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How to Become a Remote Online Notary in Ohio

As of September 22, 2019, Ohio Notaries can register to perform remote online notarizations (RONs). If you want to become an OH remote Notary, follow the steps below.

  1. Hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
  2. Take a two-hour course and pass a test with one of the state-approved education and testing providers.
  3. Contract with a RON technology provider.
  4. Complete your Online Notarization Authorization application by logging into your account on the OH Secretary of State website.
  5. Upload PDFs of your completion certificates for the course and exam.
  6. Pay the $20 filing fee online.

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

Requirements to be a Remote Notary in Ohio

Before you apply to become an online Notary in Ohio, you must first hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary in the Buckeye State. Traditional Notaries must be at least 18 years old and be a legal resident of Ohio or an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Ohio and primarily practicing law in the state. Notaries in the state must never have been convicted of, or plead guilty, or no contest to a disqualifying offense.

If you meet these requirements, you can proceed with the rest of the state's authorization process.

Does Ohio require special training to work as an online Notary?

Yes, you must complete a two-hour training course from one of the state-approved education providers and receive a certificate of completion. You need to include this certificate in your online application.

Is an exam required to become a remote Notary?

Yes, you must take and pass an exam. The state-approved education provider you choose will offer the exam and provide a certificate upon passing. You'll upload a PDF of the certificate when you complete your online application.

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

To perform remote notarizations, you'll need a computer to access electronic documents, webcam, microphone and secure internet connection. Your computer should support a live two-way audio and visual transmission. You'll need to choose a RON technology vendor that meets Ohio's requirements. While the Secretary of State does not provide a list of approved vendors, BlueNotary, Cyberize It, DocuSign, DocVerify, Notarize, NotaryCam, Pavaso, Safedocs and SIGNiX are all end-to-end remote notarization platforms.

You're also required to get an electronic seal, electronic journal and digital certificate containing your electronic signature. Make sure these are compatible with your chosen RON provider.

Do I need a surety bond?

No, a surety bond is not required in Ohio.

Is an E&O insurance policy required in Ohio?

An errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is not required, but strongly recommended. E&O policies can protect you in case a signer files a claim against you for financial harm due to a mistake on a notarized document.

About Remote Online Notarization (RON) in Ohio

Remote online notarizations transform traditional notarizations into a completely digital experience. Read on to learn more about RONs.

Does Ohio allow remote notarization?

Yes, Ohio allows remote notarization as of September 22, 2019. It became the tenth state to authorize online notarizations.

How do remote online notarizations work in Ohio?

In remote notarizations, the signer and Notary use a specific RON technology provider to personally meet over a webcam. The Notary confirms the signer’s identity by personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence. Ohio defines satisfactory evidence as either 1) remote presentation of a government-issued ID that contains the signature and photo of the signer, credential analysis of the ID, and identity proofing of the signer or 2) verification by one or more credible witnesses who appear in person before the Notary. If a credible witness is used, their identity must be verified by either personal knowledge or all of the following: presentation of a government-issued ID, credential analysis of the ID and identity proofing of the witness.

The Notary asks the signer to confirm they understand and are willing to sign the document. Then, the signer signs the document with an electronic signature, and the Notary proceeds with the rest of the notarization. The Notary checks the document for blanks, fills out the notarial certificate block, applies an electronic seal and attaches a digital certificate containing their eSignature.

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

OH remote Notaries must be within the state of Ohio to perform notarizations for signers in any location.

Note: If the Notary or signer leaves the session at any point, the audio-video communication link is broken, or the resolution or quality of the transmission becomes compromised and cannot be completed, the Notary must restart the identity authentication process from the beginning.

What notarial acts can be performed virtually in Ohio?

Ohio allows the following notarial acts to be performed remotely:

  • Administering oaths and affirmations
  • Attesting documents
  • Executing jurats
  • Taking acknowledgments

How long does a remote notarization take vs. traditional notarization?

Remote notarizations take significantly less time than traditional notarizations since travel is no longer required. By using a RON platform, you can connect with a signer and complete their notarization request within a few minutes without leaving your home.

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

In electronic notarizations, the Notary performs a notarization using their electronic seal and electronic signature on a digital document. The signer physically appears before the Notary in person, and the notarization is completed electronically. Ohio Notaries with an active commission can perform eNotarizations without additional authorization from the Secretary of State.

In online notarizations, the signer personally appears before the Notary using audio-visual technology. The Notary must use an online notarization system to perform the act. Notaries must get approval from the Secretary of State to perform online notarizations.

Additional RON FAQs

Have more questions about RONs in Ohio? Read on below for your answers.

How much does it cost to register as a remote Notary in OH?

The cost of becoming a remote online Notary in Ohio ranges from $270 to a few hundred dollars, depending on the companies you choose to work with and other factors. At a minimum, you'll need to pay $20 for the filing fee and $250 for the state-required training. You'll also need to pay any sign-up fees to contract with your preferred RON technology provider and the cost of your digital supplies like your electronic seal and digital certificate.

In addition, you'll need to consider the cost of maintaining your optional, but recommended E&O insurance policy. Additional expenses may include a computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet access, if you don't already have those items.

How much can OH remote Notaries charge for their services?

Ohio Notaries may charge up to $25 for an online notarization. This fee is per act and not per signature.

How long does it take to become a virtual Notary in Ohio?

It can take 4 to 6 weeks to become authorized as a remote online Notary in Ohio. The first 4 weeks or so will be spent on getting your traditional Notary Public commission. The rest of the process can be done relatively quickly, depending on your availability.

Once you're commissioned, you'll need to spend 1 day taking the state-required training and passing the exam, 1 day choosing a RON provider and getting your remote Notary supplies, and 1 day completing the Online Notarization Authorization form and submitting proof of completion for the course and exam.

How long will my remote Notary authorization last?

Your online Notary authorization will expire the same day as your traditional commission. You can renew your authorization by completing a $160, one-hour program conducted by an authorized education provider and paying a $20 renewal fee to the Secretary of State.

Notary commissions held by Ohio attorneys do not expire as long as the attorney remains in good standing before the state supreme court and continues to reside in or have their principal place of business in Ohio. However, attorney Notaries who wish to conduct online notarizations must renew their remote authorization every five years.

Will RON services grow my OH Notary business?

Becoming a remote online Notary and joining a RON platform can help your business grow. Your customer base is no longer limited to in-person notarizations when you're an online Notary. You can even take assignments from people outside of the state, as long as you're located in Ohio.

You may also consider becoming a certified Notary Signing Agent (NSA). Getting your NSA certification can make you eligible to receive more RON assignments and assures RON service providers that you have passed a current background screening.

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Last updated: June 21, 2023

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