What You Need to Know About Remote Online Notarization
Thankfully, with the benefit of technology, there is now another way. A convenient, safe, and efficient way to get your documents notarized. And if you haven’t heard of it before; welcome to the world of Remote Online Notarization (RON).
What is Remote Online Notarization (RON)?
In a nutshell, Remote Online Notarization or RON is the electronic notarization of documents using digital identification verification, eSignatures, and internet based document recording. No physical files required; this is an entirely paperless (and painless!) process.
And as you may have guessed from the title, RON is a remote solution. It has its roots in suitable businesses moving from traditional bricks and mortar stores and offices to an online presence. Like all virtual services, transparency and integrity are at the core.
Why is RON a better way?
Well, for starters, the environmental benefits are obvious; no trees were harmed in the process of preparing and notarizing documents! Minimizing the use of paper in any situation should be encouraged, particularly in industries that have a reputation for being a little more “traditional” in their record keeping! But there are a host of other benefits to RON:
- Convenience – Eliminating the need to travel and schedule a physical meeting at the notary public’s office;
- Cost effectiveness – Reduced travel costs and time spent attending an appointment, as well as minimizing costs for the notary public;
- Accessibility – Being able to access notary public services from the convenience of home;
- Choice – Having the option to select from a wider number of commissioned notary publics;
- Security – Enhanced fraud prevention and tamper-proofing technologies to ensure that the signatories are genuine and that the notarized documents have not been altered;
- Traceable – Electronic audit trails documenting every step of the notarization process remains on record.
What can be notarized using RON?
Practically any document that needs notarizing could be signed and sealed using RON. From legal and finance to insurance and business services. Even government, technology, and retail sectors are experiencing the speed, cost, and efficiency advantages that come from adopting RON.
Here are just a few examples:
- Mortgage and property deeds – Documents that place secure charges over property and transfer ownership of land;
- Powers of attorney – Powers that enable one person to act on behalf of another;
- Contracts – Binding agreements for goods and services;
- Vehicle finance documents – Leasing and purchasing vehicles.
Who can use RON?
RON has been legal in some parts of the US since 2011. Over a decade ago, Virginia trailblazed the technology, and now over 2/3 of states have passed legislation permitting the use of RON.
In fact, during the Pandemic, many states were forced to trial RON.
With offices closed and people working from home, electronic signatures suddenly became a safe and secure solution to a serious problem. Indeed, even the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is applying its certification process to RON to ensure consistency in the quality of e-signing and sealing services. Meaning ISO compliance is now possible as a mark of trustworthiness for RON.
And despite the world opening back up again, the attractiveness of RON continues to show no sign of stopping. What was a temporary technological fix for many, has become a permanent, convenient, and safe way of carrying out a previously old-fashioned and outdated process.
What is actually required changes from state to state. But generally speaking documents can be notarized using RON technology if:
- The notary is registered to practice in the relevant state;
- There is a process for verifying government issued ID documents;
- The parties communicate using audio-visual technologies;
- Software providing eSignatures and electronic seals is available;
- The digital audit trail is recorded; and
- Data protection and privacy rules are safeguarded
What do you need for RON?
As mentioned above, reliable and effective audio-visual technologies are essential when not meeting people face to face. A notary public would fall foul of the regulations if they couldn’t see or hear their client property! The choice of service providers for VoIP and conference calls is huge, and securing the right one will make the RON process run smoothly.
And RON doesn’t mean being tethered to a computer terminal either. Indeed, the virtual workspace can be anywhere thanks to the use of smart devices and business phone apps.
With this flexibility and convenience on offer, it’s no wonder RON is becoming so popular!
Does RON cross state lines?
With a few states yet to take advantage of RON, this is a question that persists. But, like international laws, the validity of RON is well respected. Generally speaking, RON will be recognized so long as the process has been completed in accordance with the rules of the state in which the notary public is commissioned.
What about parties who live out of state?
Again, just like the authentication process, people signing using RON can be located anywhere in the world. So long as the notary public has been commissioned by the state and is adhering to the relevant RON legislation, their signatures will be valid.
Why Not RON?
Well that’s a question we are honestly struggling to answer! ESignatures have been around for years now, and there’s plenty of evidence that the RON evolution is already here, too. If you’re not already involved, you’re missing out.
Grace Lau – Director of Growth Content, Dialpad
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad video calling software, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.