How does a remote online notary work?

Remote online notarization (also known as RON) is the process of notarizing a document online using electronic signatures, audio-visual communication, identity verification, an electronic notarial journal as well as record-keeping technologies. 

RON doesn’t require parties to meet physically to sign a paper document.

That means the signer and the notary can conduct a notarial act using any devices and regardless of their location (unless the laws of their state where they seek to get documents notarized declare otherwise). 

Online notarization is the same as the traditional notarization process in terms of legality, while being faster and highly secure. 

How does online notarization work?

Notarization is used to guarantee the authenticity and integrity of a variety of documents.

The process has historically been performed in person and on paper; today, going digital is increasingly accepted as being faster and more efficient.

RONs are increasingly adopted across various business and government sectors, as well as to meet the needs of individuals.

An RON allows the signer and a notary to communicate in real time through a video call where the signer(s) electronically signs the needed document.

The RON notary usually sees both — the webcam and a live stream of what the signer sees on screen.

Therefore, the online notary can legally declare themself a witness to the signature, notarizing the document remotely and affixing their digital seal of approval.

1. The RON provider or the notary receives a request for a notarization 

The customer should first send the notary the needed document for signing and notarization.

Typically, the document (or several) should be uploaded in an electronic format (PDF is the most common option) to an online technology platform like PandaDoc that will be used to perform the notarization.

Some factors to consider when searching for RON:

PandaDoc offers state-commissioned notaries ready to complete online notarization directly on the platform.

2. The notary and the customer join the video session

The platform for notarization provides an email with a personalized link, to ensure only verified signers can enter the live notarial session.

Both parties go through a quick tech check to customize camera, microphone settings and ensure they have sufficient internet bandwidth to enable a smooth audio-visual experience. 

When using PandaDoc for online notarization, you need to add PandaDoc Notary to your account.

This can be done by either reaching out to your account manager or requesting a demo here.

PandaDoc Notary is available with Business* (as a paid add-on) and Enterprise plans. 

3. The notary should verify authentication to start

Notary’s identity verification is needed to migrate risk of identity fraud and comply with RON regulations.

It is usually done through strong identity-proofing options and built-in security controls so the customer can be sure that notarized agreements are secure throughout the process. 

PandaDoc requires the notary to enter the personal information and go through two steps of identification, including:

KBA: The notary should answer a few knowledge-based authentication questions inside the security of the PandaDoc portal for your safety.

Uploading a verified government ID: State-issued driver’s license or photo ID, military ID, a U.S. or foreign passport, certificate of citizenship, naturalization, or alien registration.

4. Both parties review and edit the document

Once a notary’s identity is verified, both parties should review the agreement together, ask questions, edit and confirm the agreement is filled out correctly.

5. The notary applies their electronic seal in real time

The notary signs and notarized the document in a live, two-way audio-visual session.

The session happens within the users’ browsers, meaning no downloads will be required.

The notary applies a “tamper-seal” to date/time-stamp the documents, where the seal will work as an indicator whether any of the notarized documents are altered in the future.

6. Get your recorded session and notarized documents 

Once the session is done, both the audio-visual recording and a document are stored and available in a tamper-proof electronic journal.

Benefits of PandaDoc’s remote online notary

PandaDoc Notary offers a convenient, fast and secure notarization process in real time, providing video-call conferences.

The platform enables you to create a document from scratch or use a template, and then sign the document with your notary or by inviting one from the PandaDoc team within seconds — and the recorded session and a signed document will always remain available to you in your electronic journal

Use your preferred notary or access available ones

You can either work with your notary or choose from PandaDoc state-commissioned notaries that are ready to complete online notarizations within minutes.

Real-time flexibility

Whether you need to add a new text, fields, or make any corrections, you can do everything while being in a session with a notary using PandaDoc.

Notary verification and data security 

PandaDoc requires a notary to pass an ID verification and answer authentication questions (KBA) for secure notarization.

The platform is SOC 2 Type II certified and HIPAA compliant for data security.

Increased efficiency

When dealing with many documents that have to be notarized, PandaDoc allows you to  schedule your notary sessions ahead of time to increase efficiency.

Do it all in one session

You can upload and notarize several documents while being in one session without worrying about extra charges per each document.

Enable smooth customer experience

Parties can join the session from both a tablet and a phone, as well as laptop and desktop devices. 

Ensure state compliance

PandaDoc allows users to guarantee the documents are state compliant and tamper-proof by offering X509 signing certificates free of charge.

Save time

No need for creating documents from scratch — create, edit and reuse templates for all documents that should be notarized.

Notarize documents online in the blink of an eye with PandaDoc Notary

Notarization is an important process that ensures integrity and authenticity of many documents.

While historically notarization occurred only in person and on paper, RON makes the process efficient, secure and convenient.

PandaDoc makes notarizing effortless by offering all tools, a secure document storage, reusable templates for higher efficiency and quick notarization process via video call.

Start a free 14 day trial or book a demo today!