Notaries are upstanding, trustworthy citizens who witness the signing of a document, verifying that the person signing it is who they say they are and that they’re not under duress while signing. (In other words, they don’t have a gun pointed at their head).
In 2011, the Commonwealth of Virginia adopted Code Sections 47.1, which allows its notaries to witness the signing of documents through webcam technology and notarize with an official, encrypted digital signature that is unique to that notary.
A few other states have adopted a similar measure, but only Virginia allows its “eNotaries” to notarize documents from out of state and even out of country. Out of this law came online notaries, which are gaining steam among individuals and businesses looking to save time.