E-Notarization Via Webcam: What You Need To Know

E-notarization is viewed as an essential component of the all-digital, paperless mortgage, as it replaces traditional pen-and-paper notarization with electronic notary tools.

The challenge for the mortgage industry, however, has been getting investors to accept e-notarization as a safe and reliable means for remotely notarizing documents. Although there continue to be concerns regarding fraud, authentication and reliability, the technology has evolved to the point where it is considered safe and secure – provided, of course, that the proper policies and procedures are followed.

A new white paper from the National Notary Association (NNA) examines the benefits, legality and challenges surrounding the implementation of e-notarization and webcam notarization systems for business use cases.

Titled “What Businesses Need To Know About eNotarization: Technology, Trends & Webcams,” the white paper covers the five steps to a proper notarization, which include the following:

  • Require personal appearance;
  • Scan the document;
  • Verify the signer’s identity and screen for willingness and awareness;
  • Record the journal entry; and
  • Complete the notarial certificate.

As the white paper points out, webcam notarization, which incorporates audio-visual technology in place of personal appearance, is already legal in two states.

“E-closings and e-mortgages are taking center stage because they can significantly benefit consumers,” says Chris Sturdivant, vice president of business development for the National Notary Association, in a statement. “As the spotlight gets brighter, conversations about processes like e-notarization have become much more common.

“Considering the complexity of e-notarization, we wrote this white paper to do more than define core concepts and terms,” Sturdivant adds. “We published this content to help businesses fully understand the trends, any challenges they may encounter and, most importantly, how e-notarization can benefit their day-to-day operations.”

The NNA worked with SIGNiX, an e-signature service provider, to create a video demonstration of the technology used to perform webcam notarizations. That video can be accessed here.

The white paper can be accessed here.


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