When Virginia passed a law permitting remote notarizations in 2011, John Kenneth Cole was one of the first to embrace the opportunity. Today he is one of just 127 people in the state who are commissioned as electronic Notaries — a requirement to perform webcam eNotarizations. “This is the wave of the future,” said the Chesapeake, Virginia-based Cole, an NNA 2013 Notary of the Year Honoree. “The world is getting younger, and the younger demographic expects everything to be on their smartphones to get it immediately. They are not willing to wait for a Notary.” The use of webcam notarization clearly is in its infancy, but Cole says he gets anywhere from 10 to 30 requests a month, and most of his signers are overseas. “I work with a surrogacy firm and egg donor program, and my signers are in places where a Notary is not available,” he said. Webcam Notarizations: Redefining Personal Presence Or Opening The Door To Fraud? Webcam notarizations have become the hot-button Notary issue of the 21st century. Read more about the pros and cons of this controversial new technology. Webcam Limitations Cole has been a Notary for more than 20 years, and has held commissions in Georgia, Florida and California as well as Virginia. “Being a Notary lets you into people’s lives at various important moments of their lives.” As a webcam Notary, that can take place anywhere in the world. “I am not a proponent of webcam notarization for loan signings,” he said. “The technology is not ready to ensure the level of scrutiny that an in-person Notary can provide.” Another challenge he encounters is the quality of internet connection, particularly with signers in China. But he believes that the identity-vetting elements of webcam eNotarization are very strong, as long as they are done correctly. Cole would like to see the standards and requirements for the technology improved. He also believes there should be a training requirement for eNotaries. “Training is one of the best ways to insure that the Notary is performing their duties appropriately.” Michael Lewis is Managing Editor of member publications for the National Notary Association. Related Articles: eSignatures, eNotarization, Webcam Notarization And iClose: What’s The Difference? Webcam Notarizations And Other Legislative And Regulatory Trends To Watch In 2016 Additional Resources: Companies Offering Webcam Notarization Is Video Notarization The Next Big Thing?