Remote Notarization vs. Traditional Notary Services: A Comparison

30-11-2023 16:46

The long-standing practice of notarization, which serves as the basis for trust in legal and financial matters, is undergoing a revolutionary change. With their physical presence and written reports, traditional legal official notarization is up against a formidable rival in the digital age: remote notarization. However, like with any significant change, remote notarization raises a lot of questions and considerations. Is it equally safe as its traditional notarization? What judicial bodies regulate its training? What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of this emerging pattern In this article, we will go on a lengthy journey, examining Remote Notary Services in USA and traditional notarization, dissecting their differences, and examining the effects of this technological disruption in the deep-rooted practice of notarization.

Types Of Notarization

Traditional Notarization

The traditional notarization process takes place in person. Thus, both the signer and the notary public are present in the same space. Additionally, none of the documents are in digital format; they are entirely on paper. The signer is initially recognized by the notary. The documents are then signed by the signer, after which the notary completes the notarial act and affixes his or her notarial seal.

Remote Online Notarization

In RONs, the signer and notary do not physically interact, in contrast to traditional and electronic notarizations. Instead, the notarization is performed through video utilizing a third-party technology platform while each person is seated in front of a computer. The procedure starts with the notary identifying the signer using a third-party identity-proofing program. The notary must record the entire notarial act and keep a copy of it for up to ten years, depending on the state. The notary uses a digital certificate to sign the document with their official electronic signature and notary stamp once the signer has electronically signed it.

In-Person Electronic Notarization

With in-person electronic notarization (IPEN), pen-and-paper signatures are replaced with digital ones while the Notary and signer remain in the same physical location. In this context, an electronic document is signed and notarized using electronic signatures (sometimes referred to as an “electronic record” in line with state law).

Remote Ink Notarization

It requires a physical signature. A video meeting program during a RIN enables the signee to stand before the notary so that identification may be verified by state notary requirements. However, the signee completes and signs the actual documents with a pen while the notary observes, as opposed to utilizing an electronic signature. The documents are then delivered by a delivery service, electronically, by fax, or electronically to the notary. 

Traditional vs. Remote Notarization

Requirements for Document Format for Each Type of Notarization

Traditional Notary: A physical paper document with an original handwritten signature done in ink is required for traditional notarization.

RON: In terms of electronic records, remote online notarization mainly follows IPEN. Nevertheless, several governments provide the alternative of paper documents for notarization and signing inside the RON framework.

Signer Identification Protocols

Traditional Notary: The signer identification process is the same for both conventional and in-person electronic notarizations. According to state Notary requirements, the signer must have firsthand knowledge of their identification or provide adequate identity proof, often in the form of a driver’s license, or through reliable witnesses who are familiar with them and can attest to their identity.

RON: A comprehensive strategy using at least two identity verification techniques that are specially designed for the remote context is used for remote online notarization. This might use biometrics, public key certificates, remote presentation of identity, knowledge-based authentication (KBA), credential analysis, and so on.

Journal Entries

Traditional notarization: It requires the Notary to record the notarization event in a bound physical book or, in certain jurisdictions, an electronic journal, depending on state rules.

RON: In most remote notarizations, an electronic journal entry is required, and the notarization process is recorded using audiovisual technology.
There cording, together with any other journal-related information required by state law, must be kept securely by the Notary.

Invest in the Long-Term Solution

Traditional notarization: l It was anticipated that the states would go back to in-person notarizations after the epidemic was finished and people could resume their normal lives in safety. This indicated that conventional notarization is a long-term fix.

RON: It was regarded as a short-term solution during the pandemic. But we think that by using RON as a long-term fix, you will be in a better position to help your communities. The majority of states have enacted legislation enabling their notaries to participate in the online notarial market. Learning about new technology and having it available to you when you need it may be beneficial for you.


We hope that this article will help you understand the difference between traditional and online notarization. For more information related to notarization Visit Here To Related Post .

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