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How to Become a Remote Online Notary in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania issued a temporary executive order authorizing remote online notarization on April 20, 2020. Effective October 29, 2020, HB 2370 makes the temporary authorization permanent. PA Notaries can register to perform remote online notarizations (RONs). If you want to become a PA remote Notary, follow the steps below.

  1. Hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
  2. Complete and submit the Electronic Notary Public Application to the Department of State's Bureau of Elections and Notaries.
  3. Receive an email from the Bureau notifying you of their approval.
  4. Log onto the Department of State's website and select at least one state-approved RON provider from the list. The Bureau will notify the vendor of your remote authorization.
  5. Work with your chosen RON provider for setup and payment. The vendor will notify the Department of State after you've been successfully issued to use its technology.

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

Requirements to be a Remote Online Notary in Pennsylvania

Before you can register to perform RONs, you must first hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public in Pennsylvania. Traditional Notaries must be at least 18 years old; be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident; be a resident of, or be employed at a physical address within, the Commonwealth; be of good character, integrity and ability; and be able to read and write English.

Notaries must not be disqualified under 57 Pa.C.S. 323 nor have had a Notary commission revoked in Pennsylvania or any other state in the past five years. Applicants must comply with other requirements the Department of State may establish.

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

No training or exam is required to become an online Notary in Pennsylvania.

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

Pennsylvania Notaries are required to have a computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet connection. Your computer must be able to support a live two-way audio and video connection. Next, you'll need to contract with a RON provider from a list of state-approved vendors. The Department of State approves the following RON technology providers: DocVerify, eNotaryLog, Nexsys, Notarize, NotaryCam, OnlineNotary.net, OnlineNotary.us, Pavaso, Safedocs, SIGNiX and SimplySecureSign.

Other remote Notary supplies you'll need include an electronic journal, electronic seal and digital certificate containing your electronic signature. These must be compliant with your chosen RON vendor.

Do I need a surety bond?

No, you don't need another surety bond in addition to the $10,000 bond required for your traditional commission.

Is an E&O insurance policy required in Pennsylvania?

No, an errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is not a requirement for PA remote Notaries. However, it's highly recommended since it can save you from costly lawsuits in the event you commit an unintentional mistake on a notarized document.

About Remote Online Notarization (RON) in Pennsylvania

Remote online notarization has arrived in the Keystone State. Learn how RONs work and what notarial acts can be performed remotely here.

Is remote online notarization allowed in Pennsylvania?

Yes. Remote online notarization was temporarily permitted on April 20, 2020, under Senate Bill 841. The temporary authorization became permanent on October 29, 2020, under HB 2370, allowing actively commissioned PA Notaries to register to perform remote notarizations. The new law still requires the Department of State to implement rules to be adopted.

How do remote notarizations work?

During a remote notarization, the signer logs onto a RON platform where they must pass a dynamic knowledge-based authentication (KBA) assessment and credential analysis. After this two-step identity verification process, the signer meets the Notary on camera.

The Notary verifies the signer's identity a third time using personal knowledge, oath or affirmation of a credible witness or two forms of identity proofing. Afterward, the Notary confirms the signer is aware and willing to sign the document of their own free will. The signer signs the document using an electronic signature. From here, the Notary checks the document, fills out the notarial certificate and attaches a digital certificate containing their electronic signature.

The notarization is marked complete when the Notary creates a journal entry and saves an audio-visual recording of the act.

Remote Notaries in Pennsylvania can notarize for signers in any location as long as the Notaries themselves are physically located within the state at the time of notarization.

What notarial acts can be performed virtually in Pennsylvania?

Notaries can perform the following notarial acts remotely:

  • Taking an acknowledgment
  • Administering an oath and affirmation
  • Taking a verification on oath or affirmation (includes an affidavit)
  • Witnessing or attesting a signature
  • Certifying or attesting a copy or deposition
  • Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument

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

With travel no longer a factor in remote notarizations, they take much less time to perform than traditional notarizations. From the moment a signer logs onto a RON platform to the Notary applying their digital certificate, the session can take only a few minutes to complete.

Additional RON FAQs

Still have questions about being a remote Notary? We've got you covered.

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

The cost of becoming a remote online Notary ranges from below $100 to a couple of hundred dollars, depending on the companies you choose to work with plus other factors.

For example, you'll need to pay any fees to sign up with your preferred RON technology provider and the cost of your digital supplies, including your electronic seal and digital certificate.

You'll also need to factor in the cost to maintain a recommended E&O policy. A computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet access are items you'll need to purchase as well if you don't already have them.

How much can PA remote Notaries charge for their services?

Pennsylvania Department of State does not provide any information on the maximum fee Notaries can charge for remote notarizations. We will update this page once that information is available.

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

It can take up to four weeks to become a remote online Notary in Pennsylvania with the first few weeks spent on getting your traditional Notary Public commission and allowing the Department of State time to process your application.

Once you're commissioned, you'll spend one day completing and submitting your application to the Bureau, one day waiting for an email from the Bureau and another day choosing a RON provider and getting your remote Notary supplies.

How long will my remote Notary commission last?

Your remote Notary authorization ends when your traditional Notary Public commission expires. If you want to continue offering remote notarizations, you'll need to follow the steps listed above after renewing your traditional commission.

Will RON services grow my PA Notary business?

Yes, becoming an online Notary and joining a RON platform can help your business grow. As a remote Notary, your customer base extends beyond those you can travel to meet. You'll be able to notarize for signers in any location as long as you're physically located within the state at the time of the notarial act.

If you want to expand your business even further, you may also consider becoming a certified Notary Signing Agent (NSA). Becoming NSA certified can make you eligible to receive more RON assignments and assures RON service providers you've passed a current background screening.

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