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How to Become a Remote Online Notary in Maryland

Starting October 1, 2020, Maryland Notaries can register to perform remote online notarizations (RONs). Become a remote Notary in Maryland by following the steps below:

  1. Hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
  2. Contract with a RON technology provider(s).
  3. Complete the Remote Notary Notification Form and send it to remotenotary.sos@maryland.gov along with a copy of your current commission.

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

Requirements to be a Remote Notary in Maryland

Before you can register as a remote Notary in Maryland, you must first meet the state’s requirement of holding a traditional Notary Public commission. Notaries must be at least 18 years old, be known of good character, integrity and abilities, and live or work in the state. Effective October 1, 2021, Maryland will require Notary applicants to take a state-required course and pass the exam to get their traditional commissions and the requirement of living or working in the state will no longer apply.

Does Maryland require training or an exam to become a remote Notary?

No training or exam is required to become a remote Notary in Maryland. However, beginning October 1, 2021, initial applicants for a traditional Notary commission and existing Notaries seeking to renew will be required to take a course and an exam.

What tools and technology do I need to perform remote online notarizations?

To work as a remote Notary, you must have a computer, webcam, microphone and secure connection to the internet. Your computer must have the capacity to support a live two-way audio-video transmission. The MD Secretary of State cannot recommend third-party RON platforms, but Digital Delivery, DocVerify, eNotaryLog, LenderClose, Notarize, NotaryCam, Pavaso, Safedocs, Simply Secure Sign and World Wide Notary all meet state requirements. Whatever platform you use must include identity proofing and credential analysis.

You’ll also need to get your remote Notary supplies, including a digital certificate containing your electronic signature, an electronic seal and an electronic journal. Check with your RON vendor(s) to ensure these items are compatible with their system.

Do I need a surety bond?

Maryland does not require Notaries to get a surety bond.

Why should I get an E&O insurance policy?

Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policies are strongly recommended for Notaries due to the unforeseen mistakes that might arise during notarizations. Unlike surety bonds that protect the public, E&O policies limit your financial exposure should you make an error or omission on a notarized document.

About Remote Online Notarization (RON) in Maryland

Remote online notarizations take traditional paper notarizations to a completely digital environment. Learn how RONs work in the Old Line State below.

Does Maryland allow remote notarizations?

Yes, Senate Bill 678 was signed into law and takes effect October 1, 2020. With this new law, Maryland Notaries can register to perform remote online notarizations for signers in any location as long as the Notary is physically located within the state.

How do remote notarizations work in Maryland?

During a remote notarization, the signer and Notary personally appear before each other over audio-video technology and the notarized documents are digital. The signer logs onto a RON platform and must first prove their identity by passing a dynamic knowledge-based authentication (KBA) assessment and an analysis of their credential document. After this step, the signer meets the Notary on camera.

The Notary asks the signer to present an ID as another layer of security. They ask the signer if they understand the implications of signing the document and if they’re willing to proceed. The signer signs the document using an electronic signature. Afterwards, the Notary checks the document, completes the Notary certificate wording, attaches an electronic seal and attaches a digital certificate containing their electronic signature.

Once the notarization is complete, the Notary creates a journal entry and saves the online transaction as an audio-video recording. As stated above, the Notary must be located in Maryland at the time of the notarization, although the signer can be anywhere.

What types of notarizations can be performed online?

Maryland remote Notaries are authorized to perform the following notarial acts online:

  • Taking an acknowledgment
  • Administering an oath or affirmation
  • Taking a verification on oath or affirmation
  • Witnessing or attesting a signature
  • Certifying or attesting a copy
  • Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument

How long do remote notarizations take vs. traditional notarizations?

Remote notarizations take far less time than traditional notarizations because signers and Notaries are not required to travel for an in-person transaction. On the RON platform, virtual Notaries can receive a request from a signer and complete the notarization within a few minutes without ever leaving their home.

Additional RON FAQs

Below are answers to common questions regarding remote notarizations in Maryland.

How much does it cost to become a MD online Notary?

The cost of becoming an online Notary in Maryland ranges from under $100 to a few hundred dollars. Beyond the initial registration fee to become a traditional Notary Public, there is no additional fee to perform remote online notarizations. However, you’ll need to consider the sign-up fees associated with joining a RON technology platform as well as your remote Notary supplies like the eSeal and digital certificate.

The premiums for maintaining an E&O insurance policy may also need to be factored in. If you don’t already own a computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet access, consider these costs as well.

How much can MD remote Notaries charge?

Maryland authorizes online Notaries to charge a maximum fee of $4 per remote notarization.

How long does it take to become a remote Notary?

It takes 6 to 8 weeks to become a remote Notary in Maryland with the first 6 weeks spent on getting your traditional Notary Public commission. Once you have your commission, you’ll spend 1 day selecting a RON technology provider and 1 day filling out and submitting your registration form. Allow the Secretary of State time to process your request before taking on your first remote notarization assignment.

How long will my remote Notary registration last?

Your MD remote Notary registration lasts until your traditional commission expires. In order to renew your remote registration, you must first renew your traditional Notary Public commission.

Will RON services grow my MD Notary business?

Yes, becoming a remote online Notary and joining a RON platform can significantly grow your business. Remote Notaries can provide their services to signers in any location as long as the Notaries themselves are physically located in Maryland at the time of the notarial act.

To further increase your business opportunities, consider becoming a Notary Signing Agent (NSA). Getting your NSA certification informs RON vendors that you’ve passed a current background screening and are qualified to receive loan signing assignments in addition to general Notary requests.

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