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How to Become a Remote Online Notary in West Virginia

As of June 17, 2021, West Virginia Notaries can apply to perform remote online notarizations (RONs). Follow the steps below to become a remote Notary in WV:

  1. Hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
  2. Contract with a RON software provider that meets state requirements.
  3. Notify the Secretary of State of your intent to perform RON and provide the name of your chosen RON vendor.

In This Guide: West Virginia RON Requirements | About RON in West Virginia | Additional FAQs

Requirements to be a Remote Notary in West Virginia

Before you can request approval to provide remote Notary services, you must first meet West Virginia's requirement of holding a traditional Notary Public commission. Notaries must be at least 18 years old, be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S., be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in West Virginia, be able to read and write English, and have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Notaries should not be disqualified from a commission under §39-4-21 and not have been convicted of any felony or crime involving fraud, dishonesty or deceit or had a Notary commission suspended or revoked in another state.

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

No training nor exam is required to become a remote online Notary in West Virginia.

What tools and technology do I need to perform RONs?

In West Virginia, you will need a computer, webcam, microphone and secure connection to the internet. You will also need to select a RON technology provider, which you will use to communicate with signers online. West Virginia does not have a list of approved providers, but we will add the information here if a list does become available. In the meantime, you may want to look into DocVerify, Nexsys Clear Sign, Notarize, NotaryCam, Pavaso, Safedocs and SIGNiX.

Additional required RON supplies include a digital certificate containing your electronic signature, an electronic seal and an electronic journal. These items must be compliant with your chosen RON platform.

Do I need a surety bond?

No, West Virginia Notaries don't need a surety bond to perform remote notarizations.

Is a Notary E&O insurance policy necessary in West Virginia?

While an errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is not required for West Virginia Notaries, it may be worth looking into. An E&O policy protects you and covers any costs in the event you make an unintentional mistake during a notarization.

About Remote Online Notarization (RON) in West Virginia

Learn how remote notarizations work and how they compare to traditional in-person notarizations below.

Does West Virginia allow remote Notary services?

Yes, Senate Bill 469 went into effect on June 17, 2021, allowing West Virginia Notaries to perform remote notarizations as well as remote ink-signed notarizations. Learn the difference between remote notarizations and remote ink-signed notarizations in this article. Under this new law, WV remote Notaries can notarize for signers in any location.

If the signer resides outside of the U.S. there are a few other conditions that must be met beforehand. First, the Notary must be commissioned as an Out-of-State Commissioner. Second, the record must be in the jurisdiction of, or substantially connected to West Virginia. Third, if state law prohibits notarizing a specific record outside of the state borders, the RON cannot be completed.

How do remote online notarizations work in West Virginia?

A remote notarization is similar to a paper-based, in-person notarization with a few exceptions. During a remote notarization, the signer logs onto a RON platform where they must pass a knowledge-based authentication (KBA) assessment and credential analysis. After these two rounds of identity proofing, they meet the Notary on camera.

The Notary verifies the signer's identity a third time and confirms their awareness and willingness to sign the document. From there, the Notary checks the document for any blanks, completes the certificate wording, attaches their electronic seal and attaches their digital certificate containing their electronic signature.

The notarization is marked complete when the Notary has made an entry in their journal and saves an audio-visual recording of the transaction.

What notarial acts can be performed remotely?

In West Virginia, the following notarial acts can be performed remotely:

  • Taking an acknowledgment
  • Taking verifications on oath or affirmation
  • Administering an oath and affirmation
  • Certifying true copies of documents
  • Witnessing or attesting signatures
  • Noting protests of negotiable instruments

How long do remote notarizations take vs. traditional notarizations?

Remote notarizations take significantly less time than traditional notarizations because commuting is no longer required. Since the notarization takes place virtually, it can only take a few minutes from the time the signer logs onto a RON platform to when the Notary attaches their digital certificate.

What's the difference between electronic notarization vs. remote notarization?

Electronic notarizations involve digital documents and electronic signatures and are performed in person. Remote notarizations involve digital documents and electronic signatures too but are performed online. During a RON, the signer and Notary communicate via a live two-way audio-video feed.

Additional RON FAQs

Wondering how much you can charge for remote notarizations in WV? Find your answer and more below.

How much does it cost to become a WV online Notary?

There is no fee to become a remote Notary in West Virginia, but there are technology and supply costs. The cost can range from below $100 up to a few hundred dollars, depending on the companies you choose to work with and other factors. For example, you will need to pay any signup costs when partnering with a RON technology provider as well as digital supplies like your electronic seal and digital certificate.

If you have a surety bond and/or recommended E&O policy, there will be premiums to maintain those. You will also need to factor in the cost of a computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet access if you don't already have those items.

How much can WV remote Notaries charge for their services?

West Virginia allows Notaries to charge $10 per remote notarial act.

How long does it take to become a remote Notary?

It can take two to three weeks for your request to become a remote Notary to be approved. The first two weeks will be spent on getting your traditional Notary Public commission. After receiving your commission as a Notary Public, you will spend one day choosing a RON technology provider and getting your supplies. Then, you will email the WV Secretary of State with your request for remote authorization along with the name of your chosen RON vendor.

How long will my remote Notary authorization last?

Your remote Notary authorization will last until the day your current traditional Notary commission expires. You'll be required to renew your Notary Public commission before you can request remote authorization again.

Will RON services grow my WV Notary business?

Yes, becoming a remote online Notary and signing up with a RON platform can help your business grow. As a remote Notary, you can reach far more customers online than driving to meet them in person. While you can perform notarizations for signers in any location, you're required to be physically located in West Virginia at the time of the notarial act. Also, you must be commissioned as an Out-of-State Commissioner for notarizations that involve signers outside of the U.S.

To further expand your business, consider becoming a Notary Signing Agent (NSA). Becoming certified as an NSA qualifies you to take on remote loan signing assignments. An NSA certification also informs RON providers you've passed a current background screening, making you eligible to offer your Notary services to more people.

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