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June 11, 2012

Which states allow e-notarizations?

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.


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
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.


November 29, 2010

12 Points On e-Notarizations

e-notarizations information

Each state has different standards for e-notarizations. Please remember that e-documents and e-signings are completely different from e-notarizations. Here are some points about e-notarizations that are interesting.

(1) To do e-notarizations you need a special authorization from your state, and not all states allow this. The rules are completely different for e-notarizations and the types of documents you can notarize are limited as well.

(2) LindaH in our forum stated on 1-05-10 that the NNA is no longer supporting the ENS program (Electronic Notary Signature). There were technical challenges offering that particular technological product. There are no unified standards for e-notarizations which was part of the problem.

(3) ENJOA is an electronic journal. e-Notarizations require the use of an electronic journal and can not be completed with a regular journal. e-signings use a regular journal by the way.

(4) BobbiCT claims that in Connecticut that multiple documents can serve as “originals”. He states that physical documents can be scanned and used as electronic documents that receive an e-notarization.

(5) Many states do not allow a recorded document to have an e-notarization. Recorded documents are often documents effecting real property which is too critical to risk security issues relateing to e-notarizations.

(6) Its common for states to set up e-notarization legislation years before the first e-notarization is completed and years before the first e-notary is appointed in their state. States are thinking ahead. The problem is there can be many bugs in the new systems that are in place which make e-notarizations potentially less secure than “brick and morter” notarizations.

(7) Biometrics can be used on e-signatures on e-notarizations to record the speed of the various strokes involved in a signature. This is one excellent way to deter fraud. Its easy to forge a signature, but no fraud would be able to figure out what the speed of each stroke of the signature would be for a particular individual. There are too many strokes involved.

(8) An e-journal is required for all e-notarization acts. To get an e-journal, you would need to set up an account with a company who provides an e-journal system. You would probably need a login and password to use your journal, and god forbid if the server went down.

(9) 123notary doesn’t know of any particular notaries who have done an actual e-notarization. It sounds like fun though.

(10) LindaH claims that many borrowers she had talked to would not be thrilled if they were asked to be involved in an e-notarization.

(11) LindaH claims that its the state governments that are not prepared to handle e-signatures.

(12) Perhaps private industry and title companies might be ready, but if the county recorders can’t handle e-notarizations, then they can’t be used for recorded documents such as deeds, etc.

You might also like:

e-signings vs. e-notarizations

Reverse Mortgages general information

Stories of notaries that fail and what they did wrong!

The pros and cons of eNotarizations


November 27, 2010

e-notarization definition

e-Notarizations and e-Signings
e-notarization definition
An e-notarization is a notary act done purely online. The signer would not actually come into contact with the notary in many cases. Each state has different rules for e-notarizations, so learn your state’s rules if you want to do this. An online journal (ENJOA) would be used to record the transaction as well. e-notarizations would never be used for deeds effecting real property since those types of documents are very critical and involve high dollar figures. An e-signing is different from an e-notarization. Many states allow e-notarizations, but you generally need to get a special commission separate from your regular notary commission to be an e-notary.

e-signing definition

An e-signing is different from an e-notarization. E-signings are electronic loan signings where the notary visits the borrower’s home or meets the borrowers at a mutually agreeable location. The signer is present before the notary during an e-signing. Some or all of the documents in an e-signing are signed online while the remaining documents might be physical paper documents. The journal used in an e-signing would be a bound and sequential physical paper journal. e-notarizations are different from e-signings because the signer doesn’t actually appear before the notary in an e-notarization, and the journal in an e-notarization is electronic, and not physical.


Colorado Notary e-notarization
Arizona Electronic signatures
e-Signings and e-Notarizations


(1) edelske (forum member) claims that:

 e-signings are really slow and that the savings on printing costs do not compensate for the time consumed waiting for pages to load on your laptop.

(2) LindaH states in a forum post:

E-signings are a process where the mortgage documents are signed online at the lender’s website. You either have your laptop w/ aircard & internet connection or you use the borrowers’ computer (provided they have one and they have stable internet service) . You access a remote site, review some documents online with them and they sign by clicking on a button (the borrowers’ digital signature with the lender is set up ahead of time). If your state does not accept e-recordings, you will still need to print those docs that need to be notarized as they are “wet” signatures – and sometimes you need to print a copy for the borrower … oh, and maybe print an extra set of documents “just in case” the internet connection fails or there are issues with the website. The beauty of e-signings for the lender is that changes to docs can be made at the table, thereby avoiding no-signs…HUDs and TILs can be changed and re-delivered virtually immediately – so if your borrower doesn’t have a computer, be prepared to print table so they‘re provided copies of revised docs!! (So, IMO, in addition to carrying your briefcase with your standard equipment, you’ll now need to carry laptop with aircard AND laser printer)..

You might also like:

12 points on e-notarizations

Everything you need to know about journals

Arizona notary laws vs. other states

e-Notarization and ENJOA discussion on the forum