Remote Online Notarization
Temporary Remote Online Notarization (RON) is effective April 3, 2020 until the termination of the state of emergency.
Remote Online Notarization is the process by which documents are notarized in an electronic form where the signer and notary public are not physically in each other’s presence but can communicate simultaneously using secure audio-video technology from an approved vendor. There are additional costs associated with performing Remote Online Notarizations.
Remote Online Notarization is a tool that notaries can use durng the COVID-19 pandemic, but is not required. Standard notarizations are still permitted and valid during the state of emergency. Here are some tips on performing in-person notary services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A notary public choosing to perform Remote Online Notarization in this State must complete the application process outlined below and comply with the updated Standards of Conduct and the requirements of R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 42-30.1.
Remote notarization solution providers seeking approval as a RON vendor must be able to accommodate the minimum technical and performance standards governing RON in Rhode Island. To apply for approval, please submit a solution provider application.
To Get Started
Notaries should understand how to perform a remote notarization and the requirements for remote notarizations in RI.
Choose a Solution Provider
Once you decide to become a remote notary, you must purchase a subscription to one of the approved solution providers listed here. As new providers are approved, they will be added to this list.
To meet the minimum standards of remote notarizations in RI, your subscription must include both an electronic signature and electronic notary stamp. A digital certificate is not required by the State of Rhode Island but may be required by the solution provider.
How to Apply
New or renewing notaries need to select an approved solution provider and submit a completed notary application by mail along with the $80 application fee. Learn more about the notary application process here.
To complete the application process, you must submit a sample of your electronic signature and electronic notary stamp.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Remote Online Notarization the same as Electronic Notarization?
No. Remote Online Notarization is the process by which documents are notarized in an electronic form where the signer and notary public are not physically in each other’s presence but can communicate simultaneously using secure audio-video technology. Electronic Notarization involves an electronic record using a tamper-evident technology, but the signer must physically be present before the notary.
What kind of technology do I need to perform remote notarizations? Can I use video chatting software such as Zoom or FaceTime?
You will need a computer with audio-visual capability as well as an approved remote online notarization solution. You and the signer will also need Internet connectivity. The approved solution is required because it provides a secure and safe method to perform remote notarizations. You may not use software or apps such as Zoom or FaceTime.
Do I need training or have to take a test?
You do not have to take a test; however, you must read the restated Standards of Conduct and complete the training provided by the solution provider you select before notarizing remotely.
Can I remotely notarize a paper document?
Yes, you may notarize a paper or tangible document. The signer must send you the document either electronically (by email) or by delivery (mail, courier, drop off, etc.) before you begin the notarization process. The signer must also send you the signed document within 30 days of the remote notarization so you can complete the certificate and affix your inked notary stamp.
Will the remotely notarized document be accepted everywhere? Is it legal?
Rhode Island notary laws include reciprocity. Therefore, the notarization should be accepted. It is legal pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws and the Standards of Conduct. As a precaution, the signer should contact the receiver of the document to ensure they will accept the document if it was remotely notarized.
Can I charge my customers more for a remote notarization?
No. The maximum fee for any notarial act is $5, whether the notarization is performed in person or remotely.
Can I use my solution provider's free account to perform remote notarizations?
No. You must pay for a subscription through your solution provider in order to perform remote notarizations. Your solution provider will create an electronic notary stamp for you, a copy of which must be provided to the RI Department of State Notary Division.
How do I perform a Remote Online Notarization of a tangible (paper) document?
There are several steps to remotely notarizing a paper document. Click here to learn more.
How do I identify a signer for a Remote Online Notarization?
Identifying a remote signer is more in depth than in a traditional notarization. Click here to learn more.
Looking for a remote notary? Use the “Search by city” lookup to find a remote notary.