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Are Online Notarizations Legal?
Are Online Notarizations Legal? Find Out What States Allow Remote Online Notarizations
With the advancement of technology, people are looking for ways to make their life easier. Technology has brought convenience to the user’s fingertips, from food delivery services to ride-sharing apps. Fortunately, notarizations are becoming more accessible too.
While generally new, Remote Online Notarizations are legal in most states. With this growth, signers are asking important questions like, are online notaries legal, and can I get documents notarized online? The answer is it depends on the state you live in. There is also an important distinction between states that accept online notarizations and those that allow their notaries to perform Remote Online Notarizations.
For the states allowing online notarizations, the users need to understand how to notarize a document online. Remote Online Notarization platforms like Notarize Genie connect the signer and a licensed notary via a secure, two-way audio-visual connection. Meeting virtually allows the signer to get documents notarized online without scheduling an appointment or physically meeting a notary.
In What States Can I Get Documents Notarized Online?
Currently, 44 states plus D.C. have permanent laws allowing Remote Online Notarization. In these states, you can get a notary online:
24. New Hampshire
25. New Jersey
26. New Mexico
27. New York
28. North Dakota
33. Rhode Island
34. South Carolina
35. South Dakota
42. Washington D.C.
43. West Virginia
Signers must be careful as each of these states has laws dictating how notaries and RON platforms may provide RON. Before having your documents notarized online, you should research your state’s laws to ensure the online notarization is valid.
States Temporarily Allowing Remote Online Notarizations
Due to the pandemic, several states began allowing their notaries to perform online notarizations. However, a handful of states are only allowing RON temporarily, including:
Delaware Massachusetts, RON is allowed until March 31, 2023. An Act Relative To Extending Certain State Of Emergency Accommodations, 2022 Mass. Acts 107 North Carolina*
*Delaware has enacted laws making RON permanent starting August 1, 2023. Delaware State Senate Bill 262.
** Starting July 1, 2023, North Carolina will permanently allow Remote Online Notarizations under North Carolina House Bill 776.
States That Do Not Allow Remote Online Notarization
While most states have jumped on the RON trend, not all states allow it. California, Connecticut, and Georgia do not allow remote online notarizations. However, California and Georgia accept documents notarized online by a notary outside the state. Connecticut, on the other hand, is not clear on whether they would accept documents notarized online. Fortunately, for people in these states, it looks like help is on its way.
The House of Representatives passed the SECURE Notarization Act of 2022. Privacy Protection Act of 1998, H.R. 3926, 117th Cong. (2022). This law would make Remote Online Notarization legal in all 50 states.
SECURE NOTARIZATION ACT OF 2022
Dealing with different laws from state to state can create a headache for signers and notaries. The SECURE Notarization Act would provide a federal baseline that all states must follow for remote online notarization transactions. These baseline requirements mean a smoother notarization experience, as notaries and RON platforms would not have to adjust from state to state.
The Act provides minimum technical requirements, which would ensure the safety and security of an online notarization. Additionally, U.S. courts and states would have to recognize notarizations that occur in or affect interstate commerce and are performed by a notary public licensed in other states. Finally, and importantly, the Act allows a notary to remotely notarize electronic records involving an individual outside the U.S.
The Act hopes to provide a clear answer to the question of is online notarization legal. If you are in a state that allows or recognizes RON and are wondering where you can get a document notarized online, come checkout Notarize Genie.
Notarize Genie is a Remote Online Notarization platform created by notaries to bring a smooth signing experience to both the notaries and signers. Our team is happy to answer any questions related to remote online notarizations in your state.