What is RON (Remote Online Notarization)

What is RON (Remote Online Notarization)

Notary services have been around for quite some time now. It has become one of the most trusted methods of verifying authenticity.   

To ensure secure transactions, a notary public verifies the authenticity of identifying information and signatures when signing. However, with the advent of technology, this process has changed. 

This blog post will look at the fundamentals of remote online notarization. Certinal brings you the latest developments in remote online notarization technology to help you stay updated. Read on till the end to learn everything you need to know about the fundamentals of RON.  

What is Notarization? 

Notarizing a document involves the process of having it certified by a notary public. This certification serves as an official verification of the authenticity of signatures on legal documents and confirms the identity of the parties participating in the transaction.  

Essentially, when a document is notarized, a notary public acts as an impartial witness to the signing of the document. A notary, known formally as a notary public, is an individual authorized by a government entity to act as an unbiased witness during the execution of legal documents. Their main responsibility is to safeguard against fraud and uphold the legitimacy of legal transactions by certifying the identities of signatories and verifying the authenticity of signatures. 

Following this, the notary typically places their official seal or stamp on the document, in addition to their signature and other pertinent details such as the date and location. This act of certification by the notary is vital as it provides concrete evidence that the document was properly executed and that the involved parties were identified and witnessed by a duly authorized official.  

Can you notarize your own documents as a notary public? 

No, you cannot notarize your own documents. As a notary public, you are legally permitted to notarize documents only for other individuals. This restriction is in place to uphold impartiality and ensure that notaries remain neutral and objective. Notarizing one’s own documents or those in which they have a personal interest is prohibited to maintain the credibility and reliability of notarial acts. The fundamental principle behind this prohibition is to prevent conflicts of interest and safeguard the integrity of notarized documents. Any personal interest in a document prevents a notary public from notarizing it to uphold their professional responsibilities and ethical standards. 

What is RON (Remote Online Notarization)  

You are about to sign a document to close a transaction, but to secure the transaction, you must verify your identity. You may submit some form of government-issued ID to verify your identity. But how do you ensure the authenticity of the information presented?   

This is where notary services come in. A notary public witnesses the document signing and verifies the authenticity of identifying information submitted by signing parties. Notarization happens in an in-person setting, which requires the physical presence of all the signatories of a transaction.   

Today, businesses and individuals demand the ability to carry out transactions anywhere, anytime and Remote Online Notarization makes it possible by eliminating the need for in-person presence for notarization. IT and communication technology developments ensure the authenticity of identity and signatures.   

Is Remote Online Notarization of Documents Legally Valid? 

Remote Online Notarization (RON) is considered legally effective if it complies with the laws of the state where the notary public is located and authorized. This means that a remotely and digitally notarized document holds the same legal weight as a traditional notarized document and should be accepted nationwide. However, it is always advisable to confirm the acceptance of RON for the specific type of document and transaction you are handling by consulting with your state and local authority. 

Moreover, to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the types of documents that can utilize Remote Online Notarization (RON), it is beneficial to elaborate on specific examples within various industries:  

  • Financial services, lenders, and insurance: Notarizing documents like power of attorney, establishing trusts, auto title transfers, signature witnessing, insurance beneficiary changes, retirement distributions, total loss claims, property claims, life and annuity claims, policy changes, payment redirects, adjuster licensing, affidavits and motions, deeds, estate planning, and commercial lease contracts are some common applications of RON in this sector.  
  • Auto-Finance: RON facilitates processes such as car title transfer/ownership of vehicle, lien release, notice of lien, vehicle certificate of ownership, auto finance and refinance contracts, making it convenient for individuals engaging in auto-related financial transactions.  
  • State and local governments: Utilizing RON for notarizing documents like quitclaim deeds, notarized child custody agreements, right-of-way easements for construction work, real estate transactions, business services, internal corporate notarizations, HR documents, corporate lease agreements, retail rental agreements, certificates of incumbency, and waivers streamlines administrative tasks within state and local government operations. 

Benefits of Using Remote Online Notarization  

  • Secure Signing of Documents: Remote Online Notarization is built on advanced technology and adheres to strict security protocols, ensuring the security and integrity of signed documents in a transaction.   
  • Making Notary Services Accessible: Remote online notarization means you can notarize documents and signatures anywhere at your convenience. This means notary services become accessible to everyone who seeks them.   
  • Save Time and Other Resources: Remote Online Notarization (RON) uses advanced technology, including electronic signatures and stamps, to ensure the authenticity and integrity of documents signed. RON also uses video conferencing for witnesses signing documents, eliminating the need for in-person presence.  
  • Quicker Closing of Transaction: Transactions requiring witness signatures can be closed faster than ever with secure Remote Online Notarization. You only need a device with video conferencing capability to access and sign documents.  

Considering the benefits of utilizing remote online notarization (RON) is essential for understanding the advantages it offers in modern document handling. RON is designed with advanced technology and stringent security measures to ensure the integrity and security of signed documents during transactions. By leveraging RON, individuals can access notary services conveniently from any location of their choosing. This accessibility expands the reach of notary services to a broader audience seeking efficient and secure document authentication.  

Moreover, RON optimizes time management and resource utilization through its utilization of cutting-edge technology, including electronic signatures and stamps. These features guarantee the authenticity and integrity of documents, while also facilitating the process of signing through video conferencing for witnesses. The elimination of the need for physical presence streamlines the notarization process, enabling quicker transaction closures, particularly for documents requiring witness signatures. With RON, all that is required is a device equipped with video conferencing capabilities to access and securely sign documents, enhancing both convenience and efficiency in the document authentication process. 

How Does Remote Online Notarization (RON) Work?  

  • Authentication of Identity of Signatories and the Witness: In document notarization, you begin by verifying the authenticating information submitted at the time of signing.   
  • Remote Witnessing: In Remote Online Notarization, secure video conferencing platforms are used to enable the witnessing of signatures in real time. The notary agent witnessed the signing of documents through video conferencing.   
  • Signing the Documents Securely: Once the notary services provider witnesses the document signing, an electronic signature and stamp are appended to certify the authenticity. Electronic signatures and stamps ensure the security and integrity of documents signed in a transaction.  

Requirements for Remote Online Notarization (RON) 

Remote Online Notarization (RON) is becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The criteria for carrying out RON may vary slightly depending on the state, but generally include the following key requirements:  

  1. Notary Registration: Notaries must be registered with the state to conduct RON services.
  2. Audio-Visual Communication Technology: RON typically involves audio-visual communication technology to facilitate virtual notarization.
  3. Credential Analysis Technology: Notaries often use credential analysis technology to verify the authenticity of government-issued identification documents presented by individuals.
  4. Electronic Signatures and Seals: RON involves the use of electronic signatures, electronic seals, and in some cases, digital certificates to authenticate the documents being notarized.
  5. Recordkeeping and Storage: Notaries must adhere to recordkeeping requirements, including maintaining electronic journals and creating digital audit trails to ensure the integrity and security of the notarization process.
  6. Data Privacy Compliance: RON practitioners are required to adhere to common data privacy principles to protect the confidentiality and security of the information shared during the notarization process.

The foundation of existing RON legislation can be traced back to state and federal electronic signature laws, which have established core principles such as technology neutrality, auditability, security, and data privacy. These principles, some of which have been in place for over two decades, remain relevant in shaping the regulatory framework for RON today. 

Conclusion: Certinal’s Role in Remote Online Notarization  

Remote Online Notarization employs advanced technologies, including electronic signatures and stamps, to enable secure remote witnessing and certifying of authenticity. Certinal offers AI-powered electronic signatures built on advanced technology to ensure the security and integrity of documents.   

Certinal offers comprehensive coverage of compliance requirements to ensure that any documents signed using Certinal eSign conform to local and global standards. With Certinal, you can rest assured that your Remote Online Notarization experience will be secure, and that the integrity of your documents will be maintained. To learn more about electronic signatures for remote online notarization and witness signing, book a demo with Certinal today. 

author avatar
Lokjith is a marketing content writer, and he writes about eSignature technology to raise awareness and help enterprises make informed decisions. Before discovering the SaaS industry, he organized Offline Marketing campaigns campaigns. He has a master’s degree from the Institute of Management Technology, specializing in Marketing.
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