2
Dec

Use cases for electronic notarization by Vermont notaries

When are Vermont notaries likely to perform electronic notarizations (e-notarizations)? Lets begin by distinguishing between

  • in-person e-notarizations, where the notary and the signer meet in a place with computer(s) and perform the signing and notarization on one or more computers, and
  • remote e-notarizations, where the notary and signer are in different locations and communicate via the internet, with voice and video communications, plus an ability to send the document to be signed and notarized back and forth.

Virginia already has a head start in remote e-notarization, and other states are also allowing their notaries to perform these for signers located anywhere in the world. Since Vermont notaries won't be authorized to do this until July 1, 2019, at the earliest, it will be hard for Vermont notaries to catch up. Probably the best chance would be if large services farm out the actual notarizations to notaries who work from home, a sort of cottage industry. (This post isn't addressing whether remote e-notarizations are a good idea; the general assembly has decided to authorize them so the debate is largely over.)

The cases where in-person e-notarization by Vermont notaries incude

  • notarization of documents that need to be in electronic form for individuals who don't have the identification documents or credit history needed for remote e-notarization
  • notarization where electronic documents are required but one or more stakeholders are skeptical of remote e-notarization
  • notarization of electronic files in a format not supported by the mass-market remote e-notarization providers; for this option to be available in Vermont, the Vermont notary rules will need a sufficiently flexible e-notarization approval process.

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