Since business moves quickly, many companies cannot wait for notaries to take care of documents. Fortunately, online notary services exist to speed up the process and help businesses keep work moving efficiently. 

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, online notary services became available and continue to improve efficiency in the business world. If you’re curious about which states allow online notary services, continue reading. 

What is an online notary?

Online notary services perform services from remote locations electronically using audio-visual tools, electronic signatures, and other high-tech equipment. In many states, electronically notarized documents are legally admissible in court since they are treated like traditionally notarized documents. 

Online notaries make it convenient to make documents legally binding without having to order services in person. 

Is remote notarization legal?

As of now, state governments determine if online notary services are legal. During the pandemic, the U.S. Senate introduced the SECURE Notarization Act of 2021. A bipartisan group crafted this bill to create a standard set of federal codes for electronic notarization. The bill has yet to pass, so some states do not allow businesses to use online notary services. 

What states do not allow online notary services?

As of 2022, only four states do not allow online notary services. While some allowed online notaries to perform online duties during the COVID pandemic, they have since ended the temporary authorization. The four states without online notary services include California, Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts. Online notary services are also not legal in the District of Columbia. 

What states have temporary online notary services?

At the end of 2022, only a few states still authorized a temporary form of online notary services. Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Rhode Island have standing orders that allow online services. Maine will continue to allow online notary services through June 23, 2023. 

How many states allow online notarizing?

With nine states and the District of Columbia having temporary notary approval or no online notarizing, 41 states have legal permission for online notarizing. The permanent laws give businesses plenty of flexibility in convenient notarizing services without hiring an in-house notary public. 

How does online notarizing work?

Online notarizing allows for secure document signing. The process begins with an agreement between the parties and the notary. The notary uses an online verification process with a personalized link for the signers so they can enter a live signature session with a camera and microphone. They must send a picture of a valid ID and answer a series of questions to ensure they are correctly identified. 

With online notary services, you can have signatures legally verified without needing to be in the physical presence of a notary public. The signature process is seamless and convenient while reducing errors that can happen during in-person sessions. Online notarization sessions speed up business processes and save drive time for notaries and signers. 

Wrap up

Online notarizing makes document signing convenient and fast, helping businesses get work done quickly without stopping for slow in-person signing and verification.