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How to Become a Remote Online Notary in Wisconsin

As of May 1, 2020, Wisconsin Notaries Public can apply to perform remote online notarizations (RONs). If you want to become a remote Notary in Wisconsin, follow the steps below.

  1. Hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
  2. Choose the state-approved RON technology provider(s) you plan to use.
  3. Complete all training materials provided by the RON vendor(s) you selected. The vendor(s) will notify the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions when you're done.
  4. Start providing RON services.

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

Requirements to be a Remote Notary in Wisconsin

Before registering to become a remote Notary, you must first become commissioned as a traditional Notary Public in the Badger State. Notaries must be at least 18 years old, be a resident of the U.S., have at least the equivalent of an eighth-grade education, and be familiar with the duties and responsibilities of being a Notary Public. You must not have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor violating the public trust unless the conviction has been pardoned.

Does Wisconsin require training or an exam to become a remote Notary?

Wisconsin requires Notaries to complete training provided by their RON platform(s), but there is no exam to become an online Notary.

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

As a Wisconsin remote Notary, you're required to have a computer, webcam, microphone and secure connection to the internet. The WI Department of Financial Institutions approves of the following third-party RON technology providers: BlueNotary, Clear Sign, Cyberize It, DocuSign, DocVerify, Notarize, NotaryCam and Pavaso. You'll also need to get your remote Notary supplies, such as your digital certificate containing your electronic signature, electronic seal and electronic journal that must be compatible with your chosen RON platform(s).

Do I need a second surety bond?

No, virtual Notaries are not required to get another surety bond in addition to the $500 surety bond required for their traditional commissions.

Why should I get an E&O insurance policy?

Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policies can limit your financial exposure should misconduct arise from a notarization. Unlike surety bonds that protect the public, E&O policies protect you as a remote Notary from any costly mistakes you might make during the transaction.

About Remote Online Notarization (RON) in Wisconsin

Wisconsin introduced remote online notarizations to the state with WI Assembly Bill 293. Learn how RONs work and which notarial acts can be performed remotely.

Does Wisconsin allow remote notarizations?

Yes, on May 1, 2020, Wisconsin became the 23rd state to authorize Notaries to perform remote online notarizations.

How do remote notarizations work in Wisconsin?

Remote notarizations involve digital documents instead of paper ones. They replace the physical presence requirement of traditional notarizations with personal appearance via communication technology. The Notary confirms the signer’s identity by either having personal knowledge of the signer, using an oath or affirmation from a credible witness appearing before the Notary, or using at least two different types of identity proofing. If the signer leaves at any point during the credential analysis and authentication process, they must restart it from the beginning.

The Notary verifies the signer's awareness and willingness to sign the document. The signer signs the document with an electronic signature. From there, the Notary checks the document, completes the notarial certificate wording, attaches an electronic seal and attaches a digital certificate containing their electronic signature.

Once the notarization is complete, the Notary records an entry in their electronic journal and saves an audio-visual recording of the session.

As a remote Notary, you may notarize documents for signers in any location as long as you're physically located within Wisconsin at the time of the notarial act.

What types of notarizations can be performed online?

In Wisconsin, Notaries can perform the following notarial acts remotely:

  • Taking an acknowledgment
  • Administering an oath or affirmation (excluding oaths for a witness at a deposition)
  • 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 do remote notarizations take vs. traditional notarizations?

Remote notarizations typically take far less time than traditional notarizations because travel is not a factor. From the moment the signer requests a notarization using a RON platform to when the Notary attaches an eSeal and digital certificate, the entire process can take only a few minutes.

Additional RON FAQs

Have more questions regarding remote notarizations in Wisconsin? Read on below for answers.

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

It may cost well under $100 to as much as several hundred dollars to become a WI online Notary. The total cost will largely depend on the tools and technology you need to offer your services remotely. There is no additional fee to apply for your remote authorization, but you'll need to consider the cost of signing up with a RON provider and getting your electronic seal and digital certificate.

You'll also need to factor in the costs to maintain your surety bond and recommended E&O insurance policy. If you don't already have a computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet access, you'll need to add those to your startup costs.

How much can remote Notaries charge in Wisconsin?

Notaries can charge a maximum fee of $25 for remote online notarizations, according to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

How long does it take to become a remote Notary?

It can take two to four weeks to become a remote Notary in Wisconsin. The first two weeks will be spent on meeting the state's requirement of being a traditional Notary Public. If you already have your traditional commission, the process of getting authorized to perform RONs can be done quickly.

After you become commissioned, you'll need to spend time choosing one or more RON technology providers and taking their training. The company will notify the Department of Financial Institutions after you've completed the training, at which point you'll be approved to perform remote notarizations. These steps can take you one to two days, depending on the provider and your availability.

How long will my remote Notary authorization last?

The Department of Financial Institutions has not yet addressed how long a remote Notary authorization lasts or how to renew your authorization. However, the process to renew as a traditional Notary is the same as when you received your first Notary Public appointment. We will update this page as more information becomes available.

Will RON services grow my WI Notary business?

If you want to grow your Notary business, getting your remote authorization can help. Remote Notaries have access to signers inside and outside of the state border, greatly increasing the opportunities for you to provide your services. Just keep in mind that you must be located in Wisconsin while conducting RONs.

If you want to further your Notary business even more, consider becoming a Notary Signing Agent (NSA). Getting your NSA certificate informs RON providers you've passed a current background screening. This can make you eligible to receive more assignments.

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Last updated: June 21, 2023

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