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January 1, 2019

eNotary — Electronic Notary & Electronic Notarizations

Can I get an electronic notarization? Can I get an eSignature notarized?

The answer to this question is that it depends on what type of document you are having notarized. Additionally, the notary needs to be able to identify you.

A Notary must apply for a special and separate eNotary commission that is above and beyond their regular notary commission. This is only allowed in specific states as well.

To become an eNotary, just become a regular Notary and then say, “Vanna, can I buy a vowel?” Just kidding. Please ask your secretary of state’s notary division how to apply to be an eNotary.

Many of the states that allow eNotarizations require the physical appearance of the signer before the notary public for all transactions. I heard that in Virginia, an eNotary can notarize people remotely in any part of the world. Please read this FAQ page to read the details of remote notarizations.

Remove Notarizations allowed for Virginia eNotaries
https://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/official-documents/notary-commissions/enotary-faq/
Colorado eNotary
Personal appearance is also required in Colorado.
https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/notary/eNotary.html

West Virginia eNotary — West Virginia Electronic Notary
This state requires physical presence of the signer for eNotarizations alghough the signature can be digital.
https://sos.wv.gov/business-licensing/notaries/Pages/ElectronicNotarization.aspx

Texas eNotary — Texas Electronic Notary
https://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/gettingstarted.shtml

Virginia eNotary — Virginia Electronic Notary
https://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/official-documents/notary-commissions/enotary/

The Pros and Cons of eNotarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3672

12 points on e-notarizations (old)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=228

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March 15, 2012

Electronic Notary Journal Information

Electronic Notary Journal Information 

It is legal and possible to become an e-notary (electronic notary) in many states.  All electronic notaries need an e-journal or electronic journal, and e-seal (electronic seal), and online e-documents to notarize.  Please note that personal appearance of the signer is required, so you can not do any remote notarizations using this technology according to current notary laws in 2011 / 2012.
 
The NNA used to be one of the most robust organizations at promoting e-notarizations, but they abandoned their ENJOA electronic journal program back in 2009.  They might still have information about where to point you, but it is unclear at this time.  Although the concept of e-notarizations and e-notaries is very interesting, hardly any notaries are actually commissioned to do this type of work.
 
Here is a site that sells Notary Journal Software for e-notarizations
http://www.topazsystems.com/Software/download/gemtrust.htm
 
There was another site called the notary shop, but their site didn’t pull up.
 
You are also encouraged to ask your state notary division where they recommend getting an electronic journal if you are already an e-notary.
 
Here is a list of states that we do NOT have information about in terms of e-notarizations.  We assume these states don’t allow e-notarizations.
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

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November 21, 2011

Notary Public Virginia e-notary Rules

Notary Public Virginia e-notary rules
http://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/Notary/eNotary-faq.cfm

The information in this blog entry is based on information derived from the Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Notary Division website on the page indicated above.

Here are a few quick notes about Virginia e-notary rules
(1) Signers must personally appear before a Virginia e-notary to get an e-notarization.
(2) A separate registration or commission is necessary to be a Virginia e-notary, and the same exact name variation must be used on both commissions.
(3) There is no additional education required to become an e-notary in Virginia beyond the education required to become a conventional notary.  However, you are advised to be an expert on the Virginia notary handbook and to educate yourself and be trained in the electronic process of notarization. 
(4) There is a quick application form to become an e-notary in Virginia, and the form is on the Secretary of State’s website — use the link above.
(5) A Virginia electronic notary commission expires when your regular notary commission expires.
(6) The state of Virginia can produce electonic evidence that an e-notarization is authentic with a certificate of authority. Please see the official wording of this certificate near the bottom of this entry. There is a fee for this certificate as with any other authentication.
(6) The Virginia Notary Division (c/o Secretary of the Commonwealth) gives some of the most comprehensive information about being an e-notary of any of the states.  Once the e-seal is affixed to the electronic document, the document is rendered tamper evident as unauthorized attempts to alter a document will be evident and obvious to involved parties.  This statement is very interesting. Many of us fear the e-notarization process as we fear it might be less secure as we don’t understand it or feel accustomed to it. But, in reality, paper documents are easy to tamper with, while secure e-documents might not be so easy to tamper with.
 
The Virginia e-notarization process: step by step
(1) The signer signs their electronic signature on an electronic document, and then signs the notary’s e-journal. 
(2) The notary affixes their electonic seal and signature to the electronic document after it has been signed.  

Note: An e-signature might start with you logging in with a password, and then clicking a submit or accept button.  (Digital signature pads are also sometimes used – but weren’t mentioned in the information on the page we linked to above)
 
The future requirement of personal appearance
Personal appearance is currently required for e-notarizations, but the state says, “At present, yes” to this requirements and says, “not yet” for taking acknowledgments via audio/video conferencing which implies that one day personal appearance might not be required.
 
Certificate of Authority for an Electronic Notarial Act
I, __________________ (name and title), certify that _________________(name of electronic notary), the person named as Electronic Notary Public in the attached or associated electronic document, was commissioned as an Electronic Notary for the Commonwealth of Virginia and authorized to act as such at the time of the document’s electronic notarization.
 
To verify this Certificate of Authority for an Electronic Notarial Act, I have included herewith my electronic signature this ______ day of ___________, 2011
 
(Electronic signature and seal of commissioning official)

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