Oregon, Ohio Declare Webcam Notarizations Unacceptable

Ohio and Oregon have joined a growing number of states declaring that remote, webcam notarizations are not permitted and that a signer’s physical appearance before a Notary is required for all notarial acts.

A July 25 scam alert posted on Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s blog
warns consumers to avoid businesses offering web-based notarizations or webcam technology instead of physical or personal appearance by a signer. “Appearance with a Notary Public via webcam does not meet the requirements for a valid notarization under Ohio law,” the warning states.

An alert posted on Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown’s Web site
warns that a video image or other form of non-physical representation does not meet personal appearance requirements before a Notary under current state or federal laws. The alert cautions Oregon Notaries that participating in webcam notarizations could lead to possible administrative, criminal or civil penalties.

“Oregon Notaries Public are not authorized under current law to perform electronic notarizations,” the alert states. “Even if they were, Oregon law requires a person to appear personally before a Notary Public to obtain notarial acts like acknowledgments or oaths.”

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Members: Read more coverage of this topic — including a listing of similar alerts issued in other states — by going to the Notary Bulletin.

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