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Notary Bulletin

10 Standards Of Practice For Remote Ink-Signed Notarizations

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Updated 4-20-20. During the COVID-19 pandemic, several states issued temporary authorizations permitting Notaries to perform notarial acts on paper documents using video conference technology, a process Fannie Mae has labeled "remote ink-signed notarization" (RIN). As we will describe below, remote ink-signed notarization is not to be confused with remote online notarization (RON). New York issued the first authorization of this kind in an executive order on March 19, 2020. These authorizations have been issued to mitigate the public health risk of spreading the virus during face-to-face notarizations while at the same time allowing access to notarial services at a time when these services are greatly needed. The authorizations are temporary, typically lasting for the duration of the state of emergency declared by each state's governor or for a certain specified time after the emergency is lifted.

Temporary RIN vs. Permanent RON

The video conference notarization process permitted in many temporary state authorizations is quite different from the permanent remote online notarization (RON) laws enacted in 23 states to date.

In general, RINs use solutions such as GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, or Zoom to satisfy the requirement that a document signer personally appear before a Notary. The Notary verifies the identity of the signer based on existing state Notary laws or by methods specified in the temporary order. Paper documents are signed in pen and ink and faxed or transmitted electronically between the signer and Notary.

RONs, by contrast, use a dedicated platform that integrates in one system a video conference capability, multi-factor methods for verifying the identity of the signer that uniquely apply to remote online notarizations, and an electronic signing room that presents the electronic document in real time for signing using electronic signatures by the document signer and Notary.

Many of the steps to perform a RIN in the temporary orders and authorizations are generally based on the New York executive order and are described below. These steps may vary for the specific temporary authorizations in other states.

  • The Notary and signer appear before each other using a live, real-time video conference solution such as WebEx, GoToMeeting or Microsoft Teams.
  • The Notary identifies the signer using the methods allowed under current Notary law.
  • The signer signs the document and faxes or transmits electronically the signed document to the Notary during the video conference.
  • The Notary prints out the document received from the signer and completes the notarial certificate in pen and ink during the video conference.
  • The Notary faxes or transmits electronically the notarized document back to the signer during the video conference.

The New York order and several other state authorizations also allow the signer to physically mail the originally signed paper document to the Notary within a certain number of days of the RIN. When the Notary receives the document from the signer in the mail, the Notary is authorized to notarize that document using the date of the original RIN and mail it back to the signer.

Standards of Professional Practice

While there is no doubt RINs meet a pressing need at a time as extraordinary as this, video conference notarizations are different from RON and the NNA believes additional mechanisms to ensure the security and integrity of these notarizations are needed. To that end, we have developed ten standards of practice for performing RINs.

Before following these standards, Notaries should confirm that their state authorizes these new types of notarizations. They should follow all requirements in the temporary authorization, state Notary laws, and any supplemental guidance that may have been issued by their commissioning officials. And, they must know the time frame in which they are authorized to perform these temporary notarizations and not forget the date of expiration of the temporary order. Finally, Notaries who perform loan signings should check with their contracting companies to see if they have received approval from the lender to perform the loan signing using RIN.

The ten standards of professional practice for video conference notarization or RIN are as follows:

  1. The Notary should make a recording of the entire audiovisual conference, create a backup of the recording and, to protect the privacy of the signer, securely store both.
  2. The Notary should record a journal entry of the notarial act and note in the journal that the notarization was performed using video conference technology.
  3. The Notary should request the signer to show the front and back of any identification card used to verify the signer’s identity and carefully compare the information on the ID to the signer appearing on the video conference using an authoritative reference such as the 2020 NNA Keesing Documentchecker Guide.
  4. The Notary should ask the signer to “pan” the room with the signer’s video camera so the Notary can see if there are any other persons in the room with the signer.
  5. The Notary should ask the signer to state on camera that the signer is signing the document freely and voluntarily and has the mental capacity or competence to do so.
  6. The Notary should ensure the angle of the video camera on the signer’s end allows the Notary to view the signer signing the document.
  7. The Notary should require the signer to show each page of the signed document and the signer's ID once again to compare the signatures on the ID and document before it is faxed or transmitted to the Notary.
  8. The Notary should show the signer each page of the document to ensure it is the same document the signer transmitted.
  9. The Notary should ensure the angle of the video camera on the Notary’s end allows the signer to view the Notary completing the certificate of notarial act.
  10. The Notary should retain and, in order to protect the privacy of the signer, securely store the notarized document the Notary faxed or transmitted back to the signer on the date of the original video conference for comparison purposes if the signer requests the Notary to notarize the original signed paper document later, and destroy it immediately upon sending the original notarized paper document back to the signer.

Bill Anderson is Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Notary Association.

 

43 Comments

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Jacqueline Dorsey Wilson

18 Apr 2020

This is great information!

James Bateaste

19 Apr 2020

What is the price for this kind of notorizing

National Notary Association

20 Apr 2020

Hello. That would depend on the fee schedule set by your state's laws and/or any emergency orders issued by state officials. What state are you commissioned in, please?

Wendy Obodo

20 Apr 2020

Does the State of Georgia allow RIN?

National Notary Association

20 Apr 2020

Hello. We will be posting an update with new Georgia information this week. Please watch our articles for updates.

Kim Young

20 Apr 2020

So is california allow on line notary

National Notary Association

20 Apr 2020

Hello. California has not authorized remote or online notarizations at this time.

Beatriz Rivera

20 Apr 2020

Hi, From New York. The executive order doesn't mention any fee schedule for these types of signing. Can you clarify?

National Notary Association

20 Apr 2020

Hello. The Executive Order makes no changes to New York's existing Notary fee schedule.

Jordan Coleman

20 Apr 2020

Is RIN available in Arizona or just RON?

National Notary Association

20 Apr 2020

Hello. Please see here for guidelines on RON in Arizona: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/az-administrative-rules-2020

Ramona Sinhart

20 Apr 2020

I would like a clearer explanation for the last paragraph #10. I'm not sure I understand it.

Bill Anderson, NNA

21 Apr 2020

Ramona, paragraph 10 describes a practice related to a provision in a number of states' RIN authorizations. During the videoconference notarization, the Notary notarizes a faxed or electronically transmitted document and faxes or electronically transmits it back. If the signer then wants the original document notarized, the RIN authorization may allow the signed original document to be physically mailed to the Notary and the Notary can perform a second notarization on that document using the date of the original videoconference notarization. Then the Notary would physically mail the document back. Practice #10 encourages Notaries to keep the version of the document they notarized and faxed or transmitted back to the signer when they were on camera together. When the original document comes in the mail, the Notary can compare it with the document notarized during the videoconference notarization. It's a protective step for the Notary. After mailing back the notarized original document, the Notary can then destroy the version they retained for comparison purposes.

Kathleen Lynch-Drummond

20 Apr 2020

Agreed. This is excellent information. Have you received any updated on New Jersey?

National Notary Association

20 Apr 2020

Hello. Not at this time.

Bill Anderson, NNA

21 Apr 2020

The New Jersey Legislature just enacted a temporary remote online notarization bill. You can read all about it at https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/nj-assembly-3903.

Lisa

20 Apr 2020

Is there a demo video we can view that covers all 10 steps? That would be great if something like this could be created so we can 'see' the steps. Thanks!

Lynda

20 Apr 2020

Does Texas, allow for RlN?

National Notary Association

21 Apr 2020

UPDATED: Hello. Texas has issued an executive order temporarily allowing RINs. Please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/tx-governor-executive-order-2020

Mary Lou Stewart

20 Apr 2020

Has Texas adopted the RIN?

National Notary Association

21 Apr 2020

UPDATED: Hello. Texas has issued an executive order temporarily allowing RINs. Please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/tx-governor-executive-order-2020

Mary Lou Stewart

20 Apr 2020

I'm in Texas, and wondering what all states are adopting RIN.

National Notary Association

21 Apr 2020

Please see here for a list of states with emergency notarization orders: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization

Mary Lou Stewart

20 Apr 2020

Has Texas adopted RIN?

National Notary Association

21 Apr 2020

UPDATED: Hello. Texas has issued an executive order temporarily allowing RINs. Please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/tx-governor-executive-order-2020

nenanpo@gmail.com

21 Apr 2020

Hello has North Carolina adopted this as of yet?

National Notary Association

21 Apr 2020

Hello. No, not at this time.

Karlie

23 Apr 2020

Hello, I moved "FROM" Missouri "TO" Texas in August 2019. I do not have my Texas driver's license OR state ID yet. Therefore, would I be able to obtain my notary license AND practice in the state of Texas, under these conditions?

National Notary Association

23 Apr 2020

Hello. To be commissioned as a notary public in Texas, you must be a Texas resident at least 18 years of age who has not received a final conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude or a felony.

huntsvillemobilenotary@gmail.com

23 Apr 2020

Kudos to you, NNA, for this timely and informative article! Alabama is one of the states that recently approved RIN. Your 10 Standards of Practice make sense and will be very helpful to me as I prepare for my first appointment of this type

olasoninvest@gmail.com

24 Apr 2020

Hello: Two Questions for PA: 1) How do I sign up with a company that provides the required equipment approved by the State; and 2) Does both the Notary and the signer have to be in PA. I am a PA notary but I am in shelter in place in DE.

National Notary Association

24 Apr 2020

Hello. PA Notaries must follow all other aspects of PA Notary law if performing remote online notarizations, therefore you cannot perform a RON while you are physically located in Delaware. For more information about Pennsylvania's emergency rules and RON providers, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization

Cynetta Williams

25 Apr 2020

Are Florida Notary's authorized to do RIN?

National Notary Association

27 Apr 2020

Hello. No, though the state does authorize RON by qualified Notaries.

Teresa

06 May 2020

I am a notary in Maryland, I was approved to be a remote notary. I notarize documents for my employer. Is there any way I can get a remote type of stamp or remote seal

National Notary Association

06 May 2020

Hello. You should contact the authorized RON provider you intend to work with to find out if they will provide you with any needed electronic seal or digital signature, or if you need to purchase a specific one from a different vendor. A partial list of authorized providers can be found here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization

Michele Holley

15 May 2020

If RIN's are authorized in your state, can you just do them, or do you ned to register like with an RON?

National Notary Association

18 May 2020

Hello. It depends on individual state requirements. Please see this articles for details of different state guidelines: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization

Nan

27 May 2020

Can I notarize RON in New Jersey because of Covid-19? I am a Florida RON Notary now

National Notary Association

29 May 2020

Hello. A Florida Notary authorized to perform RONs may perform a remote online notarization for a signer located outside Florida. However, the Notary must be physically located within the borders of Florida at the time the remote online notarization is performed.

Katie

04 Jun 2020

I am in need of more information for out of state billing services for SD that are provided to an IL provider who is needing an electronic notary?

National Notary Association

05 Jun 2020

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.

Leigh-Anne Cobb

02 Sep 2020

When notarizing documents, which color ink is the industry standard for signatures ?

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