How Remote Online Notarization Works

Notarization is a vital process that helps ensure the authenticity and integrity of critical documents. Yet historically, most notarizations have been performed in person and on paper. In today’s fast-moving, hybrid work environment, in-person and paper-based notarization slows down the pace of business, delivers a poor signer and notary public experience, and increases the risk of identity fraud.

Fortunately, organizations now have another option for conducting efficient, secure and convenient notarizations: remote online notarization (RON).

RON is the process of notarizing a document remotely through the use of electronic signature, identity verification, audio-visual and electronic notarial journal and record keeping technologies.  A properly performed RON act is legally admissible, like a traditional, paper-based notarization, but without the inefficiencies and inconveniences of notarizing in person.

With Docusign Notary, your notaries now have the digital tools they need to securely conduct RON acts, providing a seamless signer experience and mitigating risk with a robust audit trail.   Notary helps organizations send, sign and notarize agreements uninterrupted within the Docusign eSignature experience they’re already familiar with.

Three simple steps to conducting a RON act

Docusign Notary enables the notarization of a wide range of agreements remotely and electronically via a secure audio-visual session, in just three easy steps:

1. Send an agreement: To begin, the sender simply uploads an agreement or uses a template for frequently notarized agreements. After adding the signers and the notary public, they can quickly drag and drop fields directly onto the agreement to capture accurate signer and notary public information at the time of signing.

2. Verify signers’ identities: Next, each signer receives an email with a personalized link, ensuring only identified signers can enter the live notarial session. The signers go through a quick tech check to make sure they have access to a camera, microphone and sufficient internet bandwidth to enable a seamless audio-visual experience. 

After passing the tech check, they’ll be asked to verify their identity via identity proofing technologies. The signers are instructed to take a picture of their government-issued ID, which is checked for authenticity. Signers may also be asked to answer a series of questions from their personal backgrounds, which are verified against a third-party database. 

Alternatively, if the notary public knows the signer, Docusign Notary allows the notary public to personally attest to the signer’s identity. These identity proofing options can help organizations comply with RON regulations while mitigating the risk of identity fraud.

3. Sign and notarize: Lastly, the agreement is signed and notarized in a live, two-way audio-visual session. The session occurs within the users’ browsers, so no downloads or plug-ins are required, ensuring a fast and frictionless experience.

During this live session, the signers and the notary public can review the agreement together, ask questions and confirm the agreement is filled out correctly. The notary public then completes their electronic journal, capturing critical information about the notarial transaction before witnessing the signer electronically signing the agreement in real time.

Finally, the notary public simply clicks a button to apply their digital seal, and their information is automatically pulled in from their Docusign profile. Say goodbye to the hand-held notary seal stamp or embosser!

Once the notarization session is complete, the tamper-evident electronic journal and audio-visual recording are both stored within the Docusign platform for secure record-keeping, available for future access within the notary public’s profile.

Each transaction also comes equipped with an audit trail that captures the date, time and other critical information about the notarization session—this robust audit trail helps organizations mitigate risk and can help them meet state-specific RON requirements.

RON can be used for many common notarization scenarios

The majority of US states have passed legislation allowing RON transactions, with most states recognizing interstate RON acts.  Docusign Notary can be used to notarize a wide range of your organization’s most common and critical agreements. These agreements include:

  • Powers of attorney
  • Spousal consents
  • Affidavits
  • Deeds
  • Trust certifications
  • Auto title transfers
  • Total loss claims
  • Life and annuity claims

For more information about how RON supports these common agreements, check out Docusign’s Remote Online Notarization Guide.  

Digitize your notarial processes with Docusign Notary

Enable a convenient customer experience

Docusign Notary enables organizations to conduct business faster and more efficiently, especially when built into a singular, end-to-end document management and e-signature platform that allows you to send, sign and manage all your agreements in one place, with a single log-in.

Do business faster, more efficiently

With Notary, the sender can easily drag-and-drop fields, like the notary public’s county of commission, onto the document to ensure fast, accurate document execution. The information is pulled automatically from the digital notarial seal, reducing risk of error.

Organizations can also create reusable templates in Notary for frequently used agreements that require notarization, and use robust APIs to seamlessly automate repeatable workflows, such as triggering a notarial session, within the systems you use every day.

Mitigate risk and reduce fraud

When fortified by secure identity proofing technologies and a robust audit trail, Notary also offers peace of mind. Each notarial session provides a tamper-evident certificate of completion, and notaries public have access to a secure audio-visual recording and electronic journal. This can help reduce risk and can help your notaries public comply with state RON requirements.

Signers and notaries public alike enjoy a convenient, intuitive experience without any of the frustrations and hassles of meeting in person. Isn’t it time to transform your notarization processes for the digital age with RON?

See RON in action and learn more about how Docusign Notary works.