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Notary Bulletin

Remote Notarization Vs. Traditional Notarization (Infographic)

Updated 3-8-21. The use of new technology tools for notarizations has caused confusion for many people, including Notaries. There is remote online notarization (RON), which is different from in-person electronic notarization (IPEN). And both are different from traditional, pen-and-paper notarization. Here’s a step-by-step look at the differences between these notarization methods. Please note that this is a general description, and requirements in some states may vary. (Click the image below to open a downloadable PDF of the infographic.)

RON infographic.jpg

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor at the National Notary Association.


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Catherine Montegna

16 Dec 2019

If a notary is only able to notarize in the state in which they are commissioned, can remote online notarization be used if the signer is in another state?

National Notary Association

17 Dec 2019

Hello. Yes, but the Notary must be within the borders of the commissioning state when the remote notarization takes place.

18 Jan 2020

What states permit RON?

National Notary Association

22 Jan 2020

Hello. Please see here for a current list:


05 May 2020

Can you request an apostille from the State for a document signed via electronic notary?

National Notary Association

05 May 2020

Hello. You would need to contact the state agency that issues apostilles to ask if they can provide an apostille for an electronically notarized document.


06 May 2020

In CA a jurat is often required as well. Will the Notary have this as well?

National Notary Association

07 May 2020

Hello. California has not authorized RON at this time.

Takako Jackson-price

05 Jul 2020

How do I find a notary who does remote? is there a website that gives names?

National Notary Association

06 Jul 2020

Hello. Some places you can look are 1) Notaries directories-check for any Notaries listing RON services among the services they offer or 2) Contacting RON technology platforms directly to ask if they have RON Notaries on call who can assist you with your request.


22 Jul 2020

Does the digital certificate have to be as long as the notary is commissioned for? For instance if a notary is commissioned until 2024 should the digital certificate be purchased for the most, 3 years?

National Notary Association

24 Jul 2020

Hello.There aren't specific requirements to align your Notary commission and digital certificate expiration dates. However, the industry standard for issuing a digital certificate is 3 years, because it is felt that the digital certificate becomes vulnerable by that point and, therefore, a new one should be issued.


29 Aug 2020

How exactly do you become a remote notary?

National Notary Association

31 Aug 2020

Hello. You can find more information here:

21 Sep 2020

How do remote notaries get paid?

National Notary Association

22 Sep 2020

Hello. That depends on a wide variety of factors. Some Notaries work independently performing RONs and collect fees from customers in the same way as a traditional pen-and-paper Notary. Others prefer to sign up and accept RON assignments through a RON vendor-in these cases, the Notary may be paid a fee that is split between the Notary and the RON vendor.

10 Nov 2020

I received a notarized document and they marked it for online notarization. The notary seal is so small that I can't read the commission number after printing the document. It appears to me that they scanned an image of their physical notary stamp and physical signature, then copy & pasted them onto the PDF document. Does this meet the RON requirements? I feel as though it should have an actual eNotary seal, is that correct. I don't doubt that this person is a notary, I am just not sure if proper protocol was followed.

National Notary Association

10 Nov 2020

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state the Notary was commissioned in?

Latonya Walters

18 Jan 2021

Where do I get my digital certificate?

National Notary Association

21 Jan 2021

Hello. Some remote online notarization technology vendors provide digital certificates to Notaries who use their RON platform. Digital certificates are also available for purchase from the NNA here: Please note that the NNA's certificate is not compatible with all RON platforms.

Patricia Busch

17 Feb 2021

Thanks 👍, lots of good information, I'm.about to take my first step.into this flied,, Toledo Ohio

19 Feb 2021

I use my notary for work. I work with a company called Seakeeper in California, Maryland. Due to COVID we are all teleworking. We use DocUsign to get important forms to be signed. In the state of Maryland can I notarize forms with electronic signatures?

National Notary Association

24 Feb 2021

Hello. If you hold a Notary commission in Maryland, then you may apply to perform remote online notarizations there. Please see here for details on qualifications and how to apply:

Gerard Joseph

18 Mar 2021

I want to be in Publix Notary.

National Notary Association

23 Mar 2021

Hello. You can find out more about becoming a Notary here:

Phil Gallegos

21 Apr 2021


Robert Block

30 Jun 2021

I am overseas - just completed a new will with a US attorney. I have it in word format. Can I get it notarized using RON? I am from Colorado so it has been completed with all needed CO data. Once done - Am I able to print hard copies to give to beneficiaries and are those valid if and when needed? Thanks

National Notary Association

01 Jul 2021

Hello. You should consult with your attorney to ask if there are any special instructions for your will regarding remote notarization.

Kelly Paulina

19 Jul 2021

Can we physically notarize an electronic signature done via Docusign if the signee is personally known to us?

National Notary Association

19 Jul 2021

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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