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Answers To Urgent Questions Notaries Are Asking About Remote Online Notarization

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Updated 3-31-20. Many Notaries have contacted the NNA with urgent questions about performing remote online notarization. To help you, we’ve provided answers to some of these questions below. The NNA will continue to update this article as we receive new information and updates.

What states allow Notaries to perform RON and are fully set up to perform remote notarizations?

As of March 26, 2020, the following states have enacted and fully implemented permanent remote online notarization laws and/or rules: Virginia, Texas, Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma and North Dakota. South Dakota has enacted RON laws, but South Dakota limits RON to notarizing paper documents only.

But I’ve heard that other states are allowing Notaries to perform RON because of the coronavirus emergency?

That is correct. Due to the stay-at-home orders issued in many states and the Centers of Disease Control social distancing guideline of keeping 6 feet apart from another person, additional states have issued temporary authorizations for Notaries to perform RONs. These authorizations are issued through a Governor’s executive order, emergency rules and official guidance. The states with temporary authorizations to perform RONs are Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Notaries in these states must follow any rules set by the governor or state commissioning officials for these emergency authorizations. Rules for each of these states can be found in our article on state Notary emergency COVID-19 measures or at the NNA's State Notary Law Updates database. Please note that you must follow any guidelines set by your state to perform RON.Services such as Skype or Facetime may not be used as a replacement for RON technology guidelines mandated by state emergency orders.

Do I have to register to perform RONs?

It depends. States that have passed RON laws typically require a Notary either to register with the commissioning official (Florida, for example) or obtain a special commission (Texas, for example). To register or obtain a separate commission to perform RONs, a Notary must submit an application to the commissioning official. You may also be required to submit information about the technology you will use to perform RONs, such as any digital certificates you purchase or any RON platforms you use. More information is available here.

In some states with temporary authorizations issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, no registration or separate commission is required.

What technology will I need perform RONs? 

For states that have RON laws and rules, you will likely need to use a dedicated remote online notarization platform. A list of RON platform providers with links to their websites can be found in this article.

For states that have set up emergency RON or alternate Notarization rules for the coronavirus crisis, follow the guidelines provided in your state’s emergency orders. Some of these states do not require Notaries to use a RON platform.

How much does it cost to register for a RON platform?

That depends on the individual provider. You will need to contact the RON providers you are interested in to request pricing information. Please keep in mind that due to the current COVID-19 emergency, the RON platform providers may not be onboarding new Notaries or there may be a delay in doing so. But one provider announced it is adding Notaries from certain states.

Where can I perform RON? Can I travel outside my state to perform RON notarizations?

You can only perform a RON while physically located in the state where you hold a commission. You may not perform a RON while you are located out of the state where you have been commissioned.

Can I register to perform RON through the NNA?

The NNA is not a remote notarization platform provider. However, we do offer digital certificates issued by IdenTrust and electronic seal images, which can be used with some RON platforms. Before purchasing, please check with the platform provider you'll be working with to verify that you may use the digital certificate offered by the NNA with their system.

44 Comments

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Eriel

27 Mar 2020

What types of general documents are supported through RON? Trying to see if it’s worth it for Michigan notaries who deal with a lot of general notary work.

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello.For more information about how RON works, please see this article: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2019/11/the-state-of-remote-online-notarization

Shearine McKee

28 Mar 2020

I am a notary in NY. How do I get an electronic signature

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. If you are looking for guidelines for New York's executive order regarding Notaries using audio-visual technology, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2019/11/the-state-of-remote-online-notarization

Denise A. Benny

30 Mar 2020

Can a notary notarize Will electronically?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. Notaries should not notarize a will without authoritative legal instructions being provided. Please see here for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/tips-tutorials/notarize-wills

Aleasha Sousa

30 Mar 2020

Can I I notarize for the family business? we shared the same last name

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

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

Cuqui57@sbcglobal.net

30 Mar 2020

I would like to know if Connecticut preform the RON as I have been notary fir more the 25 years.

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. Connecticut has issued emergency orders permitting remote online notarization. For details, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization

Brenda L Valdez

30 Mar 2020

Please..... any update on Massachusetts??? I see every state except info on MA

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello Brenda. We haven't received any new information from Massachusetts at this time, but if that changes, we will add it to our coverage as soon as possible.

Tasha Moore

30 Mar 2020

How would we contact or push for remote notary in our state if there has been no news of it even happening? I am in North Carolina, and no information as of yet, and it is in current high demand due to NC being at a stay at home order until the end of April.

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. You may wish to contact your local state lawmakers to give them your feedback.

Klodiya

30 Mar 2020

Any information on California? I didn’t see that in the list.

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. Please see here for information about working during the "shelter in place" order in CA: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/ca-sos-notaries-work-special-order. At present, there are no new emergency changes to California notarization rules. However, if the situation changes, we will update our readers as soon as possible.

Christine S Mullin

30 Mar 2020

I didn't see anything regarding California, unless I missed it. Do you have any news about California notaries and possible remote signatures?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. Please see here for information about working during the "shelter in place" order in CA: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/ca-sos-notaries-work-special-order. At present, there are no new emergency changes to California notarization rules. However, if the situation changes, we will update our readers as soon as possible.

Nancy Burrell

30 Mar 2020

Is Utah a RON state

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. Yes, and according to the Lt. Governor's website, the state is accepting applications to become Remote Online Notaries. See this article: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2018/06/remote-notarization-what-you-need-to-know

Sharon Simpson

30 Mar 2020

I don't see California are there any updates for this state?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. Please see here for information about California Notaries working during the "shelter in place" order: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/ca-sos-notaries-work-special-order

Susan B Cummings

30 Mar 2020

What about the State of Louisiana? Any changes to show remote notarizations being approved?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. Not at this time, but if the situation changes we will update our coverage to let our readers know.

Heather valadez

30 Mar 2020

What about Wa State

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. New information about Washington state can be found here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization

Autumn Bidwell

30 Mar 2020

I'm a CA Notary, employed in CA. My employer owns commercial real estate in WA state, where lease documents require notarization. Since I am not permitted to notarized via a RON platform, could our signers located in CA notarize these documents via a RON platform with a WA state notary?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. While Washington has issued an emergency proclamation permitting remote notarizations, the state has not yet has not yet adopted rules for remote notarization. As soon as permanent or emergency rules are published, we will add this information to our coverage.

Mary

30 Mar 2020

What about Colorado?

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. Colorado has authorized remote online notarizations through at least April 27. Please see here for details: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization

Anissa Chmura

30 Mar 2020

Is remote notarization allowed in Illinois?

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. Yes, Illinois has temporarily approved RON. Please see here for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization

Tammy Loveall

30 Mar 2020

I noticed you didn't mention that Michigan is a State that allows RON. Just wanted to let you know that Michigan approved 5 vendor platforms in January 2020. I'm registered and working to do RON closings very soon.

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Thank you Tammy, we will update our information for Michigan.

Patricia Fradette

31 Mar 2020

Can you register for more than one title company on different platforms for RON?

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hi Patricia. We would recommend that you reach out to any RON platforms you are interested in working with and speaking with them directly on this.

Angela Horvath

31 Mar 2020

Does the State of Alaska allow RON? If they do how do I find someone that can do this for me?

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. Alaska has not authorized RON at this time.

Maya Joseph

31 Mar 2020

Any info on New Jersey? I know they started the process but has it been passed?

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. To the best of our information, not yet but as soon as we receive new information we will share it with our readers.

rochelle steuer

31 Mar 2020

I work in Redlands California How are we supposed to handle Notary if we are not a RON state. Can we take a copy of our notary page have them sign that and staple it individually to our notary book afterwards also what do we do about thumbprints in CA Its not like we can sterilze our ink pads after each person

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. Please see these two articles for information from the CA Secretary of State's office and recommended safety precautions for Notaries: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/ca-sos-notaries-work-special-order and https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/notaries-precautions-coronavirus

Steve

31 Mar 2020

1) Could a notary in a state that has an RON order take the oath of someone in another state? Also, how does the document get signed? Two separate documents, one with affiant and one with the notary taking oath, then merge the copies or originals?

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. The answers to your questions depend greatly on each state's rules regarding RON. If you can let us know the specific states involved, we may be able to provide you with additional details.

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