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What it means to get electronic notarization for documents 

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Federal and state governments require several documents to be notarized by an accredited official. Notarization is the process by which signatories to an agreement or contract appear before the notary and sign the documents. Once the notary has verified their identity and confirmed that they are signing off their free will, the official seal is affixed on the papers, and the transaction is entered into public records. In case of a dispute or fraud, the records can be checked to affirm the transaction’s validity.

State Governments Now Permit Electronic Notarization

Since before the COVID-19 pandemic, several state governments have enacted laws and regulations that permit the notarization process to occur over the internet, the first one being Virginia. The signatories can use an online notary service by connecting via audio-video platforms. You won’t have to present yourself before the official physically, but the parties can use the registered apps. These software provide the necessary facilities for the seamless authentication of your documents.

Signatories Must Follow Their State Regulations

Each state has its regulations, and you must make sure to comply with them. Check the National Notary Association database for updated information. In addition to your identity, the notary will also ask the parties to swear under oath that they have read and understood the agreement’s contents and that they are knowingly entering into the contract. Electronic notarization facilities are available 24×7, and you won’t have to worry about mailing the relevant documents. You can upload them to the platform, get the notary to digitally sign the papers, and download copies for saving in your records. The entire process is completed within a short time.

Electronic Notarization is Economical

Getting documents notarized is economical, and each process costs $25. If you need an additional notary seal, you’ll pay another $10. However, most documents can be validated with just a single seal. Not all contracts can be authenticated electronically. For more information, it is best to check with the state regulations. For instance, mortgage documents, powers of attorney, and lawsuits can be notarized online. Signing wills need the presence of witnesses and compliance with the advance health directives outlined in each state. Marriage ceremonies cannot be conducted by a digital notary.

Digital Notarization is a Secure Way to Finalize Transactions

Digital notarization is not only a safer and more secure method of authenticating documents, but it is also more thorough. That’s because a video recording is made of the entire process, and the notary takes all the precautions necessary to protect against identity theft. Attaching an x.509 PKI (public key infrastructure) security certificate adds “tamper-evident” safeguards. Any subsequent changes made to the document after notarization can be easily detected. Each notary has a unique digital certificate provided by the platform used to conduct the authentication that validates the authority of the official supervising the signing.

Getting electronic notarization for your documents is the safest and quickest method to prove their validity and get protection from the risk of fraud.

Story by Russell Michelson

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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