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How to Become a Remote Online Notary

Many Notaries have asked how they can apply to provide remote online notarization (RON) services. Your state’s Notary regulating official will have a specific authorization process based around the documentation needed to comply with your state Notary laws. The general steps to become an online Notary may include:

How to Become a Remote Online Notary

  1. Meeting your state’s qualifications to become a traditional Notary.
  2. Applying or registering to perform virtual notarizations.
  3. Paying the state’s application fees.
  4. Completing any RON-specific testing or training courses required by your state.
  5. Getting remote online Notary tools and technology like an eSeal and digital certificate.
  6. Choosing a state-approved RON vendor.
  7. Having a surety bond to cover remote online notarizations.
  8. Buying an E&O insurance policy that covers RONs.
  9. Submitting any other documents required by your state’s laws.

In This Guide: Application Requirements | What is RON? | Where RON is Legal | RON FAQs

Requirements to be a remote Notary

In some states, you must hold a commission as a traditional Notary Public before you apply to become a remote online Notary. In other states, you may be able to apply for a Notary commission and an authorization to perform virtual notarizations at the same time.

Because you must be a commissioned Notary to offer RON services, you must meet your state’s qualifications for becoming a traditional Notary. Some states have more requirements than others, but most of them include:

  • Being at least 18 years old
  • Being a legal resident of the state
  • Having no felony convictions

Be sure to check your state’s RON laws to confirm you meet all requirements for working as a remote Notary.

State RON Instructions

View step-by-step instructions to apply for RON authorization in your state

Is there an exam required to be an online Notary Public?

Some states require remote online Notaries to pass an exam proving their knowledge of RON procedures and use of the technology. States that have implemented permanent remote notarization laws and require an exam include Indiana, Montana, Nevada and Ohio.

Do remote Notaries need special training?

It depends on where you live. States like Virginia do not require special RON training whereas other states do. For example, Florida requires a certificate of completion from a two-hour in-person or online training course upon registration as a remote Notary.

What tools and technology are needed to perform RON services?

Virtual Notaries are required to have access to a computer, webcam, microphone and secure connection to the internet. Your computer must be able to support two-way audio and visual communication to function with a RON technology platform compliant with your state’s laws.

Several RON technology providers that offer end-to-end online notarization solutions include: DocVerify, Notarize, NotaryCam, Pavaso, Safedocs and SIGNiX. Check your state’s website for a list of approved vendors.

Depending on your commissioning state, you may also need an electronic seal, electronic signature, electronic journal and a digital certificate to provide RON services.

How to Become a Remote Online Notary

What is remote online notarization?

Remote online notarization is the act of performing a notarization remotely using two-way audio-video technology. It is the online equivalent of an in-person, paper-based notarization where every part of the process is done via the internet.

Like traditional notarizations, RONs begin with the online Notary verifying the signer’s identity and ensuring the signer understands the document and is willing to sign it. The signer’s wet ink signature is replaced with an electronic signature, and the remote Notary’s physical stamp and handwritten signature are replaced with an electronic seal and digital certificate, respectively. Payment is handled at the end of the transaction.

How does online notarization work?

In online notarizations, the signer personally appears before a remote Notary in real-time using audio-video technology. The Notary verifies the signer’s identity using traditional identity proofing methods with the addition of two steps unique to remote online notarizations: knowledge-based authentication (KBA) and credential analysis.

Once the online Notary verifies the signer’s identity, they complete the notarization with the attachment of an electronic Notary seal and digital certificate.

How long does online notarization take versus traditional notarization?

Remote notarizations take less time than traditional notarizations because they don’t require the signer nor you to meet in person, saving you time from traveling. Depending on the online notarization company you choose, you can receive a notarization request and complete the certificate within a few minutes without having to leave your home.

What is the difference between e-notarization and remote online notarization?

E-notarizations, or electronic notarizations, are conducted in person whereas online notarizations are conducted remotely using the internet and audio-visual technology. E-notarizations are notarizations of electronic documents where the signer is in the physical presence of the Notary. Online notarizations are also notarizations of electronic documents, but the signer and the Notary are in two different locations.

IMPORTANT:

Online Notarization is NOT the Same as Electronic Notarization.

Remote Notarization vs. eNotarization

Where is online Notary service legal?

There are 24 states that have passed remote online notarization laws, and 17 of those laws went into effect January 1, 2020.

Due to COVID-19, many other states have issued temporary emergency orders for remote notarization.

Below is the current breakdown of where RON is legal permanently, legal temporarily, not legal and states that haven’t provided official guidance one way or the other.

The 24 states with permanent RON laws are: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The 23 states with only temporary RON, RIN or video conference notarization rules that will expire include: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wyoming. The District of Columbia also issued temporary rules.

California and Delaware clarified Notaries cannot perform RONs at this time. South Carolina remains silent on the issue.

Remote Online Notarization Policies

Additional RON FAQs

Below you will find answers to commonly-asked questions about providing RON services.

How much does it cost for RON authorization?

The cost to become a remote online Notary ranges from below $100 to a few hundred dollars, depending on your state’s requirements. At the very minimum, you will need to pay an application filing fee plus the cost of an audio-visual technology provider along with the tools required on your end to conduct online notarizations remotely.

How much can remote Notaries charge for their services?

Typically, you can charge a fee up to $25 per online notarization. However, this amount will vary depending on your state’s laws.

Who can you perform virtual notarizations for?

Remote online Notaries may notarize documents for signers located anywhere in or outside of the U.S. Regardless of where the signer is located, the Notary must be physically located in their commissioning state during the notarial act.

If the signer is outside of the U.S., the electronic document being notarized must substantially pertain to matters located within the U.S. Also, you must not have actual knowledge of the notarial act being prohibited where the signer is located.

How long does it take to become a remote online Notary?

It can take up to 6 weeks to become an online Notary. Up to 4 of those weeks will be spent on the first step, which is becoming a traditional Notary. The rest of the process can be done fairly quickly.

After you receive your commission as a traditional Notary Public, you will spend a few hours taking a RON training course (if required), 1 to 2 days getting a quote for both the surety bond and E&O policy, and 1 day to get your application form notarized.

Then you’ll need to submit any requested materials plus an application filing fee to your state’s Notary regulating official. Don’t forget to allow time for them to process your information, too.

Do you have to be a certified NSA to become an online Notary Public?

No, you do not have to be a certified Notary Signing Agent to become an online Notary. However, becoming a certified NSA makes you eligible to receive more RON assignments and ensures RON technology providers you’ve passed a current background screening.

Knowledge Center