E-Notary: Moving Beyond The Rubber-Hand Stamp

A notary public is an assigned legal party assigned to witness the authenticity of a document. E-notary is the move from the offline execution of this practice to online and electronic notarization. Public opinion of electronic notarization has been conflicted, with fear of identity fraud and signature protection jeopardy, but the public industry has slowly come to recognize and implement the practice, with eighteen states currently in the US having introduced jurisdiction permitting the practice.

The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA, 1999) is a governmental move to define electronic notarization as ‘an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record’ (see original here). As you can see, there is no need for electronic notarization to be confined to one or two methods, but a broad range of methods can be applied, such as ‘click here if you agree’ or an electronically scanned PDF signature. The most useful method of electronic notarization no doubt falls in the use of digital notary hand stamp seals, as these most closely resemble the rubber hand stamps used traditionally to notarize documents. Whatever method an individual chooses to identify their signature must be associated with their notary record.

Is Electronic Notarization Becoming The New Standard For Legally Notarized Documentation?

The Short answer to the above is yes; electronic notification is becoming the new standard. Whilst it is difficult to track the number of notaries who are moving in the direction of using electronic notarization, as no additional training is needed (they are advised merely to read the handbook) we can track the number of organizations’ acting as an electronic notarization solution provider, and this has risen over time, as has the number of registered e-notaries. The State of Kansas themselves acknowledges that, within their state at least, the acceptance of electronic notarization is widely increasing, whilst the State of Pennsylvania argues that it is currently the best time for notaries to move to what they call a ‘secure, effective system’. Most states that allow electronic notarization have secure procedures such as registrations requiring state approval, which adds to the security of the process.

The difficulties associated with electronic notarization have more to do with just the fear of fraud, but also fears over how the whole process can be conducted responsibly and legally. Most public notaries still fear a security compromise if they were to move to electronic notarization and digital notary hand stamp seals, as well as fearing the cost of setting themselves up as electronic notaries according the to software necessary and the training required. Despite this, legal powers are recognizing the need, especially in the increasing use of remote workplaces, for electronic notarization to take place. It can also be argued that, once the process of electronic notarization becomes more standardized so as to reduce possible errors, it will effectively provide a more secure way of handling documents, especially with the increased security now afforded in computer systems and software. Online filing, protected by the appropriate security, can appear far more secure than a filing cupboard protected only by a padlock and key, as is the case in many offices.

Webinar Legal Notarization Meetings

A process, which still remains the same in the leap from notarization to electronic notarization, is the requirement of the notary to conduct a personal meeting with the signer requesting the notarization on their document in order to identify them. Without this identification, the document will appear invalid in situations of identity fraud or signature fraud. However, governments have recognized the incongruence of allowing the remote feature of electronic notarization to exist alongside the requirement that these meetings take place. Therefore a move towards using webinar legal notarization meetings is currently taking place, where as long as the connection is clear enough that the notary is able to identify the person in question, they are free to be held on webinar as opposed to in person.

Absolutely Paperless: an Electronic Notarization Solution Provider or Moving Beyond The Rubber Stamp

An electronic notarization solution provider is an organization that complies with the rules that govern electronic notarization in order to offer individual identification notarization equipment to registered e-notaries. Traditionally, notaries used a rubber stamp on the official document that clearly certified their name, commission number, and the date the commission expires. All this must be included in a digital notary hand stamp seal, which we provide here at Absolutely Paperless.

The public industry are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of using digital notary hand stamps as this further allows them to work with online documents which can be filed online. After years of having to spend extra money and man hours on printing, hand stamping, and filing documents there is now the opportunity to have all of this done online simply by the added convenience of electronic notarization. Being able to replace the rubber hand stamp with digital notary hand stamps also prevents a business from having to worry about storage; what usually would have filled a whole garage at the back of the office of a small business will now be contained in one hard drive the size of an old VHS case (if not smaller!). The possibility of what will effectively be a streamlined and almost instantaneous process of sending documents to be notarized electronically with a digital notary hand stamp seal is offering business the opportunity to increase their processing speed and offer customers a faster turnaround in a business world that relies on speed whilst not wanting to impact quality of service.

 

Categories: Digital Stamps

1 comments
rbenson1
rbenson1

I have never heard of electronic notarization.  I used to be a notary quite a few years ago and can't imagine notarizing electronically.  It seems like they would have to have a really good process to verify identity and protect security of the notary seal.  Electronic communications are becoming more common so it makes sense that electronic notarization will be more important. http://integralaw.ca/