What Is an Electronic Notary

author of post avatar

OneNotary Team

April 21, 2021

Verifying Identification

Do you have an important document that you need to get signed and notarized? Are you tired of driving around trying to find a notary, only to realize that person is simply not working that day? If so, then you may want to take advantage of an electronic notary instead. What is an electronic notary? How does this process work? Learn more about how you can access this convenient process and get your documents notarized at your convenience.

What Is an Electronic Notary?

First, an electronic notary also goes by the title in-person electronic notary or e-notary. This is a notary public who has been commissioned by the local government to perform certain notarial acts electronically. This means that the process can be completed without using physical paper; however, the parties are required to be physically present when the process is completed. Even though this type of notary is often confused with a remote notary, the legal definitions are different.

A lot of local governments require commissioned notaries to go through extra steps, complete extra classes, or get extra certifications in order to become licensed as electronic notaries. Then, once they are certified, they can notarize documents using secure platforms, preventing the parties from having to print out physical pieces of paper.

How Does This Process Work?

Online Notary Services

In order to go through the process with an enotary, all parties involved have to be physically present. This means that the electronic notary and the parties involved do have to be in the same room. On the other hand, there’s no need to sign, stamp, or seal a physical piece of paper. Instead, a digital signature and a digital notary seal are used to complete the notarization process. Then, these documents will be affixed with a valid digital certificate.

Instead of having to use a physical stamp or seal, the notary public will use something called a public key. This is the equivalent of an electronic signature, providing the same deterrent against potential fraud risks. Furthermore, the document is also rendered to be completely tamper-evident. This means that the documents cannot be altered after it has been signed or a stick. Cryptography may also be used to manage, store, distribute, create, or revoke the digital certificate, in some cases. As a result, the e-notary process can improve the security of the notarization process.

What Is the Difference Between an Electronic and Remote Notary?

The major difference between an electronic and remote notary has to do with the physical presence of the parties involved. With an electronic notary, the parties still have to be physically present in the same room in order for the notarization process to be carried out. Even though the documents do not have to be physically present, as they can be signed and sealed online, the parties involved do have to be together to sign the documents electronically.

In contrast, this is not necessarily the case with a remote notary. Instead, the parties involved go to the process remotely. They may be located in different geographic locations; however, the notary can still go through the steps to using video conferencing technology. Therefore, people do not have to spend their days driving around trying to find a notary who can help them. There may or may not be physical documents signed and sealed during the remote process. Someone who has a remote notary may also be able to sign and seal the documents electronically if preferred.

What Does an Electronic Notary Do?

An enotary still completes the same duties and tasks as a typical commissioned public notary. The only difference is the documents do not have to be physically printed out. Depending on the local government, an electronic notary may be authorized to perform various acts. A few examples include:

  • Acknowledgements for various purposes
  • Jurats for a variety of needs
  • Oaths or affirmations for certain professions or documents
  • The verification or proof of various acts
  • Signing and sealing documents for legal purposes

Everyone should check with their local government to see what an electronic notary can do.

The Electronic Notarization Process

The electronic notarization process is largely similar to a traditional process; however, the steps are simply carried out electronically instead of using physical paper. The steps involved in this process include:

  1. First, the parties involved have to arrive at the same physical location
  2. The document has to be inspected to make sure it is properly filled out and all supporting evidence is located
  3. The identity of the person signing the document will be confirmed
  4. The visit will be recorded in an official notarization journal
  5. The notarial certificate will be signed electronically, the document will be sealed electronically with a public key, and the visit will conclude

After the visit is finished, the signer should receive some notification that the signed, sealed, and notarized documents are ready for viewing.

How To Use Electronic Notary Services

mobile Online Notary Services

If you would like to use enotary services, there are several steps you should follow. OneNotary makes the process easy. The steps involved include:

  1. First, you need to find an available notary and schedule your time and session, which you can do online.
  2. Then, once your appointment has been confirmed, you will be sent an email invitation. Using that email, you can upload the electronic documents that you need to have notarized.
  3. After this, you can identify yourself by answering a few questions. The electronic notary will be responsible for confirming your identity before he or she is allowed to sign and seal your documents.
  4. On the day of the appointment, you and your electronic notary will still have to meet in the same physical location. This is different from a remote notary process, which can be done using videoconferencing technology. Make sure you understand the appointment you’ve scheduled and what the requirements are.
  5. Your electronic notary will be responsible for verifying your identity, making sure the document has been completed, signing it, and sealing it.
  6. Once your appointment is finished, you should be able to download the notarized document electronically. Then, you can use it for whatever purpose is required.

With the help of OneNotary, the process is easy. You do not have to worry about hunting down a traditional notary in your local area. You can simply use the online platform to schedule your appointment. Then, your documents will be available for download.

Remember that there is a significant difference between an electronic and remote notarization process. If you decide to use electronic notarization, you still have to be in the same room as the person notarizing your documents. With remote notarization, you can take advantage of remote video conferencing technology.

Consider Using a Professional Electronic Notary Service

These are a few of the most important points that you should keep in mind if you are trying to get your documents notarized. If you need to get your documents notarized, you have plenty of options at your disposal. If you are looking for a more convenient way to go through the notarization process, you may want to consider using an electronic notary. Take a look and see if there are any electronic notaries who might be able to help you get the job done.