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.
Remote online notarization (RON) is an option that has gained wider use in recent years. RON’s are an excellent option if you are concerned about COVID-19 exposure, live distant from other parties that need to be involved in your transaction, or are a member of a profession requiring significant travel.
RON takes place completely electronically, so it’s important to make sure you have the necessary resources to complete the process. Here are a few steps you can take to prepare for your RON:
Step 1: Do Your Research
First, confirm that RON’s are legally allowed in your state. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly every state has allowed the use of RON’s for some transactions through legislation or emergency order. Additionally, as of December 2020, there is pending federal legislation (SECURES Act) designed to legalize the use of RON’s in all 50 states.
If you are working with a lender and are interested in a remote online notarization, check with them to see if they have any requirements for completing your RON. Some lenders, such as Fannie May or Freddie Mac, have specific requirements and guidelines for the use of RON’s.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, find the online notary service that meets your needs. Again, you might need to check with your lender to verify their requirements or see they are contracted with a specific RON provider. LiveNotary is one online service that combines 24-hour availability, easy to use technology, and professional, trustworthy service to make the selection process simple for you.
Step 2: Check Your Tech
In order to complete an RON, there are a few tools you will need.
- Reliable internet connection:
- A reliable internet connection is important for a few reasons. First, you will likely need to upload and submit documents in real-time. Secondly, you will need to answer questions to confirm your identity. Third, you will need to have a live webcam conversation with your notary. Depending on the requirements of your state or lender, the inability to complete any of these processes may prevent the successful remote notarization of your documents.
- All RON’s legally require a real-time, face-to-face interaction with a notary. Luckily, most laptops and tablets come with a built-in webcam. If you have older technology, you can purchase a webcam that connects to your computer via USB or other technology. In any case, you will need a webcam to complete the transaction.
- Printer/Scanner: If you don’t own a printer/scanner, see if you can access one through friends or family You could also check with the public library or a local print shop to get electronic copies of your documents. As long as you have your documents available in electronic form, you don’t necessarily need to have a printer or scanner during the time of the notarization.
Step 3: Get Organized
In addition to the documents that you are getting notarized, make sure you have a few forms of identification available for the notary service. Depending on your state laws and the requirements of the involved parties (i.e. your lender or other institution involved in the notarization) there may be several steps to the identity verification process, including:
- Use of traditional identification documents (driver’s license, state ID card, birth certificate)
- Knowledge-Based Authentication: the ability to answer questions specifically related to your identity
- Credential analysis: often an automated, electronic verification of identifying documents
- Credible witnesses
- A combination of several identity verification approaches known as “identity proofing”
Don’t be intimidated by the identity verification process! It’s usually painless and completed in real-time during the notarization process. It’s important to understand that this part of the process is essential to ensuring the security of your personal information and the integrity of the notarization.
Final Step: The Notarization
Once you have selected your RON service, the first step is uploading your documents. After your documents are uploaded, you will confirm your identity and be linked to your notary by webcam.
When you and your notary have been linked through webcam, the notarization will proceed much the same as a traditional notarization. The notary will review your documents, you’ll provide an electronic signature, and the notary will affix their electronic signature and seal. Finally, the notary will send you an electronic version of your notarized document. The notary will keep an electronic record of the transaction. Your notarization is now complete!
Remote Online Notarizations: A Safe, Secure, and Convenient Option
Although the above information might seem a bit overwhelming, remote online notarizations are actually designed to be convenient and simple. You should be easily able to access the necessary documents and information. You will also experience the convenience of a quick process (LiveNotary can complete your notarization in as little as 5 minutes) and easy availability (notaries are available through LiveNotary 24 hours a day!).
If you have documents that require notarization and are concerned about the safety or inconvenience of a traditional, in-person notarization, remote online notarizations are a great option. LiveNotary is able to provide safe and secure notarizations in all 50 states and has experienced notaries standing by to serve you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!