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Where do a signer and Notary have to be located during a remote notarization?

Because remote notarization is still a new process, many people aren't clear how it works — especially regarding where a Notary and signer can be located when the remote notarization takes place.

In this article, we'll look at the basic rules for Notary and signer location when a remote online notarization takes place in states that have adopted permanent laws. Procedures for states that have adopted temporary remote notarization rules may vary. You can find additional details about permanent state rules and guidelines at the NNA Knowledge Center and more information about temporary state remote notarization guidelines in the Notary Bulletin.

Rule 1: The Notary must be physically present in the commissioning state.

With the possible exception of Virginia, every state with permanent remote notarization laws requires the Notary to be physically present within the borders of the commissioning state when performing a remote notarization, just like when performing a traditional pen-and-paper notarization.

For example, a Texas Online Notary authorized to perform remote notarizations can do so while physically located in Texas. But if the Notary travelled to another state or country, the Notary could not perform remote notarizations outside the borders of Texas.

Rule 2: In most cases, the signer does not have to be physically present in the same state as the Notary.

While the Notary must be physically located in the commissioning state during a remote notarization, in most cases, the signer can be located either inside or outside the state when the remote notarization takes place — or even in a different country!

States with special rules

There are a few states that have other special location rules or restrictions for a remote notarization.

In states that have enacted the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) provisions for notarizations involving remotely located individuals, two rules come into play. First, Notaries may only perform a notarization for a remotely located individual who is outside the United States if the matter or record involving the remote notarization has a "nexus" with the United States, such as a record relating to a matter before a U.S. court or other government entity, or involving property in a U.S. jurisdiction.

Second, the remote notarization may only be performed if the act is not prohibited in the jurisdiction where the remotely located individual is at the time of the remote notarization. States with these provisions include Washington, Pennsylvania, and Idaho. In Colorado, a Notary must not have knowledge that the remote notarization is prohibited in that jurisdiction.

In West Virginia, Notaries can only perform a remote "ink" notarization for a signer who is located in West Virginia. If the signer is located outside West Virginia, the Notary must be commissioned as an out-of-state commissioner of deeds.

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


Related Articles:

Remote Notarization vs. Traditional Notarization


57 Comments

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Linda S Roche

27 Jun 2021

What does this sentence mean, in the big picture? The article above is talking about certain restrictions in a few states: "In Colorado, a Notary must not have knowledge that the remote notarization is prohibited in that jurisdiction."

National Notary Association

28 Jun 2021

Hello. If the customer requests a remote notarization, and the Notary knows that the request is prohibited in the area where the customer is located, the Notary cannot perform the requested remote notarization.

Linda S Roche

28 Jun 2021

thought so, so the comment is incorrect and should say that "a Notary MUST have knowledge that the remote notarization is prohibited..." and therefore, is responsible for HAVING the knowledge it is wrong, and there fore NOT do it. Do I have it right?

National Notary Association

01 Jul 2021

As stated above, a Colorado Notary may not perform a remote notarization for a signer outside the United States if the Colorado Notary knows that the notarial act is prohibited in the jurisdiction where the signer is located.

john McElhenny

04 Jul 2021

just starting to get into the remote notary did get the training with pavso and the state acknowledged the application to do the notary in Pennsylvania but did not find where I can download ron? can someone let me know thank you john

Chrissy

14 Jul 2021

So I have a client in my state NJ who needs his partner to sign a doc who is in Florida. We are not in Florida btw can I notarize?

National Notary Association

20 Jul 2021

Hello. You would not be able to perform a traditional pen-and-paper notarization unless the signer travelled from Florida to appear in person before you in New Jersey. New Jersey currently has a temporary law in place that allows notaries and authorized officials to execute remote notarial acts during the current public health emergency. For information, please see here: https://www.nj.gov/treasury/revenue/pdf/NotaryPublicManual.pdf#page=14

Mari

31 Aug 2021

In NY, the Executive Order allowing Remote Notarizations, (due to the pandemic), is no longer valid as of June 24, 2021, and notaries public can no longer perform notary services electronically. Are there exceptions to this that the NNA is aware of?

National Notary Association

01 Sep 2021

Hello. No, we are not aware of any exceptions at this time. If there are any changes, we will update the NY section of the article.

jpihlkar@tampabay.rr.com

04 Sep 2021

In FL, I have a person who would like someone to notarize an advance directive, living will and power of attorney. The person is currently in a rehab facility, recovering from COVID. The facility is currently on lockdown because 5 residents came down with COVID; only primary caregivers are allowed in the resident's room. If this person's room has a window, is the notary allowed to witness and notarize signing of the documents (with proper ID, of course, and after verifying that the person signing is not mentally incapacitated). Is there any FL law prohibiting this type of notarization?

National Notary Association

29 Sep 2021

Hello. You can notarize a document through a window as long as you can communicate directly with the signer and have someone to bring the document and journal back and forth between you and the signer.

Brandi

13 Dec 2021

Sorry I'm new so I want to make sure I have this correct. In Idaho I can preform online notaries RON anywhere in the United States as long as the act is not prohibited in the jurisdiction where the remotely located individual is at the time of the remote notarization? If this is correct, how do I find out about prohibited jurisdictions? Plus we can only do outside of United States if the remote notarization has a "nexus" with the United States? Is this correct?

National Notary Association

17 Dec 2021

Hello. An Idaho Notary authorized to perform RONs may notarize for a signer located anywhere in the world. However, when performing the RON, the Notary must be physically located within the borders of Idaho. For more information, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary/idaho

Lisa Carr

28 Feb 2022

Hello! I have a question about Notary. Specifically....I am a Notary in Oregon. We have a client who is currently in Japan. Is there a way to Notarize her signature via Teleconference, or Zoom? Do I need a special endorsement for this? Thank You! Respectfully, Lisa Carr

National Notary Association

11 Mar 2022

Hello. In Oregon, remote notarizations may only be performed by authorized Notaries who have completed a training course and met all state technology requirements. You may not notarize remotely using Zoom or another online meeting app. For more information, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary/oregon

Linda

30 May 2022

I’m commissioned in NY. I’ve received a request to notify a power of attorney for someone purchasing a co-op in NY but he is in England. Two witnesses are required. As I understand it, NY notaries now have permission to conduct remote notarization but I must be in my commissioned state. Can I notarize this document while he is in England and can his wife and I serve as witnesses?

National Notary Association

01 Jun 2022

Hello. New York's temporary remote notarization provisions expired June 25, 2021. Permanent remote notarization laws will not take effect in the state until January 31, 2023.

Katina

27 Sep 2022

Under Rule #1, the first sentence…what exactly is the possible exception for Virginia?

National Notary Association

10 Oct 2022

Hello. Virginia grants its Notaries worldwide jurisdiction for any document intended to be used in Virginia or by the U.S. government (COV 47.1-13[B]; HNP). To ensure your remote notarizations meet the requirements of Virginia law, you should only perform a remote notarization while you are physically located in Virginia. If you are asked to remotely notarize a document intended to be used in Virginia or by the U.S. government while you are physically located outside of Virginia, contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Notary Public Division at 1-804-692-2536 to request instructions before proceeding.

Kim

20 Oct 2022

I currently reside in Texas but the company I work for has a physical location in Washington. Can I perform remote notary services for clients in Washington. Follow up question, can I preform remote or in person notary services in Texas?

National Notary Association

21 Oct 2022

Hello. In order to perform remote notarizations in Texas, you must hold an existing TX Notary commission and apply for authorization to notarize remotely. Once you are authorized to perform remote notarizations, you may perform either traditional pen-and-paper notarizations or RONs. Commissioned online Notaries in Texas can perform remote notarizations for a signer in any physical location. However, the Notary must be physically located in the state of Texas at the time of the notarial act. For more information, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary/texas

Stacey

01 Nov 2022

I'm new in being a Notary as well as doing Remote Online Notary (RON) and I want to make sure I understand. I'm am commissioned in Kentucky for Notary and RON, I have a client in California that needs a RON. Am I still able to do the RON? Basically, my question is can I do a RON to anyone who is in a State that does not allow RON in that state, like California

National Notary Association

02 Nov 2022

Hello. Kentucky Notaries must be physically located in the state to perform remote notarizations, but their signers may be located elsewhere — inside or outside of the state border. While California does not authorize its Notaries to perform remote notarizations, there is nothing prohibiting a CA signer from requesting a remote notarization performed by a Notary authorized in a different state.

Greg Pellegrini

03 Feb 2023

In Louisiana, the following are prohibited from being performed by remote online notarization. La. R.S. 35:623 (B) and (C). (1) Testaments or codicils thereto. (2) Trust instruments or acknowledgments thereof. (3) Donations inter vivos. (4) Matrimonial agreements or acknowledgments thereof. (5) Acts modifying, waiving, or extinguishing an obligation of final spousal support or acknowledgments thereof. C. Remote online notarization may not be used to execute an authentic act as defined in Civil Code Article 1833. Except as otherwise provided in Subsection B of this Section, an act that fails to be authentic as a result of being executed by remote online notarization may still be valid as an act under private signature or an acknowledged act.

scott.smith@pa-titlesearch.com

21 Feb 2023

Can I do a RON for someone that is from my State but is currently overseas?

National Notary Association

22 Feb 2023

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

Rose Vang

18 Jun 2023

Im in FL. so when I do the notarization remotely.. do I put Florida as the state and the county I am at when I seal? Or put the state and county of the signer in the other state? Basically is the state and county where I am at or the signer when done remotely?

National Notary Association

07 Aug 2023

When performing a remote online notarization, you enter the county you’re in when filling out the venue portion of the Notarial verbiage.

angelmsilva78@gmail.com

22 Aug 2023

hello!, I already seen comments in regards to this statement but I just wanted a little more clarity.: " In Colorado, a Notary must not have knowledge that the remote notarization is prohibited in that jurisdiction." It my understanding that this statement is for a commisioned notary for the State of Colorado and that is phyically in Colorado only, correct?

National Notary Association

24 Aug 2023

Hello. A Colorado Notary authorized to perform notarizations must not perform a remote notarization if the CO Notary is aware that the remote notarial act is prohibited in the signer's jurisdiction.

Crystal

23 Aug 2023

Can I become an online notary for another state in New England area? For example, I'm located in Massachusetts.

National Notary Association

24 Aug 2023

Hello. In order to obtain a Notary commission in the nearby states of Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York or Vermont, you are required to have a place of business or employment in one of those states, as well as meeting all other state requirements for a Notary commission applicant. Otherwise, you are not eligible to apply for a commission in those states.

Dena

23 Sep 2023

I am a notary in Alabama. If performing a remote Ink notarization (RIN), is it OK if the signer is located outside the state of Alabama or even overseas? Would they have to be a legal resident of Alabama in order for me to be able to perform the RIN notarization?

National Notary Association

28 Sep 2023

Hello. In Alabama, Notaries can take acknowledgments remotely as long as the Notaries themselves are physically located within the state at the time of the notarial act. For more information, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary/alabama

Kristy Baisch

28 Sep 2023

My commission is in MI, and I can remote/electronic notarize. Can I remote notarize for someone located in NY?

National Notary Association

28 Sep 2023

Hello. Yes, Maryland Notaries can register to perform remote notarizations for signers in any location as long as the Notary is physically located within the state. Please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary/maryland

Tom

01 Oct 2023

Hello, If i am doing a online notary for a person in washington but i am in New york, what state and county do i put for the notary field? NY state or WA state

National Notary Association

02 Oct 2023

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please clarify, are you commissioned to perform remote notarizations in Washington state or New York?

Toms

02 Oct 2023

Hello I am commissioned in New York to do remote and traditional notary

National Notary Association

03 Oct 2023

Hello. When performing a remote online notarization, you enter the state and county you’re located in when filling out the venue portion of the Notarial verbiage.

National Notary Association

03 Oct 2023

Hello. Thank you for the clarification. When performing a remote online notarization, you would enter the state and county you are located in (in this case, New York) when filling out the venue portion of the Notarial verbiage.

Carolina Agassi-Pinho

16 Oct 2023

I am a notary public in Florida. I have not applied or trained to be a remote notary public. I have had requests to notarize jurats and aknowledgments for individuals who are in FL but physically unable to come to my office. I have been told that if they would send the original signed document and appear before me via onlinle with a photo ID and state they have read, understood and signed the document, I coul notarize it. Is that correct or do I need to be a remote notary public?

National Notary Association

16 Oct 2023

Hello. No, the request you are describing is not permitted in Florida. To perform a remote notarization, you would have to apply for authorization and follow state requirements. For information about how remote notarizations are performed in Florida, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary/florida The only type of remote act a Florida Notary who is not registered or using a remote notarization service provider may perform is a form of online oath for certain court proceedings. Legislation creating new FS 117.231 and effective on January 1, 2022, allows Notaries to administer remote oaths using audio-video communication without registering to be an online Notary or using a remote online notarization service provider: “When taking the oath of an individual who is testifying at any court proceeding, deposition, arbitration, or public hearing and who is outside of the physical presence of the notary public, the notary public may fulfill the requirements of s. 117.05 using audio-video communication technology” (FS 117.231[1]). “When taking an oath of admission to The Florida Bar from an individual who is outside of the physical presence of the notary public, the notary public may fulfill the requirements of s. 117.05 using audio-video communication technology” (FS 117.231[2]). “If an individual is located outside of this state at the time the notary public is to take the individual’s oath under this section, consent from the individual must be obtained to take his or her oath using audio-video communication technology pursuant to this section” (FS 117.231[3]). “When taking an oath under this section, the notary public is not required to be an online notary public or to use a [remote online notarization] service provider” (FS 117.231[4]).

Yeki76

06 Nov 2023

If i am in NJ and licensed in NJ. Can i do a RON for a signing in Florida?

National Notary Association

07 Nov 2023

Hello. New Jersey Notaries authorized to perform remote notarizations may do so for signers located anywhere so long as the Notary is physically located within New Jersey at the time of the notarization. More information can be found here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary/new-jersey

Rick

29 Nov 2023

I am in Thailand have a house settlement in PA -can I use a remote notary ?

National Notary Association

30 Nov 2023

Hello. Pennsylvania Notaries authorized to perform remote notarizations can notarize for signers in any location as long as the Notaries themselves are physically located within the state at the time of notarization. Please see here for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary/pennsylvania

Julie Steele

11 Dec 2023

In KY, can a notary notarize a mortgage if they see the borrower sign the document via video conference? If so, is there a separate form that would be completed that includes the notary or could physically notarize the document when it is returned? If they can notarize the document when it is returned how is it dated?

National Notary Association

15 Dec 2023

Hello. In Kentucky, a Notary who wishes to perform remote notarizations must register with the state and use an authorized technology provider. Please see here for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary/kentucky

rachel.varealestate@gmail.com

12 Feb 2024

Hi, I have a coworker who's father lives in PORTUGAL. I am RON certified in VIRGINIA. The document he needs notarized is a "proof of life updated information form" from his Heavy and General Laborers funds of NEW JERSEY. So it will be filed in New Jersey. I will be in my commissioned state of Virginia. To complicate things further, he will have someone translating for him. This person is not an appointed person to speak on his behalf in a legal sense. Can I notarize?

National Notary Association

16 Feb 2024

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.

Michelle

14 Feb 2024

Can a New York client use a Texas Notary (RON) for a document that will be filed in New York? The Notary is located in Texas. I know that for NY RON the notary must be in NY, but does the client need to use a NY notary?

National Notary Association

16 Feb 2024

Hello. Commissioned online Notaries in Texas can perform remote notarizations for a signer in any physical location. However, the Notary must be physically located in the state of Texas at the time of the notarial act. You would need to contact the agency that will be receiving the document to ask if they will accept a document remotely notarized by a Texas Notary.

Richard Jones

30 May 2024

if I am not a "REMOTE" Notary, and someone asks me to notarize something in the state, but away from my office, can I travel to them, INSIDE of Oklahoma, and notarize their signatures? or if I am not remote, does that mean I have to be in my home office only?

National Notary Association

03 Jun 2024

Hello. "Remote Notarization" or "Remote Online Notarization" refers to a notarization performed online using authorized audiovisual communication technology between the Notary and the signer. Oklahoma Notaries have statewide jurisdiction to perform traditional pen-and-paper notarizations (49 OS 6[A]). You may travel to perform a physical pen-and-paper notarization for a signer anywhere within the borders of Oklahoma.

M. Colvin

12 Jun 2024

I am a RON commissioned notary in TX. My signer, known personally to me, is located in Canada. The document to be notarized is for a Washington state application. This sentence is confusing. Does this mean that, because my signer will not be in WA at the time of the notary transaction, that it will be acceptable to present to WA? "Second, the remote notarization may only be performed if the act is not prohibited in the jurisdiction where the remotely located individual is at the time of the remote notarization. States with these provisions include Washington, Pennsylvania, and Idaho."

National Notary Association

14 Jun 2024

Hello. This means you may not perform a remote notarial act if the notarial act is prohibited in the jurisdiction where the signer is located. So in this case, if the signer asks you for a remote notarial act prohibited in Canada, you may not perform the remote notarization.

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