Notarizing documents online has become widely accepted and with it comes many benefits for the Notary and clients – time savings from travelling to and from the Notary, social distancing behaviors, sessions can be quick and easy and performed from your own home with no need to meet clients in foreign locations. The list goes on.
So why should notaries start using Remote Online Notarization (RON) as their preferred method of notarization? It is simple.
Think of the RON platform as your protection against fraudulent clients. A RON platform will give you peace of mind and provide you with all the available methods to protect you, not only physically from the pandemic, but also, in meeting your compliance requirements.
What are these methods?
When looking into a RON vendor, it is important to check and see if they can provide you with a comprehensive capabilities and features that will protect you, during every step of the notarization journey. Most states will require RON vendors to provide a software platform that has the capabilities for the following features:
- Identity Proofing and Credential Analysis
- Video signing meeting and recording
- ID Visual Check (Remote ID Presentation)
- Tamper-proof document signing
- Electronic Notary Journal
Let’s dive in to why each of these methods is important and where they typically sit along the document notarization journey.
Identity Proofing and Credential Analysis
So, you have received your client documents, but before getting them signed and notarized, you want to check that they are who they say they are. Before accessing the documents and RON sessions with you as the notary, you want to know that the client’s identity is legitimate. This is where identity proofing and credential analysis steps in.
Your client gains access to a tailored multi-choice questionnaire which uses information from the client’s personal history, their financial and credit information. The reason you can trust this questionnaire is because it is linked directly to your client’s social security ID number. KBA adds a reliable layer of protection at the very beginning of the notarization process, so you can prove your client’s identity before deciding on whether you notarize their documents or not.
Your states rules and regulations will determine how many times your client can fail the KBA, how many times they can reattempt the process, and when it is time to say, “sorry, but I cannot prove who you are.”
If your client passes KBA they can move on to the second phase in identity proofing and credential analysis which involves analyzing an ID type provided by your client, also known as ID Verification.
A robust ID Verification process will use software to analyze the provided ID type against a wide-ranging database of ID types, checking it for reliable security elements. A seamless and easy to use process, ID Verification can guarantee that your client is using a valid ID type. If your client successfully passes the ID Verification process you can rest assured that they are who they say they are and proceed to notarizing and signing their documents.
Some systems provide additional security measures during the identity proofing and credential analysis process with data matching and selfie match. This allows the Notary to compare information provided by the signer with information taken from the images captured of their provided ID. If the data doesn’t match, for example their first name does not match the first name on their ID, the notary can then choose to allow the signer to proceed to the RON meeting or stop the process. Similar to data match, you can also compare a signer’s selfie with your signer’s picture on their provided ID. If their face does not match the image in their ID, you can also choose for your signer to stop or continue to the RON meeting.
Video Signing Meeting and Recording
Your client has been through the identity proofing and credential analysis, your happy with their results and your ready to host a video signing meeting to walk through their documents and get them signed and notarized.
Why is the video signing meeting important? For starters, the video signing meeting allows you to meet with your client in an online meeting room and establish that the person you have been talking to is in fact a real person. You will be able to interact with your client and walk through their documents before getting them signed and notarized.
Most states will have a set of rules and regulations that will also require this meeting to be recorded. This allows you to use the recording in the future as evidence that the signing and notarization took place and is close to being as irrefutable as possible. It’s recommended that you store this somewhere safe, for example on your own public or cloud storage to ensure you always have it available and on-hand if you ever need it.
Not only will you have the results from identity proofing and credential analysis but now you will have a video recording of you and your client.
ID Visual Check (Remote ID Presentation)
ID visual check, or remote ID presentation allows you to check an ID type during a video meeting and is as simple as the client holding their document up to the camera for you to look at. If you have the ID information taken from the identity proofing and credential analysis phase, now would be a good time to compare that with the ID being held to the camera.
Although the ID visual check seems basic it is an additional layer of protection for you, and the video recording taken from the video signing meeting will have the ID type captured for future review if necessary.
Tamper-proof document signing
You are ready to sign and notarize the documents but you want to ensure that these documents can’t be tampered with or altered afterwards. How would you do this? Is this even possible? Well, yes, it is. Using a digital signature and valid digital certificate, you can do two things – verify that you were the one who signed and sealed the document but also verify the document has not been tampered with. The moment a change occurs to the signed and notarized documents, it invalidates all signatures and notary eSeals on that document. This ensures that you will always know when a document has been tampered with giving you peace of mind that the document you have signed is still legitimate.
You may be asking what a digital certificate is, and the simple answer is that your digital certificate acts as your digital identity, issued by a Federal Bridge Certificate Authority such as Identrust, when signing and notarizing documents online. A notary public is required to have and use an identity-based digital certificate to digitally sign and seal each notarized document.
This digital certificate links you to the digital signature and electronic notary seal that you use when signing and notarizing documents.
Electronic Notary Journal
Once you have completed the remote online notarization, having an electronic notary journal to store all the key information is important. Information from your client’s name, documents notarized, state, date and time are essential pieces of information when protecting yourself, and depending on the RON platform you are using, an electronic notary journal can do this for you. There is no need to fill it out after each notarization, information will be pushed into the electronic journal based on the information gathered through the notarization process. Trust that the system is keeping all the information up to date.
Notarizations have never been safer or more secure than with remote online notarizations. Notarize your first document online today, and experience why many notaries are choosing to perform remote online notarizations.
Secured Signing offers an all-in-one remote online notarization platform, complete with everything you need to notarize documents, securely, online. If you have any questions about how Secured Signing’s Notary platform can work for you and your Notary business, contact us today and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as they can. Start notarizing documents now by purchasing a Secured Signing Notary account at www.securedsigning.com/pricing-enotary