The Pros and Cons of eNotarization
As the technological world continues to evolve on a regular basis, more and more industries are looking to go from the paper route to the electronic route, allowing them to save time and money while providing more convenience to their customers.
One such industry that is following the technological advancements is the notary industry, which is looking to utilize eNotarization on a more frequent scale.
For those who are not up to speed on exactly what an eNotary does, they are quite simply a Notary Public who notarizes documents electronically. One of the means to do this is through utilizing a digital signature and notary seal to notarize electronic documents and validate with a digital certificate.
With electronic notarization, a notary puts an electronic signature and notary seal in place using a secure public key to an electronic document (such examples would be a PDF or Word document). When the signature and seal are affixed, the piece is looked upon as being tamper evident, meaning that any unauthorized attempts to alter the document would be noticeable to relying parties.
eNotarization Focuses in on Security
In taking a look at the short history of electronic notarization, the National Notary Association (NNA) saw the need to put rules and standards in place for a workable, accessible, and, most importantly, secure system of electronic notarization.
As a result, the NNA came up with Enjoa (the Electronic Notary Journal of Official Acts), which allows both electronic and paper-based notary acts to be recorded—and that record should be free from tampering in an electronic database.
With Enjoa, notaries can electronically gather both a holographic signature and a fingerprint of each document signer, also providing the added choice of capturing within its database the signer’s facial image via a Web camera. Whether it be recording eNotarizations or paper-based transactions, Enjoa offers proof of a signer’s personal
appearance, a detailed database of the notarial act, and a level of security that is not available in a paper-based recordkeeping system.
It was some six years ago that the NNA partnered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in unveiling the nation’s initial Electronic Notarization Initiative, a comprehensive eNotarization program. All Pennsylvania notaries participating in the initiative utilized a digital certificate to perform electronic acts that were subsequently
made available for recording in the four original participating counties. Other counties throughout Pennsylvania were quick to enroll in the program.
So, what can be seen as some of the pros and cons of eNotarization?
On the plus side:
* Electronic versatility offers benefits for both the notary involved and the business and legal communities. One of the more notable benefits is the time in which documents can now be notarized via a computer. Such documents include power of attorney paperwork, affidavits, deeds, title loans, wills, and prenuptial agreements, among
* eNotarization makes it easy for the notary to adapt to changes in the document in just
* eNotarization allows notaries to stay on top of cutting-edge technology, meaning they can compete with others in their business who are also using this manner to notarize documents. For those who choose not to, it could mean losing potential or current customers who opt for the more technologically advanced means to notarize paperwork.
On the negative side:
* eNotarization is not available everywhere, meaning you may or may not have it as an option where you live.
* Some worry that security could be compromised when using eNotarization. If that happens, the notary could lose business from customers who fear their private information leaking out. Whether with traditional notary usage or eNotarization, both the notary and customer should make sure private data is as protected as possible.
* eNotarization is still evolving, meaning some parts of the process are not entirely up to speed. As the process evolves more, eNotarization will become commonplace for both notaries and customers.
With more and more processes going the electronic route, is eNotarization in your plans?
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73736449@N02/6649009139/
About the author: With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave Thomas covers a wide array of topics from office cubicles to starting a small business. http://www.arnoldsofficefurniture.com/
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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.