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A notary is a legal practitioner responsible for or authorized to witness signatures on documents. A notary public takes affidavits, declarations, and depositions. The notary public is also engaged in verifying company signature and verification of identity, signatures, etc.
A notary public may witness the execution of local and international documents such as sale and purchase agreements and transfers of land agreements. Besides, a state government can appoint a notary public to perform impartial functions to the public. Such tasks include fraud-deterrent acts regarding the signing of official documents. Anyone appointed as a notary public is usually a person of integrity and must be a legal practitioner.
This brings us to who a remote notary is, someone assigned to perform such duties remotely. It is known as remote notarization.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many countries to enact laws permitting remote online notarization, known as RON. Under this act, a notary is allowed to perform the signing of a document using online facilities such as a webcam or audio-visual aid.
Remote online notarization also includes using electronic methods to sign a document. By e-Notarization, a notary signs a document electronically without being personally present.
Who Qualifies to Be a Notary Public
As in any legal practice, to be qualified for a remote online notarization, you have to be an adult of at least 18 years, provided your state of residence is covered under the RON act.
To be eligible to conduct a remote online notarization, you should not have any case of felony convictions.
Some states may require additional training to be eligible for remote online notarization. However, you should have deep knowledge of digital tools to ease operation.
How Do You Notarize A Document?
Like the traditional notarizing of a document, upon request for such services, the prospect contacts a notary authorized by law to perform remote online notarization. Not all states in the US permit remote online notarization. Once you find one, the notary uploads the documents on the internet. The notary carries out identity verification to screen the parties involved. At the screening, a notary may request ID card authentication. Some may require a live photoshoot. Using a webcam or your phone’s camera.
A prospect has to answer some questions bothering with identification. These questions may be used to crosscheck with relevant documents or identification cards. Some laws may require government-issued ID cards such as Driver’s Licence, Voter’s ID card, National Identity card, or an International Passport.
Once authentication and identification are completed, parties sign the document using an electronic device such as wet ink or an e-signature. All this is done with the witness of your notary through visual aids. The signature and seal of the notary are affixed on the document openly for everyone to see via visual aids. Thus, the document is ready for distribution and filing. Sharing of signed copies by all parties is done. This entire process takes about 30 minutes to complete
Benefits of Remote Notarization
While the traditional notarization method takes days or even weeks to complete, the remote online notarization takes roughly 30 minutes. Once the request is made, all parties consent to the process, and it takes a relatively shorter time to accomplish.
The remote online notarization is cost-effective. It eliminates all the paperwork associated with documentation. It’s cheaper compared to the conventional method.
The remote online notarization method is quicker, more convenient, and easier to perform. In approximately 30 minutes, you have completed the process. Once authentication is confirmed, there are no more logistic constraints.
Some clients have reported that the process is safer than the traditional method and is much preferred to the former. Once signed, you print your copy and keep it in your file. You still have the online copy to keep.
A remote online notary enjoys more comprehensive coverage by remote online notarization. You can be engaged in a state far away from your residence through online communication. This rakes in more income for the RON.
Remote online notarization has benefited a lot of people. Many notaries can now work from home to perform their duties online.
Remote online notarization has come to stay. More and more states, including more countries, are buying into it. Technological advancement, coupled with social distancing occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, makes remote online notarization more popular. The laws regulating remote online notarization differ from state to state. You should check the laws adopted by your state of residence. Most people prefer online notarization because of the numerous benefits it offers.
Finally, cybersecurity concerns, proper identification, encryption, and safe storing of sensitive electronic documents are mounting. This is a challenge that cannot be ignored. It shows that regulations on remote notarization still need to be fine-tuned.