the notary to affirm, swear, or acknowledge the document to be notarized.”
New Jersey and Colorado join a number of states in officially declaring that remote or webcam notarizations are unacceptable, and that personal appearance remains a vital requirement for all Notary acts, including electronic notarizations. Secretaries of State in Nevada, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, the Northern Marianas, and California have all issued similar alerts.
In April, North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall published a newspaper article that described the importance of personal appearance in the notarial act.