3 Important Things to Know Before You Use an Online Notary

1) Your ability to use an online notary may depend on which state you live in.

Only a handful of states allow its notaries to notarize documents by using a webcam to verify a person’s identity and witness the signature. Of those states, only one allows its e-notaries to notarize documents from other states online, and that’s Virginia.

According to Commonwealth of Virginia Senate Bill 827 and House Bill 2318, registered Virginia notary publics who are commissioned e-notaries are legally permitted to notarize documents from any state in the U.S. as well as any country for anyone.

Back in 2012, this law triggered the birth of the online notary world. Virginia says its e-notaries can notarize any document online, but do other states say they’ll accept an online notarization from Virginia?


Because online notarization is relatively new, few states have legislation that explicitly state online notarization from out of state is acceptable in their state, but none state that it’s unacceptable either. Legislation from every state simply permits notarization from other states’ notaries, and an online notarization falls under that category. It’s important to remember two things:  

a. People all around the country get documents notarized online every day and notaries such as NotaryCam.com and Notarize.com have notarized documents for all 50 states.

b. Many state legislatures are in the process of approving online notarizations from in and out of state. 

You can read the exact language from your state’s code on our state-by-state information page.

2) You can’t notarize just any document online.

Currently, the following types of documents cannot be notarized by an online notary.

a. Wills, codicils or testamentary trusts
b. Motor vehicle title transfer documents and odometer disclosure statements
c. I-9 Forms
d. Certified true copies of birth, marriage, death certificates, or other court-issued documents

3) Don’t sign the document yet.

This one may be obvious for some, but it might be the most important piece of information on this list. The point of a notary is to have a trustworthy citizen witness that it is actually you signing the document and that it’s of your own free will. If you sign the document before you scan it into the online notary’s website, you’ll have to print out a new unsigned copy and start over.   

For more information, read our Beginner’s Guide to Using Online Notaries.

And check out our recommended notaries below. 

               Notarize, Inc.

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