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How to Become a Remote Online Notary in Alabama

Starting on July 1, 2021, Alabama Notaries can perform remote online notarizations (RONs) for acknowledgments. In the steps below, you will learn how you can become an AL remote Notary.

  1. Hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
  2. Select videoconferencing technology that meets state requirements.

In This Guide: Alabama RON Requirements | About RON in Alabama | Additional FAQs

Requirements to be a Remote Notary in Alabama

Before you can provide your Notary services remotely, you must first meet Alabama's requirement of holding a traditional Notary Public commission. Notaries must possess all legal requirements to be an officer in the state, be a resident of the county of application and not have been convicted of a felony unless your civil and political rights have been restored.

Residents of another U.S. state who work in Alabama are not qualified for an Alabama Notary Public commission.

Is training or an exam required to become a remote Notary in Alabama?

No training nor exam is required to perform remote online notarizations in Alabama.

What tools and technology do I need to perform RONs?

To perform a remote notarization in Alabama, you will need a computer, webcam, microphone and secure connection to the internet. Your computer must be able to support two-way audio-video communication in real-time.

Since RONs in Alabama still require Notaries to use a wet ink signature on the document, digital tools such as a digital certificate or electronic signature are not required.

Do I need a second surety bond?

No, Alabama Notaries are not required to purchase a second surety bond to perform remote notarizations. However, you may want to check with your bond provider to ensure RONs are included in your current coverage.

Is an errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy required?

While an E&O insurance policy is not required, it is strongly recommended. Being insured protects you from potential legal fees or damages in the event you make an unintentional or intentional mistake during a notarization.

About Remote Online Notarization (RON) in Alabama

Remote online notarization works a little differently in Alabama. Below, you'll learn more about how RON works in the state.

Does Alabama allow remote online notarization?

Yes, Senate Bill 275 goes into effect on July 1, 2021. Under the new bill, Notaries can take acknowledgments remotely as long as the Notaries themselves are physically located within the state at the time of the notarial act.

The new law refers to the emergency orders put into place due to COVID-19, allowing Notaries to use videoconferencing technology to complete notarizations. In the governor's fourth supplemental proclamation, only attorneys who were Notaries and Notaries working under the supervision of an attorney were permitted to perform such notarizations. The fifth proclamation opened that benefit up to all Notaries.

What's the difference between a remote online notarization (RON) vs. remote ink-signed notarization (RIN)?

A remote online notarization involves digital documents and electronic signatures whereas a remote ink-signed notarization involves paper documents and wet-ink signatures. Both RONs and RINs are performed remotely via two-way audio-video communication technology.

How do remote notarizations work in Alabama?

Alabama uses a hybrid of remote online notarization and remote ink-signed notarization. Before the notarization can begin, the signer must send the documents to be notarized to the Notary.

At the time of the notarial act, the signer may either appear physically in person or through the use of videoconferencing technology. The Notary verifies the signer's identity through either 1) personal knowledge or 2) two valid forms of government-issued IDs — one which includes a photo and signature — and a process to verify the signer's identity through a review of public and private data sources. Once the signer proves their identity and the Notary confirms the signer's awareness and willingness to sign, the Notary checks the document for any blanks, completes the notarial certificate wording, applies the stamp, and signs the document.

If the notarization is performed remotely, the Notary must save an audio-video recording of the transaction.

Additional RON FAQs

Find out how long it takes to become a remote Notary in Alabama and more below.

How much does it cost to become an AL remote online Notary?

The cost to become a remote online Notary in Alabama ranges from below $100 up to a couple of hundred dollars based on the RON technology provider you choose among other factors. You will need to pay any signup costs when contracting with a RON software provider.

Additional factors include the cost of maintaining your surety bond and recommended E&O policy. Other expenses might be a computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet connection if you don't already have access to those items.

How long does it take to become an online Notary?

It can take up to six weeks to become a remote Notary in Alabama with that time spent on getting your traditional Notary Public commission. Once you're commissioned, you will need to sign up with a RON technology provider and set up your workstation. The time to set up can take you anywhere from a single day up to a week, depending on your availability and resources.

How long will my remote Notary authorization last?

You will be able to take acknowledgments remotely for as long as your traditional Notary Public commission remains active. Once your commission term is up, you will be required to renew before offering your Notary services remotely again.

Will RON services grow my AL Notary business?

Yes, offering your Notary services online only helps your business grow. With access to signers online, you can complete notarizations faster and easier. Remember you're only allowed to take acknowledgments remotely — all other notarial acts must be performed in person.

If you want to expand your business further, consider becoming a Notary Signing Agent (NSA). An NSA certification can help you get more business since it proves to RON vendors you've passed a current background screening and makes you eligible for loan signings.

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