[This article was written by Katherine Cabrera.]
In the face of this year’s pandemic, business adapted quickly to the new remote way of getting things done. Companies sent employees home to do business by email, communication channels, and video conference calls. Anything that can be done remotely is now being done that way.
What about a notary? Don’t you have to meet everyone in person to make that happen?
You don’t. Since 2012, remote online notarizations (ROM) have been available in a limited number of places. The response to COVID-19 brought RON to the forefront. In response to stay-at-home orders, multiple states passed laws or emergency provisions to allow online notarizations.
For the traditional notary, becoming a remote online notary isn’t just something else to add to your services. It’s getting on board with the new digital wave that will soon be the industry standard. When you become an online notary, you’ll be able to serve your clients faster and easier. They can stay at their home, office, or other location and quickly complete the transactions. It’s a win-win situation, and you can start immediately.
How Remote Online Notarizations Work
Similar to an in-person notarization, the parties meet and the notary verifies the client’s signature just as they ordinarily would. Instead, the notary invites the client to a video session on a secure end-to-end online platform specifically for notarizations. Both parties are in their respective homes or offices and meet in a video call.
When a potential client requests a notarization, they will first have to offer proof of their identity. Our third-party vendor uses KBA identity proofing, requiring pictures of the signer’s government-issued ID (such as a driver’s license or state ID card.) The signer will also have to answer several personal questions. Only after these questions are successfully answered will they be able to complete a notarization.
The signer is also required to enter credit card information. On OneNotary, the charge is $31 for a successful notarization. The platform takes care of collecting the fee and paying the notary.
The notary then initiates the video session and meets the client for notarization. Using electronic signatures, the signer can then complete the documents while the notary watches remotely. Once completed, the notary closes the session, and the document is available to the signer immediately. The session must be recorded and retained as a record. OneNotary stores these sessions for ten years.
Note that platforms like Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, and others are less secure and generally not approved for online notarizations.
Benefits And Opportunities
There are several reasons why notaries should consider going online, especially in the current pandemic. Of course, both individuals and businesses need notarizations for a wide range of applications. But for the notary, the benefits go beyond convenience.
- Notarizations are completed within minutes, so you can serve more clients in a day
- With more clients, you can earn more
- Increased accuracy
- You can set your own schedule
- Online notarization provides an improved experience for the client
- Lower business expenses when you notarize electronically–no more printing, mailing or faxing documents
Even before the pandemic, remote online notarizations were already becoming a popular alternative. Nationwide stay-at-home orders quadrupled the need for online notarizations. Now is a great time to become a remote online notary and take advantage of the opportunity. After the pandemic subsides, the in-office notary may become a thing of the past.
Tools To Become An Online Notary
Your office technology needs to be up to date with office equipment that can handle online video calls, including reliable Internet service. If you’ve recently started doing Zoom, Skype, or other online calls, you’ve probably got everything required.
Whether you use a desktop or a laptop, you’ll need to have a webcam, microphone, and speaker to conduct video calls. Most laptops have these already built into the machine. If you’re not happy with the way they work, you could also purchase separate peripherals. An external webcam (with a microphone built into it) and either speakers or headphones/earbuds can improve call quality.
Once you’re set up to do video calls, make it a point to test out your equipment before you move onto a platform for remote online notarizations.
You’ll also need a digital certificate, along with a web browser, such as Google Chrome or Safari.
There are several online notary platforms, each with different requirements. Some take more time to complete the setup. Many charge fees long before you begin your first online notarization.
With OneNotary, you can begin online notarizations right away. Sign up for your free account, and fill out the application form. We’ll verify your information, which usually takes just a few hours. When you receive our confirmation email, click on the link to complete your notary profile. Once your profile is finished, you can begin offering and doing online notarizations. Just send your client an invitation by email, and they’ll have 7 days to respond. .
Your sessions are conducted in a secure virtual environment, and the session recordings are stored in an encrypted data environment. We keep only the information we’re required to, and everything else is deleted.
OneNotary charges no monthly or “hidden” fees, and it’s free to continue. You’ll start earning $15 in Texas (the actual amount will depend on your state’s laws) per notarization, and $18 after 200 successful notarizations. Once you start earning with OneNotary, your notarizations will take less time so you can earn more.
Ready To Become An Online Notary?
OneNotary is the newest remote online notarization platform that takes you from an office-bound notary to online notary in just a few steps. Our free signup means you can start without spending a large sum before you make money, and you can start earning right away.
Real Estate Broker, Expert Author at OneNotary https://onenotary.us/
Experienced Real Estate Broker with a demonstrated history of closing deals. Foreclosure specialist. Skilled in Real Property, Buyer Representation, Microsoft Excel, Real Estate Transactions, and Investment Properties. Strong real estate professional with a Master’s degree in Land & Property Development from Texas A&M University.