How to Become an Online Notary in California How to Become an Online Notary in California

How to Become an Online Notary in California

How to Become an Online Notary in California

Let’s understand what it takes to become an online notary in California.

Is Online Notarization Legal in California?

Beginning January 1st, 2030, notaries around the state of California will be able to notarize your documents electronically. But wait a second; the time could potentially change. The Secretary of State has the right to stall it if they need extra time to set things up, like new rules and technology.

THAT SAID, California residents are able to get their documents notarized online RIGHT NOW by using a platform like BlueNotary and be in full compliance of the law.

How do online notarizations work?

  • The person needing the notarization will join you in a secure online meeting room, just like a video call.
  • Just like a traditional public notary, you gotta make sure it’s really them by verifying their identity.
  • Both you and the signer will sign the documents electronically. No need for pen and paper!
  • You can only finalize the notarization after witnessing their electronic signature.
  • A special digital certificate will be added to the document for extra security
  • The entire online session will be recorded, just in case anyone needs to reference it later.

This way, everything is secure and documented!

What are the Requirements to Become an Online Notary in California?

Online notarization is coming in 2030, and it should be pretty similar to what other states are already doing. Here’s what you’ll likely need to become an online notary superstar when the time comes:

  • Be 18 or older.
  • Be a US citizen who speaks, reads, and writes English comfortably. 
  • Have a clean criminal record (unless something happened in the past that got pardoned).
  • Take an online notary training course from a trusted source like the BlueNotary Academy.
  • Pick a vendor from the state’s approved list that offers the fancy software you’ll need for online notarizations.
  • Fill out an application for the California Secretary of State’s office and pay a one-time fee.

Once you check off all these boxes, you’ll be officially authorized to notarize documents online in California when they become legal!

Is there an exam for online notaries?

While the state hasn’t officially confirmed a training requirement yet, many states with online notary programs use approved training courses. Think of these courses like a practice round to make sure you’re ready to be an online notary! This course would likely cover all the important info for secure and legal online notarizations. Basically, by completing the training, you’d be a pro at handling online documents!

How to Become an Online Notary in California

What technology and supplies do I need to perform online notarizations in California?

The supplies needed for online notarization should be similar to other states, but you don’t need a fancy computer set up to be an online notary in California.

  • Webcam and Microphone: Any desktop or laptop with these will do the job. If your current virtual workspace is for handling online notarizations.
  • Digital Toolkit: Your chosen RON (Remote Online Notary) Service Provider will help you set up your digital toolkit. This includes things like an electronic journal to keep track of everything, a special e-seal to keep documents safe, and a digital certificate with your signature to prove it’s you. In short, they’ll walk you through everything!

Basically, with a basic tech setup and the help of your chosen RON service provider, you’ll be all set to handle online notarizations!

Do I need another surety bond or E&O insurance policy in California?

While California hasn’t exactly set out the rules for RON yet, there are a bunch of states that need Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance for online notaries. It is thanks to this measure that you will never need to be concerned if you make a mistake online during the RON procedure. Besides that, there might be scenarios when you already have a public notary E&O insurance.  In such a case, you probably won’t need to add another one separately.

What notarial acts can be performed virtually in California?

We’re still waiting for the state of California to make an announcement about which documents can be notarized online. In the meantime, here’s what happens with  with traditional notarizations:

At this point, anybody seeking the services of a licensed notary to have the document notarized has to be physically present to the local notary.

Also, as always, a valid ID must be taken to enable the signers to be authenticated. Their identification could be a driver’s license, passport, military card, ID issued by the national government, or permanent resident card. Afterwards, a few words will be shared. Then, everyone will have a chance to have a glance at the contract before putting their signatures on the dotted line.

We’ll keep you posted on any updates from California about online notarization!

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Notarization in California

How much does it cost to register as an online Notary?

The exact cost of becoming an online notary in California is still up in the air. In other states, it usually falls somewhere between a few hundred dollars. This covers things like the application fee, any software you need from a state-approved vendor, and maybe some extra equipment like a webcam. We’ll have to wait for the official word from California on this one, too! In the meantime, you can research the costs in other states to get a general idea.

How much can I charge as an online notary in California?

Considering the fact that online notarization has yet to become accessible in California, this data can still prove valuable for people in states that are now implementing it. The cost of online notarization can range from approximately $25 per session, plus $10 for each additional seal on the document.

Will a document notarized remotely in California be recognized by other states?

Because California doesn’t yet provide remote notarization, it is too early to tell for sure. Nevertheless, in general, most states recognize notarizations carried out in other states as long as these follow that state’s notary laws. Therefore, once California sets online notary regulations, it is very likely that other states will accept them as well.

All states recognize the remote notarization procedure as following the guidelines of state law. Therefore, you won’t have to worry if your documentation gets notarized online in one state, as the document will be accepted in most other states.

How long will my online Notary commission last?

Since California’s online notary program isn’t up and running yet, it’s tough to say for sure how renewals will work. But in many states with online notary programs, your online authorization piggybacks on your existing notary commission (as long as you keep it renewed, of course). This lets you perform both traditional and online notarizations. 

One thing to remember is that just like with a regular notary commission, the Secretary of State can revoke your online privileges if you break the regulations. We’ll find out all the specifics about online notary renewals in California once the program launches. Stay tuned!

[sibwp_form id=6]