• Hugo Enriquez

Notarization And Technology: Dealing With Unusual Requests

Updated 7-9-18. Notaries are sometimes asked to notarize using unorthodox technology such as a webcam instead of personal appearance. Other unusual tech-related requests include identifying a witness who is providing testimony via telephone or notarizing a faxed document signature. We asked our NNA Hotline experts how to handle these requests.

Can I use FaceTime or a webcam in lieu of personal appearance?

Major companies and small businesses across the globe are relying more and more on teleconferencing to conduct business meetings and other transactions.

However, these online methods have not been widely accepted as a way to perform notarizations. Currently, only two states — Virginia and Montana — allow signers to appear before a Notary by means of audio-video communication under specific circumstances.

In 2012, Virginia became the first state to allow Notaries to perform electronic notarizations using video and audio technology. However, only those commissioned as electronic Notaries are permitted to perform remote online notarizations.

Montana Notaries also may perform acknowledgments or verifications on oath or affirmation — on paper or electronically — using real-time, audio-visual communication as long as certain conditions are met. For example, the signer must be a Montana resident and be personally known by the Notary or be identified by a credible witness.

As of July 1, 2018, Texas and Nevada now allow certain registered Notaries to perform webcam notarizations. Both states require Notary officials to develop rules for remote notarizations. 5 other states — Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Tennessee and Vermont — have enacted remote notarization laws that do not take effect until 2019.

Everywhere else, Notaries must require signers to physically appear before them at the time of the notarization. FaceTime, webcams or any other remote audio-video technology cannot be used to satisfy the personal appearance requirement.

Am I allowed to witness a telephone hearing?

More and more small claims court judges are permitting testimony over the telephone when a witness is unavailable to appear in person due to work, illness or disability. In such cases, Notaries may be asked to identify the witness.

This is acceptable as long as you are physically present with the witness to administer the oath or affirmation.

Depending on the jurisdiction, you also will be expected to file a written certification with the court verifying the identity of the witness and that you administered the affirmation or oath. The exact procedures vary from state to state.

While the testimony is given over the telephone, your role within the hearing remains consistent with any other type of notarization because the witness is in your physical presence.

Can I accept faxed copies of documents?

The general rule when it comes to faxed documents is that a photocopy or fax may be notarized, but only if the signature is original — in pen and ink. However, faxed or photocopied documents containing an original, notarized signature, may be declined by public recorders, particularly in the case of a poor reproduction.


https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/01/notarization-and-technology-dealing-with-unusual-requests



































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Copyright Hugo Enriquez Mobile Notary Public