Remote Notarization Basics
Webcam notarization allows a signer to appear before a webcam-based notary, instead of in person. The process requires a digital method of identity verification using a combination of public and private data, credit report information, and state or federally issued identification cards. This technology allows the notary to verify the signer is who they say they are.
What States Allow Remote Notarization?
Virginia was the first state to allow webcam notarization. Since then, Montana and Florida have also begun allowing certain types of notarizations to be completed using webcam technology. Six states are currently considering whether to allow webcam notarizations, including Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. However, the legislation proposed in each state might contain restrictions as to what type of notarizations would be allowed over webcam. Time will tell how these states decide to handle the new webcam notarizations, but support for this technology is growing. California has some of the strictest notary laws and standards and hasn’t adopted webcam notarization yet. It is unclear if the California Secretary of State will allow remote notarization in the future.
Secretaries Of State & Model Electronic Notarization Act
The National Association of Secretaries of State is currently weighing the advantages and disadvantages of webcam notarization. The National Notary Association recently published a Model Electronic Notarization Act with recommendations on how states could handle the new technology. Although the current landscape of webcam notarization is still unclear, I suspect it is only a matter of time before California notaries are able to complete the notarial act from anywhere with a network connection.