Top state Notary officials from across the nation recently gathered at this year’s National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Summer Conference in Daniels, West Virginia, where NNA representatives were on hand to share information with them on key legislative, technology and notarization developments.
Among the top priorities of the conference was the reaffirmation of support for the National Electronic Notarization Standards for another 5 years.
The Standards, initially developed with input from the NNA in 2006, states that eNotarizations should not be performed unless a signer is physically present before the Notary, as does Article III of the Model Notary Act.
During the conference, NASS also inducted its new president, Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman, who was a keynote speaker at the NNA’s 2011 Conference in Las Vegas, and has been a long time champion of improved training and support for Notaries. (Video of Chapman’s May 2011 remarks on Notary issues can be found on the NNA’s Notary Knowledge page.)
The full text of the Standard regarding personal appearance is as follows:
Physical Appearance Requirement
- A notary public shall not perform an electronic notarization if the document signer does not appear in person before the notary public at the time of notarization.
- The methods for identifying document signers for an electronic notarization shall be the same as the methods required for a paper-based notarization.
Under no circumstance shall a notary public base identification merely upon familiarity with a signer’s electronic signature or an electronic verification process that authenticates the signer’s electronic signature when the signer is not in the physical presence of the notary public.