What states allow e-notarizations or e-notaries?
The status of being an electronic notary is a very new and very misunderstood profession or office. To be an e-Notary, so you can do e-Notarizations, is often a completely different type of commission in many states. Another fact to understand is that e-Notarizations can not (or can not always) be done for Deeds or other documents that effect real property. The biggest issue that bothers notaries about e-Notarizations is that the signer doesn’t always have to appear before the notary to receive an e-Notarization. The first time a signer is notarized, they should appear before the notary, but in some states, the subsequent e-notarizations may or may not require physical presence.
e-Notarizations require the use of an electronic journal (ENJOA). The signature of the signer would go in that journal.
An e-signing is normally done with a physical journal and done in the presence of a notary public. The documents might be signed online, or at least most of them signed online. However, the signer woudl still appear before the notary public and sign a physical journal of notarial acts.
Here are the states that currently allow e-notarizations. The rules for e-Notarizations might be very different from state to state.
California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Current 2011 / 2012 California e-notary rules
California requires the signer to appear before the notary public for all notary acts — electronic or not. Documents that can be electronically notarized in California include: substitution of trustee, assignments of a deed of trust, and reconveyance deeds. These must be submitted to the county clerk via a trusted submitter. An electronic seal may be used for these transactions online. California Civil code 1633.11 states that an electronic signature carries the same legal effect as a physical signature made by a pen.
Purely online notarization services are not legal in California. You may not notarize someone using a web-cam, etc. That doesn’t constitute personal appearance. The signer must be within several feet of the notary and clearly visable to the notary.
§ 1633.11. Notarization and signature under penalty of perjury requirements
(a) If a law requires that a signature be notarized, the requirement is satisfied with respect to an electronic signature if an electronic record includes, in addition to the electronic signature to be notarized, the electronic signature of a notary public together with all other information required to be included in a notarization by other applicable law.
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