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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:

Infographic on 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 training courses or exams 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 remote notarization 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 remote notarization training course to be submitted with your application to become an Online Notary. The training can be done in-person or online.

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 remote notarization technology providers offer end-to-end online notarization solutions. 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.

Infographic on 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 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.


Online Notarization is NOT the Same as Electronic Notarization. Remote Notarization vs. eNotarization

Where is online Notary service legal?

There are 47 states that have passed permanent remote online notarization laws. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many states 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 47 states with permanent RON laws are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California (see note below), Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachussetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The District of Columbia has also enacted permanent remote notarization laws. 

Map displaying states with either permanent or temporary RON laws


  • Massachusetts Notaries must not perform remote notarization because the required training and application procedures are not yet available. The Secretary of the Commonwealth published a statement advising Notaries that they cannot provide online notarization services until after they've taken training and notified their office. We will update this information when the Secretary provides further instruction.
  • North Carolina's permanent law takes effect July 1, 2024. The temporary COVID authorization remain in place until then.
  • While remote notarization legislation was enacted in California, Notaries cannot perform RONs until 2030.
  • Temporary authorization expired in Georgia and Mississippi.
  • South Carolina remains silent on the issue.

States That Allow Temporary Remote Notarization

How to Become a Remote Online Notary in North Carolina 

North Carolina extends the emergency video notarization authorization until July 1, 2024. Remote notarizations done on paper documents must be sent to the Notary and back to the signer on the same day. When performing temporary notarizations in North Carolina, Notaries must use the emergency video notarization notarial certificate

Both the Notary and the signer must be physically located in North Carolina during the remote notarization. They must be able to communicate in real-time using audio-video technology. Journal entries are also required when performing remote notarizations. Journal entries must include the date and time the act was performed, the signer's full name, what type of notarial act was performed, the document type, the type of acceptable ID, the name of the video conference technology that was used, confirmation of real-time communication and the names of anyone in the room with the signer. 

Additional RON FAQs

Below you will find answers to commonly-asked questions about providing remote notarization 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.

Last updated: Feb 1, 2024

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