About the author: Guy has been a commissioned notary for more than 5 years. He also runs one of the most established Facebook groups for Remote Online Notarization with over 7000 members nationwide.
In previous posts, we’ve discussed what remote online notarization’s (RON) are, the different variations of RON, legislation relating to RON, and how to prepare once you’ve decided to use an RON service. A quick google search will reveal that there are numerous available services for online notarizations. How do you decide which one to choose? This handy guide breaks down some of the variables to consider when selecting your online notary service.
Online notarizations services market themselves as a safe, convenient option. This convenience may vary between companies, states, and the specifics of your transactions.
- Time: many remote online services (including LiveNotary) are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Region: It is legally required that a notary be practicing in state where they are licensed. This doesn’t mean that you need to find an online notary available in the state you live, but that the notary needs to be licensed in the state where they live. Some online services, such as the popular service Nexsys, are not available in all states. LiveNotary is able to notarize in all states where remote online notarizations are legal.
- Country: Another thing to consider is whether or not you are in the United States, as some online notary services either can’t accommodate or may charge extra for clients in other countries. LiveNotary provides notarizations for US clients living abroad with no extra fees.
- Specific transactions: while most online notarizations can be completed 24/7, some transactions, such as eClosings for mortgages, require more planning and coordination. As anyone who has completed a real-estate closing knows, this process takes significant planning and coordination between multiple parties, and your online notarization service needs to be included in this planning process.
Pricing might be one of the most variable aspects of finding an online notarizations service. The industry standard (and LiveNotary’s price) for an online notarization is $25. However, there are many things that can contribute to an increased price. Below is a list of some of the aspects of your notarizations that might increase the price of your transaction.
- Additional stamps and seals
- Multiple signers
- Clients outside of the United States
- Notarizations outside of “regular” business hours
Transparency can be an issue with determining the final price tag of your notarization. It might be valuable to speak with a customer service agent at your online notary service to determine where your transaction will land in the pricing structure. A complete list of LiveNotary prices is available here.
One of the universal legal requirements for online notary services is that a licensed notary must be able to record the transactions, verify the identity of the clients, and securely store that information. There are numerous aspects of the process that require security, from storage of your documents to processing of your payments. The security for an online notary service is often built into their software platform. This software uses very technical encryption processes to ensure that your information is safe.
Notarized Document Availability: Some online notarization services will email you a copy of your notarized document at the end of the transaction. Other services store your document on their own service for an indefinite amount of time. Understanding if, where, and how your document will be stored is an important aspect of choosing the right service. Some services will only store your document for a limited period of time. If you don’t download and save the document before that time is up, you may lose your document and have to pay for additional notarizations. If the service offers indefinite, online storage, it’s important to be confident that that company utilizes sufficient security to ensure the privacy and safety of your notarized documents.
At LiveNotary, our priority is the safety and security of your information. We utilize world class security, with all audio & video encrypted at REST. Stored documents are encrypted and stored via AWS. In addition, we utilize the latest 256-bit SSL when processing all stored information.
When purchasing any service or product, it’s important to do your homework. Talking to friends, advisors, and reviewing online review sites are just some strategies to ensure that you are giving your money to a worthy company. Two places that are important to check for insights into customer experience and trustworthiness are Truspilot.com and the Better Business Bureau. Currently, LiveNotary enjoys a 4.5-star rating on Trustpilot and an A- rating from the BBB.
It’s also important to select a company that guarantees its services. If you pay for an online notarization and can’t use the document from the notarization, you’ve essentially thrown your money away. This is why LiveNotary guarantees its services by providing a full refund if your document isn’t accepted by the end recipient. We also offer a full, free redo if a mistake is made during your notarization. Taken together, these guarantees should set your mind at ease that you are getting what you pay for from your online notary service.
The final decision point for selecting an online notary service is to consider your specific needs. Most online notary services can accommodate on-demand, basic notarizations of a single document. If you have a document that requires multiple notary stamps or signatures, it may increase the price or require more than one session with a notary.
Many online notary services either don’t accommodate eClosings or don’t accommodate mortgage notarizations on an “on-demand” basis. This is based on the fact that mortgage closings usually require significant planning and coordination.
If you own a business and regularly require notarizations, there may be additional considerations. Many online notary services offer business plans that include additional availability, dedicated notaries, monthly rates, or reduced costs based on your needs.
LiveNotary: The Right Choice
At LiveNotary we strive to stay at the forefront of the industry standards for online notarizations. We prioritize accuracy, availability, and security to ensure a satisfying transaction that meets our customers needs. For additional details regarding our services, pricing, and customer service, check out LiveNotary.com!