Docusign-Issued Digital Certificates for Docusign Notary

Given the increased ease and flexibility of conducting business remotely, it’s no surprise bad actors see it as a perfect opportunity to take advantage of people through identity impersonation.

Many agreements and contracts require you to share personal and sensitive information. Because of this, it is vital that you are confident in the identity of the person receiving your information.

One key example of this is remote online notarization (RON), a process where a notary public verifies the identity of a signer and certifies the authenticity of their signature. When conducting a remote online notarization, it’s especially important to confirm both the notary public and the signer(s) are who they say they are. Fortunately, new solutions like digital certificates can help ensure the notary public is legitimate. 

Digital certificates for remote online notarization

There are two common ways to identify a notary public: electronic seals and digital certificates. Just like traditional ink and embosser seals, an electronic seal shows the document was notarized and provides information about the notary public.

A digital certificate for remote online notarization, which is distinct from the digital certificates used for electronic signatures, verifies the identity of the notary public who affixed the electronic signature and seal on the notarized document and makes the document “tamper-evident.” After a digital certificate is applied to the notarized document, it will be evident if any of the document’s contents have been altered, including the notary public’s electronic signature and seal.

Digital certificates are not currently required in all states that allow remote online notarization.  States that do require digital certificates have different rules for obtaining, verifying and using them.

Notaries public in states requiring digital certificates must purchase their certificates through a third-party vendor. They are also required to renew their digital certificate periodically, which can be a costly and time-consuming experience.

Although not all states require digital certificates, obtaining one is the safest and most secure way to perform remote online notarizations for all parties involved in the transaction. Now, Docusign offers an easier digital certificate solution. 

Docusign-issued digital certificates for notaries public

Docusign now issues its own digital certificates for notaries public. This digital certificate is required for all notaries public using Docusign Notary. This requirement not only simplifies the digital certificate onboarding process for notaries public, it also provides a higher bar for legitimate, secure and trusted notarizations, which benefits all Docusign Notary users.

Supplying Docusign-issued digital certificates directly to new Docusign Notary users reduces onboarding time for a notary public from days to minutes. This new platform-wide standard requires all notaries public to maintain an active Docusign-issued digital certificate—at no additional cost—that is valid in all states that support remote online notarizations.

Here’s how the different types of Notary users will experience the new platform improvements and benefit from Docusign-issued digital certificates: 

New notary public users

  • Notaries public who are new to Docusign Notary will be issued a Docusign digital certificate during a tailored onboarding engagement, and can then renew, delete and view basic certificate details from their Notary Profile. 
  • These new users can simply affix the digital certificate to each notarization they’re involved in while active. 

Existing notary public users

  • Notaries public who are already Docusign Notary users can continue performing remote online notarization transactions without a digital certificate or continue using an IdenTrust certificate
  • Existing notary public users will have the option to obtain a Docusign-issued digital certificate in a future release. 


  • Users who are sending a document to be notarized with Docusign Notary see the "DS Authority IDV" signature type default automatically for the Notary recipient if they have a valid Docusign-issued digital certificate. 
  • Senders can select the "DS Authority IDV" signature type for their Notary recipient to sign with a Docusign-issued digital certificate. 
  • Senders can also choose the "Signer Held U.S. Notary" signature type for a notary public who prefers to use their existing IdenTrust digital certificate, or select the "DS Electronic" signature type if they prefer not to use a digital certificate. 


  • Auditors can use a web browser or PDF reader to view the details and tamper-evident tracking of the Docusign-issued digital certificate to easily determine if a notarized document has been altered.  

Digital certificates build trust in digital transactions

Remote online notarizations are quickly becoming the preferred method for signers and notaries public because of the convenience and secure digital audit trail they offer. Now that Docusign Notary features a simple digital certificate process, users on both sides of the transaction can trust that everyone is who they say they are. This added layer of identity verification ensures a safe, secure, transparent and trusted notarization for everyone. 

Ready to get started with Docusign Notary? Contact us today.