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How to Become a Remote Online Notary in Kentucky

As of January 1, 2020, Kentucky Notaries can register to perform remote online notarizations (RONs). If you want to become a remote Notary in KY, you must complete the following registration process:

    1. Hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
    2. Contract with one or more RON technology providers from a list of state-approved vendors.
    3. Provide a PDF file of your digital certificate that includes your electronic signature and digital stamp.
    4. Scan proof of your $1,000 surety bond for your existing traditional Notary commission.
    5. Pay the $10 registration fee.
    6. Complete the registration form and email it to the Secretary of State office along with your certificate PDF and proof of surety bond.

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

Requirements to be a Remote Notary in Kentucky

Before you can apply to become a remote online Notary, you must first meet Kentucky’s requirement of holding an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public. Notaries are required to be at least 18 years old, be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S., be a resident of or principally employed in the KY county where you apply, and be able to read and write English. Applicants must also be of good moral character with no felony convictions unless civil rights have been restored.

Does Kentucky require training or an exam to work as an online Notary?

Kentucky does not require special training or an exam to be an online Notary. Once you are properly registered with the Secretary of State office, you may perform remote notarizations.

What tools and technology do I need to offer RON services?

To work as a remote Notary, you must have a computer, webcam, microphone and secure connection to the internet. Your computer must be able to support a two-way live transmission of audio-visual communication. You will need to contract with one or more RON technology providers registered with the Secretary of State. These registered providers are listed on Kentucky’s remote Notary registration form and include Digital Delivery, DocVerify, eNotaryLog, Nexsys Technologies, Notarize, NotaryCam, Pavaso and PerfectDocs.

If you want to use a provider that is not on the SOS list, you must attach a separate document to your registration form that explains the technology you would like to use and how it meets the requirements under KRS Chapter 423.

Virtual Notaries must also get the proper RON supplies, including a digital certificate containing your electronic signature, an electronic seal and an electronic journal. These supplies must be compliant with your chosen RON technology platform(s).

Do I need another surety bond?

No, online Notaries are not required to have a second surety bond. You must have a $1,000 surety bond for your traditional commission though, and this must be on file with the county clerk in your county of commission.

Why should I get an E&O insurance policy?

While not a requirement in the state, errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policies can protect you from costly mistakes. Unlike a surety bond, an E&O policy protects the Notary by covering damages resulting from any error or omission you might make during notarizations.

About Remote Online Notarization (RON) in Kentucky

Remote online notarizations are the newest type of notarization in the Bluegrass State. Below, you will learn when remote notarizations became legal and how they differ from in-person electronic notarizations.

Does Kentucky allow remote notarizations?

Yes, Senate Bill 114 was signed into law and went into effect January 1, 2020. This new law allows Kentucky Notaries to apply for their remote online Notary registration.

How do remote notarizations work in Kentucky?

Remote notarizations involve digital documents and electronic signatures. The signer logs onto a RON platform where they answer dynamic knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions and have their credential document scanned for fraud. Once they pass this step, they meet the Notary over a webcam.

The Notary uses traditional methods of identity proofing, such as remote presentation of an ID, to further authenticate the signer’s identity. Then, the Notary confirms the signer understands the implications of signing the document and that they’re willing to proceed. The signer signs the document with an electronic signature. From there, the Notary checks the document, fills out the Notary certificate wording, attaches an electronic seal and attaches a digital certificate containing their electronic signature.

When the notarization is complete, the Notary records a journal entry and saves an audio-video recording of the session.

It’s important to note that Kentucky Notaries must be physically located in the state to perform remote notarizations, but their signers may be located elsewhere--inside or outside of the state border.

What notarial acts can be performed virtually?

In Kentucky, remote Notaries may perform the following notarial acts online:

  • Taking acknowledgments
  • Administering oaths and affirmations
  • Taking verifications of statements on oath or affirmation
  • Certifying a copy of any document, other than a document is recorded or in the custody of any federal, state or local governmental agency, office or court, is a true copy
  • Certifying depositions of witnesses
  • Making or noting a protest of a negotiable instrument
  • Witnessing or attesting signatures
  • Performing any notarial acts authorized by a law of the Commonwealth

How long do remote notarizations take vs. traditional notarizations?

Remote notarizations take much less time than traditional notarizations since no traveling is involved. After meeting the signer on camera, verifying their identity and completing the notarial certificate should only take you a few minutes.

What’s the difference between electronic notarizations vs. online notarizations?

In Kentucky, becoming registered as an online Notary allows you to perform electronic Notarizations (eNotarizations) as well. Electronic notarizations are in-person notarizations that involve digital documents and electronic signatures. In online notarizations, the signer and Notary use digital documents and eSignatures as well, but they personally appear before each other remotely via audio-video communication technology.

What are remote ink-signed notarizations?

Remote ink-signed notarizations (RINs) are not to be confused with RONs. Although they both take place using video technology rather than an in-person meeting between the Notary and the signer, there are a few key differences you should be aware of.

RON uses electronic signatures on electronic documents, which are notarized remotely. RIN uses ink signatures on physical documents that are faxed or electronically transmitted to the Notary for remote notarization. While RON uses a dedicated platform with credential analysis and KBA, RIN uses general videoconferencing software like Zoom or GoToMeeting. Notaries also use traditional identification methods with RIN rather than identity proofing.

Kentucky Senate Bill 150 was signed on March 30, 2020. This bill contains emergency provisions for Notaries to perform RINs. This is a temporary order in response to COVID-19 and will only remain in effect until the Governor declares that Executive Order 2020-15 has ceased. Under SB 150, Notaries and signers may sign separate but identical copies of a document, and these two copies will be considered one document. This is designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by preventing a document from being passed back and forth between Notary and signer.

Additional RON FAQs

Below are answers to common questions about RON in Kentucky.

How much does it cost to register as a KY online Notary?

Becoming a remote Notary in Kentucky can cost you below $100 to a few hundred dollars, depending on the companies you work with and other factors. In addition to the state’s $10 registration fee, you will need to pay any sign-up fees associated with joining a RON technology platform plus the cost of your digital supplies like the eSeal and digital certificate.

You will also need to factor in the cost to maintain a $1,000 surety bond and recommended E&O insurance policy. If you don’t already have a computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet access, those will also be included in your startup costs.

How much can remote Notaries charge in Kentucky?

Kentucky does not specify a fee schedule for remote online notarizations, but the state allows traditional Notaries to set their own fees.

How long does it take to become a remote Notary?

It can take up to 6 weeks to register as a KY remote Notary. Up to 4 of those weeks will be spent on getting your traditional Notary Public commission. Once you receive your commission, you can move forward with applying for your remote registration.

You’ll spend 1 day choosing your RON technology provider and getting your remote Notary supplies, 1 day getting a quote for your recommended E&O insurance policy, and 1 day submitting the requested materials, paying the fee and emailing your registration form.

How long will my remote Notary registration last?

Your KY remote Notary registration runs concurrently with your traditional Notary Public commission, meaning both will expire the day your commission ends. Your remote Notary registration will be automatically renewed upon the renewal of your traditional commission.

Will RON services grow my KY Notary business?

Yes, getting your registration as a remote Notary and joining a RON platform can help increase your business. As an online Notary, your customer base includes signers in Kentucky and anywhere else. The only requirement is for you to be physically located in the state at the time of notarization.

You may want to consider becoming a Notary Signing Agent (NSA) to further grow your business. When you get an NSA certification, RON providers are assured you have passed a current background screening, which can make you eligible to provide your Notary services to even more people.

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