In the not-so-distant past, if you asked if you could notarize for a signer who was not in the immediate geographic area, the answer would’ve been a resounding no. However, with improvements in telecommunication technology, Indiana now allows authorized Notaries to perform notarizations remotely using technology on a fulltime basis.
How does a remote notarization work? Let’s find out.
Below is an overview of how the typical RON process operates—though for states that have authorized RON on an emergency basis, this process may differ:
- The signer contacts either the Title Company, Notary, or RON service provider to request a remote online notary.
- The signer’s document is created by either the title company or lender and is prepared for electronic signatures. Once done, the documents are delivered to the signer for review.
- The signer logs into the State approved RON system and reviews all documents and approves them for the closing.
- Before entering the virtual closing room, the signer’s identity is screened according to the State’s requirements. Both their ID and questions that would be known only by the signer will be verified by a third-party service before entering the closing room.
- During the remote online notarization, the Notary and signer communicate via audiovisual technology.
- Once the signer’s identity has been verified and all other requirements have been met, both signer and Notary sign the document and the Notary’s seal is attached. This will be completed through electronic signatures and an electronic version of the Notary’s seal.
- The Notary records the required information for the RON service’s journal records.
- The notarized document is returned to the signer or sent out for recording with the County.
Understandably, anytime a process is online, security is of the highest concern. However, with remote online notarization, the process is actually more secure. Let’s address some of the common concerns:
How does remote online notarization protect me from identity theft or someone posing as me?
Because of stringent state guidelines, your identity is verified in different ways. First, your ID is validated using a third-party system that checks for any inconsistencies in the identification. It looks for font types, spacing and reads the information on the ID and matches it to a database to ensure that you match your identification. Secondly, you must answer dynamic knowledge-based questions. This is information that only you would know and must be completed within a specific timeframe. Finally, many platforms have additional security mechanisms and protections to ensure that you are the only person that can log into their system.
How do you know that a document is being signed free of coercion?
The remote online notarization happens through audio and visual communication. Initially, your notary will ask some screening questions to ensure that you understand your documents and are signing them of your own free will. The notary will be able to see any signs of coercion on the live video feed and react accordingly if there are any signs of coercion.
Can a remote online notarization be performed on any service and can any notary do it?
The State of Indiana has put strict rules in place on how a remote online notarization is conducted. RON closings must be done on a platform approved by the Indiana Secretary of State and the notary must also be approved by the State of Indiana while adhering to stricter training guidelines than a traditional notary.