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How to Become a Remote Notary in South Dakota

As of July 1, 2019, South Dakota Notaries can perform remote online notarizations for ink-signed paper documents. Follow the steps below if you want to become a SD remote Notary.

  1. Hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
  2. Create an account with a videoconferencing software, such as GoToMeeting or Skype.
  3. Get your remote notarization supplies, including a computer, printer or fax machine, and secure internet connection.

In This Guide: South Dakota Remote Notarization Requirements | About Remote Notarization in South Dakota | Additional FAQs

Requirements to be a Remote Notary in South Dakota

Before you can perform remote notarizations, you must first hold a traditional Notary Public commission in the Mount Rushmore State. Applicants for a traditional commission must have no felony convictions and be a permanent resident of South Dakota, or reside in a county bordering South Dakota and work within the state.

Does South Dakota require training or an exam to become a virtual Notary?

No training or exam is required to become a remote Notary.

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

To perform remote notarizations, you’ll need a computer, webcam, microphone and secure connection to the internet. Your computer must be able to support a live two-way audio-visual transmission, allowing you and the signer to speak, hear and see each other simultaneously. You’ll need to use a videoconferencing software, such as GoToMeeting or Skype.

Since you’ll be notarizing paper documents, you will need your rubber stamp or physical seal that is approved by the Secretary of State. A rubber stamp seal must contain the word “seal.” When notarizing documents, you’re required to include your commission expiration date below the seal.

Depending on how the signer sends the original document to you, make sure you have access to a printer or fax machine and your email account. If they email it to you, you’ll need to print it out to complete the paper notarization.

Do I need another surety bond?

No, you do not need a second surety bond. However, you must maintain your $5,000 surety bond for your traditional commission for the duration of your term.

Is an E&O insurance policy required in South Dakota?

Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policies are not required in the state, but they’re strongly recommended. Unlike your surety bond that protects the public, an E&O policy protects you in case you make a mistake on a notarized document.

About Remote Notarization in SD

Remote online notarizations work a little differently in South Dakota than they do in other states. Learn more about virtual notarizations in the Mount Rushmore State.

Does South Dakota allow remote notarization?

Yes, House Bill 1272 was signed and took effect July 1, 2019. Under the new law, Notaries can perform remote notarizations for paper documents and only for signers they personally know.

How do remote notarizations work in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, remote notarizations involve paper documents and wet ink signatures. The Notary must use personal knowledge to verify a signer’s identity. If you do not have personal knowledge of a signer, you cannot notarize for them.

The signer and Notary personally appear before each other over a videoconferencing software. The Notary verifies the signer’s identity and confirms the signer is aware and willing to sign the document. The signer signs the document live on camera as the Notary witnesses the act, and then faxes or electronically transmits the document to the Notary.

The Notary receives the document from the signer and confirms it’s the same document the signer had executed on camera. They fill out the notarial certificate wording and affix their signature and seal to the original tangible document. The notarial certificate must include the location of the signer and wording that indicates the notarization involved a statement made or a signature executed by a signer who personally appeared before the Notary via communication technology. Remember, Notaries are required to include their commission expiration date below the seal.

What types of notarial acts can be performed online?

South Dakota allows the following notarial acts to be performed 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?

Virtual notarizations take a shorter amount of time than traditional notarizations. With remote notarizations, the Notary and signer meet online via communication technology. This means no travel is required, saving both parties time from meeting each other in person.

Additional RON/RIN FAQs

Read on below for answers to common questions about virtual notarizations in South Dakota.

How much does it cost to become a remote Notary in SD?

The cost of becoming a remote Notary ranges from below $100 to a few hundred dollars, depending on the equipment you might need that you may not already have. For instance, you’ll need to get a videoconferencing software. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of maintaining your surety bond and recommended E&O policy. A computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet access will also add into your initial costs, if you don’t already have these items.

How much can virtual Notaries charge in South Dakota?

Notaries may charge $10 for taking acknowledgments and performing jurats remotely.

How long does it take to become a SD remote Notary?

It can take up to 10 weeks to become a remote Notary in South Dakota. The majority of this time will be spent on getting your traditional Notary Public commission and allowing the Secretary of State time to process your application.

Once you’re commissioned, you’ll spend time choosing a videoconferencing software and testing your equipment to ensure your remote notarizations go smoothly. This part of the process can take you 1 to 2 days, depending on your availability.

How long will my remote Notary authorization last?

Notaries are authorized to perform remote notarizations for as long as their traditional Notary Public commissions remain valid.

Will performing virtual notarizations grow my SD Notary business?

Yes, becoming a remote Notary can help grow your business since you can remotely notarize documents for anyone you personally know. This provides you the opportunity to notarize for signers within your personal network regardless of where they live in the state.

Knowledge Center