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How a Notary Can Perform Electronic Notarization

By April 28, 2015 No Comments

New Jersey notaryElectronic notarization, also known as e-notarization, is a way for notaries to sign and acknowledge electronic documents. It is essentially the same as the notary signing a piece of paper, but makes it a little easier when it comes to documents such as Word files or PDFs. Through this method a notary uses an electronic signature and notary seal using a secure Public key to an electronic document.

E-notarization does not mean the signer need not be present in front of the notary. The individual must still be physically present before the notary in order to legally complete the electronic notarization.

Not all states allow e-notarization. Those who do permit electronic notarization do so under a variety of different acts and rules, including the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA), the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) and state specific laws and rules.

The Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) was completed in 1999.  The UETA created equal legal status between electronic paperwork and signatures and those which involve paper, with electronic signatures defined as “an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record”. Not all states have adopted the UETA or allow electronic notarization.

Certain states have specific laws and rules as to e-notarization. These states are:

  • Arizona (statutes)
  • Colorado (rules)
  • Florida (statutes)
  • Kansas (program)
  • Minnesota (statutes)
  • North Carolina (statutes, rules)
  • Pennsylvania (program)
  • Utah (rules)

The following is a list of the states allowing electronic notarization and what rules, acts or statutes permit notaries to do so:

  • Alabama: UETA
  • Arkansas: UETA with rules effective 1/1/2014
  • California: UETA and Code 27391(e)
  • Colorado: UETA and specific notary statutes and rules
  • Florida: UETA, notary statute and notary administrative rules
  • Iowa: UETA and RULONA
  • Maryland: UETA
  • Minnesota: UETA and notary statutes
  • North Carolina: UETA, notary statute and notary administrative rules
  • Oregon: UETA, RULONA and administrative rules
  • Pennsylvania: UETA and pilot program
  • Texas: UETA
  • Utah: UETA
  • Vermont: UETA
  • Virginia: UETA, specific notary law
  • West Virginia: RULONA and rules effective 6/30/2014

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