Amid the day-to-day bustle it can be frustrating if you need a personal document notarized, because you need to contend with your own schedule while trying to meet the paperwork’s deadline. Thankfully, recent innovations will make online notarization services a viable alternative to having to meet with a notary in person.
What is a Notary?
In the United States, a notary is a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as reviewing contracts, deeds, and other documents. A notary helps deter fraud by certifying that the signer of a document is who they say they are, and that the signer knows what is being signed. It helps to know that a notary is not an attorney and likely isn’t a full-time notary, rather just doing notarizations on top of their regular duties. A notary is appointed by their respective state government after meeting certain requirements, and the position itself is regulated by state laws. Almost anyone can become a notary, but a notary can’t notarize their own documents or those he or she has a personal interest in.
How Governments are Reacting.
As it concerns state action, only 22 States at the time of writing have passed laws that touch on remote online notarization services while in a few other states such laws are pending.
Florida is among the States that has passed laws concerning the practice of online notarization. The new law takes effect in January 2020 and establishes new standards for electronic notarization. The key requirements of the law are that the electronic notarizations be done through a secured program which can track any subsequent changes. A person must still appear electronically before a notary using audio-video communication technology such as a computer with a camera feature.
In Closing, eClosing!
In the time leading up to 2020, there are two currently available models that blend the convenience of online notarizations with the formalities of in person notarizations. The first is known as a Hybrid eClosing which requires the party to sign and notarize some documents online (eSign and eNotarize respectively) while all others are prepared with all parties in attendance. The second is known as a Full eClosing, which is when documents are electronically signed and notarized with all parties in the same room as the notary, or eNotary as he or she would be known. Both methods allow the parties to cut down on the amount of physical paper used, but the Hybrid eClosing would potentially save more time than a Full eClosing.
The benefits of Online Notarizations are apparent in real estate closings, as it would help create a better closing experience by making it easier for all parties involved to complete the transaction. If you have any questions about your current or future real estate transaction, call our team of attorneys at the Kendrick Law Group and Champion Title & Closing to learn more or to obtain one of our customized closing guides.
Co-Written By: Fernando Paredes, Attorney