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How to Become a Remote Online Notary in Minnesota

As of January 1, 2019, Minnesota Notaries can register to perform remote online notarizations (RONs). Follow the steps below to become a remote Notary in the state of MN.

  1. Hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
  2. Contract with a RON technology provider.
  3. Complete the Remote Online Notarization Authorization form.
  4. Mail your application to the Minnesota Secretary of State.
  5. Receive an email notification from the SOS authorizing you to perform remote online notarizations.

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

Requirements to be a Remote Notary in Minnesota

Before you can apply to perform remote online notarizations, you must first meet the state’s requirement of holding a traditional Notary Public commission in The North Star State. Notaries must be at least 18 years old, and be a resident of the state or a county in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota or Wisconsin. If you don’t live in Minnesota, you must list the MN county in which you will be filing upon receiving your Notary commission.

Once you have your traditional commission, complete the Remote Online Notarization Authorization form and mail it to the Secretary of State. As part of the application, you must certify that you have proof of the filing of your Notary commission with the county and that you intend to use a RON provider that conforms with MN statutes.

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

No, Minnesota does not require any training or exam as part of the registration process. However, the Secretary of State provides some training resources on its website if you feel you need additional help. Your RON provider will also offer training on its platform.

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

Minnesota remote Notaries must have a computer, webcam, microphone and secure connection to the internet. The MN Secretary of State does not endorse any RON providers, but they list DocVerify, Notarize, NotaryCam, Pavaso and SIGNiX as being end-to-end remote notarization solutions.

You’ll also need to get an electronic seal, an electronic journal and a digital certificate containing your electronic signature. Check with your chosen RON provider to ensure these are compliant with their system.

Do I need a surety bond?

MN remote Notaries do not need a surety bond to perform online notarizations.

Is an E&O insurance policy required in Minnesota?

An errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is optional, but strongly recommended. Mistakes can happen, and an E&O policy can protect you in those times. They limit your financial exposure should an error or omission on a notarized document occur.

About Remote Online Notarization (RON) in Minnesota

Below, you’ll learn how RONs work and what types of notarial acts can be performed remotely.

Is remote notarization allowed in Minnesota?

Yes, Senate File 893 was signed into law and took effect January 1, 2019, making Minnesota the seventh state to allow remote online notarizations. The new law allows remote Notaries to perform notarial acts for signers in any location as long as the Notary is physically located within the state at the time of notarization.

How do remote notarizations work in Minnesota?

Remote notarizations follow the same process as traditional notarizations with a few key differences. The signer logs onto a RON platform where they must first pass a dynamic knowledge-based authentication (KBA) assessment and credential analysis. After these steps, the signer is connected with the Notary on camera.

The Notary verifies the signer’s identity a third time and confirms they understand and are willing to sign the document. Then, the signer signs the document with an electronic signature. It’s then left to the Notary to complete the notarization by checking the document, filling out the notarial certificate wording, applying an electronic seal and attaching a digital certificate containing their electronic signature.

A journal entry and an audio-video recording of the transaction is saved, marking the completion of the notarization.

As stated above, the Notary must be located in the state of Minnesota at the time of the notarization, but the signer can be located elsewhere.

What types of notarial acts can be performed virtually?

Minnesota Notaries can perform the following notarial acts remotely:

  • 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 does a remote notarization take vs. traditional notarization?

The process to complete a remote notarization is much shorter than that of traditional notarizations simply because traveling is not required. It only takes a few minutes from when the signer meets the Notary on camera to when the Notary completes the notarization with the attachment of an electronic seal and digital certificate.

What's the difference between electronic notarizations and remote notarizations?

Electronic notarizations (or eNotarizations) involve digital documents and signatures, but the signer and Notary must appear before each other in person.

Remote notarizations involve digital documents and signatures too, but the signer and Notary are not in each other’s physical presence. Instead, they meet over communication technology specifically designed for remote online notarizations.

Additional RON FAQs

Below are answers to common questions regarding remote online notarizations in Minnesota.

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

It costs under $100 to several hundred dollars to become a remote online Notary. There is no fee to register as a remote Notary, but you will need to consider the cost of the tools and technology required to perform RONs. These costs include any fees associated with your chosen RON provider, electronic seal and digital certificate.

You’ll also need to factor in the cost of a computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet access, if you don’t already have these items. Also factor in whether or not you will maintain an optional E&O insurance policy.

How much can virtual Notaries charge in Minnesota?

Remote Notaries authorized to perform RONs can charge a maximum fee of $25 per notarial act, if the act occurs before January 1, 2023.

How long does it take to become an online Notary?

It can take up to 4 weeks to become registered as a remote Notary in Minnesota. While the steps to become an MN Notary are relatively simple, you'll need to allow time for your application to be mailed to the Secretary of State and time for them to process it. After receiving your commission, you’ll spend some time choosing a RON technology provider, filling out and mailing in your application to the SOS. Again, you'll want to allow time for the mail to be delivered, opened, and for your application to be processed.

How long will my remote Notary registration last?

Your remote Notary registration continues as long as your traditional commission is valid. You must renew your commission before registering for your remote authorization again.

Note that if you decide not to renew your remote authorization, your renewal is denied, or your authorization is revoked, you must destroy the coding, disk, certificate, card, software or password that enables electronic affixation of your official electronic signature or seal.

Will RON services grow my MN Notary business?

Yes, registering as a remote Notary and signing up with a RON platform can positively impact your business. As an online Notary, your clients can be within Minnesota, outside the state or even outside the U.S. You’re no longer limited to signers you can drive to.

To be eligible for online loan signings, you need to become a Notary Signing Agent (NSA). An NSA certification shows RON providers you’ve passed a current background screening, opening your opportunities up for even more RON assignments.

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