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Secretaries Of State To Study Webcam Notarization

Secretary of States To Study Webcam Notarization

The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has created a task force to study webcam notarizations and answer the many concerns raised about their privacy and security.

Webcam notarizations allow a signer to communicate remotely with a Notary using audio-visual technology instead of appearing in person. Proponents argue that the technology provides convenience and flexibility for signers, but critics argue that fraud is easier to commit if the signer is not physically in the Notary’s presence.

Adoption Of Remote Notarizations

Virginia and Montana now allow webcam technology use by Notaries.  However California, Ohio and several other jurisdictions have previously issued statements that they do not accept remote notarizations.

The NASS task force, which includes representatives from 20 states, including government officials, Notary professionals and private-sector notarization experts, will review remote notarization technologies, track state legislative activity and develop possible proposals regarding webcam notarization usage. The task force is led by Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

"As digital technology evolves, remote notarizations are taking hold in states like Montana and Virginia, prompting organizations like the Uniform Law Commission to reconsider the long-held notarial principle that 'personal appearance' requires physical presence," Schedler said.

"While NASS currently supports e-notarizations for digital documents, our organizational standards still require signers and notaries to be in the same room," added Grimes. "In addition to reviewing the merits of physical presence versus virtual presence, state policymakers must also address the potential validity and interstate recognition of remotely e-notarized documents." 

Notaries can learn more in The National Notary’s June 2016 issue or at NNA 2016’s webcam notarization panel, where electronic notarization experts and state officials will be discussing pros and cons and demonstrating this new technology.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

Related Articles

eSignatures, eNotarization, Webcam Notarization And iClose: What’s The Difference?

Notarization And Technology: Dealing With Unusual Requests

What’s On Your Mind? Notaries Share Their Biggest Concerns In 2016

Additional Resources

NNA 2016 Information

NASS Webcam Notarization Task Force News Release


View All: Notary News


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16 May 2016

I would be really skeptical about Remote Notarizations, I know NJ has pending legislation to allow it. I would be comfortable with eNotarizations, where the notarization happens on the computer but the signer is still with you, but webcam notarizations I feel are a completely different story. How are we going to be able to inspect the client's ID upclose? Sure, they can hold it up to the camera, but a skilled forger only cannot escape very close inspection. I've heard of softwares which can check the person's ID in a system, but then how does that prevent the wrong person from getting their hands on the ID?


21 May 2016

Until it becomes a requirement I don't think I'll be doing e notarizations. One signature theirs or ours would be in the "system" to be hacked used. We are Too vulnerable nowa notaries I'm not giving "them" another layer of exposure to use my name and now my signature to scam 1,000's before anyone noticed. Then itself come back to me first for me to figure out what happened. By that time "they" would be long goneand I'll be in jail. Nope, no thanks. When "you" can stop a bank from being hacked I'll give it some thought, but that is still happening. I know because I have free monitoring for a few years come from a few accounts being hacked this year. Prove its safe and I'll do it. Not until.

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