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Notaries Earn Extra Income Serving As A Remote Testimony Witness

Updated 1-24-22. As mobile Notaries look to expand their business offerings, some have turned to witnessing court-mandated telephone hearings for non-criminal cases as a lucrative service.

“I’ve received many requests to witness court-mandated telephone hearings,” said Florida Notary Herbert Guinup, who witnesses mostly child custody and support cases. 

Many small claims court judges are permitting testimony over the phone if a witness cannot be present for a variety of reasons, such as illness or disability, being out of state, or unable to take time from work. Some courts are requiring individuals to seek Notaries or other public officials in order to properly identify and swear them in for court proceedings.

How Do Telephone Depositions Work?

The process varies depending on the rules of your state, the court or circumstance. But generally the court sets up a conference call, which begins by having the Notary identify the individual providing testimony. The Notary may be asked to remain on the line with the individual throughout their testimony, serving as a witness.

In Florida, for example, Notaries are permitted to administer an oath or affirmation and confirm the identity of a witness for testimonies taken by telephone (Florida Administrative Code 28-106.213). While the witness testifies by telephone,  state law requires the Notary to be physically present with the witness to administer the oath. Oaths administered over the telephone with the Notary in one location and the oath-taker in another are not allowed. A Florida Notary also must file written certification with the presiding court officer confirming the identity of the witness and that the affirmation or oath was administered.

Florida law allows Notaries to charge $10 per notarial act, in this case to administer the oath. Since Florida law does not stipulate fees for witnessing the testimony, Notaries may set their own fees for this additional service. On top of that, a travel fee may be charged. For example, Guinup charges a total fee of $80 for notarization and travel when witnessing telephone hearings, plus a $20 extra time fee for each additional 15 minutes if there is a postponement or delay in the telephone hearing. 

Florida also provides the basic language a Notary should use when administering the oath or affirmation of a witness.

Most states do not have any rules or regulations about telephone depositions, according to the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). But that does not necessarily mean they cannot take place in those states.

According to the NCRA web page on telephone depositions, "The majority of states do not have any rules or regulations offering guidelines on telephone depositions. However, for those that do, reporters must generally be in the presence of the witness. If the reporter is not with the witness, a notary must be in his or her presence to administer the oath."

Contact the NCRA to find out if your state has rules for telephone depositions.

Be Prepared

Notaries are the ideal candidates for this role because they are state-appointed public officials whose duty is to serve as impartial witnesses to any number of transactions. Identifying signers and administering oaths and affirmations are also part of their duties.

If you are asked to take part in a telephone deposition, here are a few tips for making sure it goes smoothly:

  • Be clear on the exact nature of the services you are being asked to perform. Law in most states allows Notaries to administer an oath for a deposition. However, some states, such as Nevada, have repealed the authority of a Notary to “take” the deposition — that is, recording the testimony and transcribing it — or require a Notary to have additional credentials.
  • Always have your Notary commission information with you, as it is likely to be requested by the court.
  • Follow all state Notary laws or guidelines when it comes to properly identifying the witness.
  • Notaries should take appropriate COVID safety precautions when offering remote testimony witness services. Guinup said he normally contacts signers before any remote testimony witness assignment to ask if they or anyone else who will be present have been exposed to COVID or other illnesses. 
  • If you are required to administer an oath or affirmation, be sure the language you use complies with your state’s requirements, and that the witness replies aloud so their responses can be properly recorded.
  • Know the fees state law allows you to charge for taking part in a deposition and when you can charge additional fees for ancillary services not specifically prescribed by law. Most states have maximum fees you may charge for administering an oath, but not for services such as “witnessing” the testimony and travel fees.


Add your comment

01 Nov 2015

Thanks for this information. Will follow up to see how we can become more involved as "Remote Testimonial Witnesses". Notary Public of Dallas

Diana Lange

02 Nov 2015

How do I become a remote witness? Diana Lange

Linda Hubbell

05 Nov 2015

In my experience, all I've ever had to do was meet with the person, identify them, wait for the phone call to be connected, swear them in, then leave. Instructions on where to send my certificate were given to me by the hiring party (usually an attorney). I've never had to stay for the entire testimony and not sure I would care to since it's none of my business. Further, if a deposition, it could go for hours, taking me away from other business. I see no need to sit through a hearing or a deposition on matters that do not involve me - once I swear them in my duties are done.

Christine Golder

10 Nov 2015

I have the same question as Diana. How do you become a remote witness? Whom should you contact?

Nyomi Easley

07 Feb 2016

How do i become a remote Witness, and whom do I contact in Philadelphia Pa.

Susan Clark

01 Aug 2016

Becoming a remote testimony witness

Jerry Lucas

27 Aug 2016

I have sworn in witnesses for telephone hearings for several states. I verify ID and administer the oath while the judge/magistrate listens, then I am dismissed. They may ask for my notary ID number. Colorado notaries are authorized to take depositions, but it is not taught in notary training because it is usually done by a trained court reporter that knows shorthand and creates a transcript. I have had a few instances where they want me to only verify ID, but not administer an oath or perform any notary act. In that case, I am acting as an ID verification agent, not as a notary.

Jose A Garcia

30 Aug 2016

Hello, everyone. Is there a website for the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas to register as a mobile notary. Thanks

RT Stokes

22 Sep 2016

Are California notaries allowed to take witness testimonies and/or oaths over the phone? If so, how much can we charge for this?

National Notary Association

22 Sep 2016

Hello. California does not provide laws, court rules or guidelines regarding telephone depositions. Any oath or affirmation administered by a California Notary must be done in the physical presence of the person taking the oath or affirmation. As stated in the article, even in Florida, where Notaries are permitted to administer an oath or affirmation and confirm the identity of a witness for testimonies taken by telephone, state law requires the Notary to be physically present with the witness to administer the oath. Oaths administered over the telephone with the Notary in one location and the oath-taker in another are not allowed.

Nichole Hollins

21 Feb 2017

What are the requirements in Alabama for Becoming a remote testimony witness


24 Feb 2017

In the state of California where can I sign up to be a remote testimony witness?

National Notary Association

01 Mar 2017

Hello. You may wish to contact attorneys and law firms in your area to find out if they are looking for persons who can perform these services.

Grover D Daniels

17 Jan 2018

I would like to serve as a Remote Testimony Witness, Now can I get started?

22 Apr 2018

How do I become a remote notary witness in Washington State

National Notary Association

23 Apr 2018

Hello. We would suggest contacting the National Court Reporters Association to ask if they have information on opportunities in Washington state. Their number is 1-800-272-6272 and website is


22 May 2018

I recently preformed this service in SC for a FL divorce hearing..The court had the following requirements: No later than the day prior to the hearing, the Notary Public must fax to the Judge's office proof of his/her Notary credentials and said fax must contain identifying information regarding this case number, names of parties, and date of hearing. No later than the day prior to the hearing, the Notary Public must fax to the Judge's office proof of his/her Notary credentials and said fax must contain identifying information regarding this case number, names of parties, and date of hearing The next day I met with customer prior to the hearing time to verify ID, she then called the conference call number and was on hold a few minutes ("As the judge is hearing multiple cases on the docket he may be delayed in joining the call by a few minutes"). Once the judge joined the call she asked if & how I'd verified customer's ID and then asked me to administer oath.

R. Paul Nunemann

29 May 2018

I would like info on the Remote Testimony Witness for texas. Where do I start?


03 Dec 2018

Does Mississippi allow Remote Testimony Witnessing?

National Notary Association

03 Dec 2018

Hello. We would recommend contacting the National Court Reporters Association at 1-800-272-6272 to ask about Mississippi's rules regarding remote testimony witnesses.

Tony Macias

01 Apr 2019

Where/how do I go to get training to become a mobile notary? I live in Mesa, Arizona.

National Notary Association

03 Apr 2019

Hello. Are you referring to offering general Notary services as a mobile Notary, or working as a Notary Signing Agent with loan document signings?


28 Oct 2019

I had to do this in California, it was my first time. I know it was a random request, well paid. But how to find more if these assignments? Go to the courthouses?

Lynda Loach

31 Oct 2019

What are the requirements in Austin,Texas for be coming remote testimony witnesses? How do get started?

National Notary Association

01 Nov 2019

Hi Lynda. We recommend you contact the National Court Reporters Association to ask about Texas rules for telephone depositions. You can find their contact information at the bottom of this page:

Mary Millour

01 Nov 2019

Thanks for the articles and tips you provide. My struggle is finding out who and how to cost effectively market my services as a witness as well as Notary for remote swear-in for testimony. I had a client that called all's, the courthouse, his very own lawyer and not a single one knew to refer him to a Mobile Notary. My experience was the same as above, client and I waited on the phone together, I answered the questions posed by the court (did I see ID, my commission #) swore him in and then was dismissed. Any solid advice about WHO to market this service to would be appreciated.

Aaron King

09 Jan 2020

How do you become a remote witness?


23 Jan 2020

I am a NP & a LSA....I’m interested in becoming a Remote Testimony Witness in the state of NJ. Do you have any information/resources that you can provide me with for that scope of work in NJ? This info will be greatly appreciated!

M. Barnetta Augusta

19 Jul 2021

Iam interested in beoming a Remote Testimony Witness, Do you have any informtion/ Resources that can provide me with the scope of the wok in Georgia


25 Oct 2021

Interested in becoming a remote testimony witness in Florida..information please. Thank you.

Prittcely Berrios

31 Jan 2022

Good morning, My name is Prittcely Berrios. I have been a Notary for over 8 years. Can you please let me know how I can sign up for all these type of services in Miami, Florida. Thank you!

Aja Notary Services

31 Jan 2022

Dear NNA and/or Kelley Clarke, How does a Notary get asked to take part in a telephone deposition? Having visited the referenced website, (National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), The procedure is unclear. Your help or more guidance on this is greatly appreciated!


31 Jan 2022

How do I go about starting to do remote witness testimony in Florida


04 Feb 2022

I know the above article refers to court hearings by phone, but I wonder if this could apply to meetings done by Zoom or MS Teams or Cisco WebEx meetings.

National Notary Association

18 Feb 2022

Hello. While the process varies depending on the rules of your state, the court or circumstance, you must follow all of your state's requirements regarding personal appearance of the signer and other notarization requirements when performing this type of service.


08 Feb 2022

Does anyone know if the state of California does this?

SLC Notary&Loan Signings

13 Feb 2022

Need information on becoming a remote witness testimony

Merrier Antionette

16 Mar 2022

Need information on becoming remote witness testimony

Lori Sanchez

27 Jun 2022

How is it recorded in the journal once you administer the oath?

National Notary Association

28 Jun 2022

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

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