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 short, an Online Public Notary is an official who witnesses the signing of documents in order to prevent fraud. You may have occasion to use the services of a notary during your lifetime, for one of many reasons. There are two distinct types of notary: a common-law notary is simply a witness who is not qualified in the law, whilst a civil-law notary public is a lawyer who can give legal advice where required.
When may you require the services of a notary public? In the current climate especially it may be that you take on the services of an online notary. This is usually for one of the following purposes:
- Online notarization may be required for the signing of oaths and affirmations;
- A notary public may witness the taking of statutory declarations and affidavits;
- For the acknowledgement of deeds and other such documents;
- Bills of exchange and protest notes;
- And notice of foreign drafts.
Until recently it was necessary to meet a notary public in person to witness the legal documentation. Now you can take advantage of remote online notarization thanks to workable and effective video and audio communication systems, thus removing the time-consuming need to meet in person.
Notaries are usually appointed by state government and are considered ‘persons of integrity’. The notary public is also publicly commissioned so are bound by a strict set of rules in terms of how they perform the role.
Who Can Become a Notary Public?
If you wish to become a notary public and gain permission to notarize documents either in person or via remote notarization there are certain steps you need to take. The requirements for a notary may vary from state to state, but in general the following are the criteria you need to meet to become an online notary:
- You must be able to meet the qualifications that your state specifies, and you will find these on the Secretary of State’s website.
- Complete the necessary application, along with which a fee will be payable.
- Each state will have an exam that you will be required to pass before being considered.
- If selected, you will need to be officially sworn in as a notary public.
There may be a background check carried out – after all, you are required to be a person of integrity and able to act as an impartial witness – and there may also be insurance required depending upon your state. Finally, the state may also insist that you are trained by a qualified person in how to perform the role of online notarization and act as a notary in person.
The first step towards becoming a notary public is to check the Secretary of State website and make any enquiries you have through there. If you are successful in your application, you could find that becoming a notary opens new avenues. Have a look at the statutory requirements where you live if this appeals to you and start the process now.
Are you ready to become an online public notary? Join our team of commissioned, electronic notaries at LiveNotary.com.