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September 20, 2012

What can an e-notary do?

What can an e-notary do? 

An e-notary does more or less what a regular notary does. The difference is that the e-notary has an electonic journal and electronic notary seal and notarizes electronic documents.  Some might even have an electronic girlfriend too!  So, the biggest matter of confusion is that people don’t understand that the signer has to appear before the e-notary. It is unclear if personal appearance will always be necessary in the future though.  At one point, we read that Arizona e-notaries could notarize without personal appearance of the signer, but now they require it and the evidence of the old rule is gone!
 
The basic procedure for mobile e-notaries
So, basically, a mobile e-notary will go to a signer’s house, the signer will login to a website, sign some electronic documents, the notary will login and apply his/her e-seal, and have the signer sign the e-journal, and that is that.  You will have to visit face to face with the signer just like now.
 
Will our lives change?
It looks like we might have to lug around digital signature pads in about 20 years when this technology gets popular.  When you go to the supermarket, you are doing digital signatures right now, so you are already used to it!  It looks like our lives will not be altered in any significant ways.

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

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December 17, 2011

California e-notary rules

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.

You might also like:

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

What can an e-notary do?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2706

12 points on eNotarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=228

e-notarization definition
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=217

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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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