Effective February 25, 2022, documents can now be notarized in-person or virtually by a certified public notary in the state of New York. Under the new law, documents may be notarized remotely using a secure communications platform that connects the notary and the principal in real time. The state authorized two versions of remote authorization, Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (RIN) and Remote Online Notarization (RON).
What is Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (RIN)?
Remote-Ink Signed Notarization requires a wet-ink signature from the principal. The principal will need to sign a paper copy of the legal document in ink, then mail or fax the signed copy to the notary for approval. Authorization can be done virtually using a secure technology platform with both audio and video capabilities. Documents can be notarized using this method until January 31, 2023.
What is Remote Online Notarization (RON)?
Unlike RIN, RON can be completed entirely online without the need for a wet-ink signature. The principal will sign a digital document with an electronic signature while meeting with the notary using a secure communications tool with audio and visual capabilities. Notaries are encouraged to use RON instead of RIN, as RON will be the only form of remote notarization recognized by the state after January 31, 2023.
Requirements for Using Remote Notarization
In order for RIN or RON to be completed successfully, the New York Department of State created requirements that notaries and principals must follow. The following criteria must be met prior to the notarization:
- The notary must be physically present in the state of New York at the time of the notarization. However, the principal does not need to be in the state for the process.
- The notary and the principal must complete the process using a secure communications tool with both audio and visual capabilities. The notary will use the tool to record and archive the notarization process.
- If the principal is not located in the United States, the notarial act must involve a document relating to property located in or connected with the United States.
- The notary and the principal must use a secure communications tool that allows both parties to see and hear each other in real time. The platform needs to be secure in order to prevent unauthorized access.
The notary also needs to confirm the identity of the principal using one of the three following methods:
- The notary must personally know the principal.
- A credible witness who is personally known to the notary must provide an oath or an affirmation stating they know the principal.
- The identities of the principal and the credible witness are confirmed through credential analysis and proofing software, which validates the authenticity of the principal’s government-issued ID and confirms the identity of the principal.
The principal will then sign the document in view of the notary. The file will then be sent to the notary for officiating, where they will confirm the document sent is the same document that was signed in their presence before applying their stamp and signature. Once approved, the following disclaimer must be added to the document: “This remote notarial act involved the use of communications technology.” Remote notaries will be required to keep a written record and an audio-visual record of the notarization for the length of their career plus five years (written) or ten years (audio-visual).
Currently, any public notary may serve as a remote notary; however, the state requires those who wish to provide remote notarization services to register with the Department of State by January 31, 2023.
For more information on remote notarization, contact a member of our team or visit the New York State Land Title Association website.