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How to Become a Remote Online Notary in Vermont

As of March 25, 2020, Vermont Notaries can perform remote online notarizations (RONs), if they meet the requirements set forth by the Secretary of State. To become a remote Notary in Vermont, you must complete the steps below:

  1. Hold or apply for a commission as a traditional Notary Public.
  2. Choose a videoconferencing software that meets state requirements.
  3. Check VT's Secretary of State website for updates regarding the authorization of RONs.

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

Requirements to be a Remote Notary in Vermont

Unlike most states allowing RONs, Vermont does not require a separate registration process to be an online Notary. Once you get your traditional commission and the necessary supplies, you can perform remote online notarizations for signers as soon as you're ready.

Traditional Notaries in the Green Mountain State must be 18 years or older, a citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S., and either reside or be employed in Vermont. Notary applicants may be disqualified if they've committed acts that demonstrate a lack of honesty, integrity, competence or reliability under 26 V.S.A. Section 5342 of Chapter 103.

Is training or an exam required for VT online Notaries?

No, Vermont does not currently require a training course or exam to work as a remote Notary. However, traditional Notary commission applicants submitting their forms on or after February 1, 2021, will be required to take a two-hour training course and pass an exam based on the statutes, rules and ethics relevant to Notary practices.

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

In addition to the seal stamp, you'll need a computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet connection to complete remote online notarizations. Your computer must be able to support two-way audio and visual communication.

The Vermont Secretary of State does not provide a list of approved technology vendors, but in order to perform RON services, you'll need to use a videoconferencing software that allows you and the signer to speak, hear and see each other over a secure live feed. The software you choose must meet VT state requirements and be able to save an audio-visual recording of the transaction.

You may also need the capability to scan documents.

Do I need to get a surety bond?

No, a surety bond is not required for Notaries in Vermont.

Is an E&O insurance policy necessary?

An errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is not required by the Secretary of State, but many Notaries choose to get this coverage because it can limit your financial exposure should you make a mistake on a notarized document. Unlike surety bonds that protect the public, an E&O policy is designed to protect you as a Notary.

About Remote Online Notarization (RON) in Vermont

Remote online notarization works a little differently in Vermont compared to other states. Learn more about RONs below.

Does Vermont allow remote notarization?

Yes, remote notarizations are permitted in Vermont from March 25, 2020, through September 21, 2020. A bill was signed into law, allowing Notaries to perform remote online notarizations in 2018. However, the effective date was deferred until the Secretary of State adopts rules to implement it. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SOS has temporarily authorized RONs for 180 days.

How do remote online notarizations work in VT?

Remote notarizations in this state involve paper documents and wet ink signatures. The signer and Notary appear before each other using secure videoconferencing technology. Note that in VT, both the signer and the Notary must be physically located in the state when conducting a remote notarization.

Both parties meet on camera when the Notary begins recording the transaction. The signer has two options:

  1. Send a copy of the document being signed to the Notary prior to the notarization, or
  2. Hold each page of the document up to the camera for the Notary.

The Notary, then, verifies the signer's identity and awareness and willingness to sign the document. Once confirmed, the signer signs the tangible document on camera. Both the signer and the Notary must state that they're physically located in Vermont on camera.

From there, the signer sends their completed document to the Notary via postal mail, email, fax or photograph. Once received, the Notary checks the document for blanks and attaches the notarial certificate.

Vermont will consider the notarized document original if it includes a copy of the signer's signature and the document is signed by the Notary Public.

This form of notarization should only be used if the signer and Notary cannot physically meet in person.

What notarial acts can be performed virtually in Vermont?

Vermont allows the following notarial acts to be performed remotely:

  • Taking an acknowledgment
  • Administering an oath or affirmation
  • Taking a verification on oath or affirmation
  • Attesting a signature
  • Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument

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

Remote notarizations take less time than traditional notarizations because they don't require the signer nor the Notary to meet in person. Depending on the RON technology company you choose, you may be able to receive and complete a notarization request within a few minutes.

Additional RON FAQs

Below are answers to common questions regarding RONs in Vermont.

How much does it cost to be a remote Notary?

The cost of becoming a remote online Notary in Vermont ranges from below $100 to a couple of hundred dollars, depending on a variety of factors. While there's no registration fee, you'll need to pay for a seal stamp, computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet connection, if you don't already have those items. Other expenses may include an optional surety bond and/or E&O insurance policy.

How much can VT remote Notaries charge for their services?

Vermont removed the fee schedule for Notaries, which means they may charge a reasonable fee for their services.

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

If you already hold a traditional Notary Public commission in the state, you can start working as a VT remote Notary as soon as you get the necessary supplies and RON technology.

If you do not currently hold an active Notary commission in Vermont, it can take four to six weeks to complete the process and become a virtual Notary. The first four weeks or so will be spent getting commissioned and allowing time for the Secretary of State to process your application.

Once you're commissioned, you'll need to choose a videoconferencing software and set it up to ensure your notarizations go smoothly. This should only take you one day.

How long will my remote Notary commission last?

In Vermont, you are authorized to perform remote notarizations for as long as your traditional Notary Public commission is valid. Traditional commissions need to be renewed every two years.

Will RON services grow my VT Notary business?

Becoming a remote online Notary and joining a RON technology platform can help your business grow because your customer base is no longer limited to in-person notarizations.

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 ensures RON technology providers that you have passed a current background screening. Vermont NSAs handling the closing of real property transactions must have an attorney admitted to the state bar present or involved.

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