Do signers and notaries need to be in the same state for a RON?
No. Signers and notaries do not need to be in the same state for a remote online notarization (RON). The notary must be in the state they are certified/commissioned in to notarize a document. The signer does NOT have to be in that state for the remote online notarization.
What is remote online notarization?
Remote online notarization is the online notarization of an electronic document. The process includes using secure audio-video technology as part of an online notarization platform such as eNotaryLog. During a RON meeting, the customer and notary meet in a secure online notary room, not in person. The signing, verification, and act of notarization all occur through communication technology.
Where does the notary need to be located for a RON transaction?
Nearly all RON-enacting states have followed the legal framework first established by the Virginia Electronic Notaries Act of 2011. RON has six-core legal principles, and one of those core principles reads: The Notary Must be Physically Located in the State of Commissioning When Performing an Online Notarization. This means notaries must be in their state of commissioning when performing an online notarial act. This is legally important for two main reasons:
A notarial act performed by a notary while physically outside of the notary’s territorial jurisdiction is void of any legal effect.
It ensures that the current interstate recognition statutes with respect to notarial acts throughout the United States will apply to online notarizations in the same manner as applied to traditional paper notarizations.
Where does the signer need to be physically located for RON transactions?
Another core legal principle of RON is that the signer can be outside the notary’s commissioning state by using audio-visual technology. This principle reads: Signer May Be Physically Located Outside of the Notary’s Commissioning State.
Thus, a notary may perform an online notarization with a signer outside the notary’s physical presence. This is regardless of whether the signer is in the same state, a different state or territory, or even a different country.
Signers no longer have to be in the same physical location as a notary. Instead, signers can be wherever they want or need to be at the time of the signing. There’s no more scheduling your day around an appointment and worrying about getting there on time. With RON, a signer only needs access to a computer or mobile phone to complete the audio-visual meeting.
Because notary acts are recognized as taking place in the state where the notary is, the validity of the act is governed by the law of the notary’s commissioning state. For example, if an Ohio online notary notarizes a document in Ohio, then the document is governed by the notarial laws of Ohio.
Do states ever make the signer be in the same room as the notary?
No. Every RON state requires only that the notary be physically present within the borders of the commissioning state. For example, if a document is approved to be remotely notarized electronically in Virginia, the notary public must be physically in Virginia to notarize the document. However, the signer can access the online Virginia notary utilizing audio-video communication technology anywhere.
What is Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (RIN)?
A few states have authorized Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (RIN). RIN is a process in which the signer remotely appears before the notary using communication technology. However, the documents are still in paper form and physically executed by the signer and the notary.
Online notarization is still evolving. However, with nearly every state having remote online notarization laws, usage of RON will continue to increase as consumers and businesses realize it’s benefits. Notaries, signers, and corporate customers are already experiencing the convenience, speed, and cost savings of RON platforms like eNotaryLog.
What is the future of RON?
The global move toward digital documentation and secure automated transactions has accelerated the adoption of RON and electronic signatures. The shift to digital processes was further spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, RON usage increased dramatically. It provides a secure means to execute important documents, verify identities, and keep business moving.
RON gives notaries an enhanced ability to prove the authenticity of electronic signatures and digital identities. eNotaryLog is leading the charge as a customer-first remote online notarization and electronic signature service provider. The eNotaryLog RON platform offers businesses and consumers the flexibility and customization to serve their clients online anywhere, anytime.
Simplify digital for your organization. Notarize with confidence.
We get many questions about implementing remote online notarization (RON) and what can and can’t be done. “Do signers and notaries need to be in the same state for a RON?” is one of the most common questions we receive. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll highlight the topic in a future blog post.
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