More than a billion documents are notarized in the U.S. per year. From deeds to title documents, power of attorney, and more, notarization is an important part of many business transactions. Yet, many places of business, from auto dealerships to real estate offices, don’t have notarization capabilities on demand.
Today, people have high expectations of customer service, and they want convenience. When someone takes time to prepare paperwork only to be turned away because they need to get something notarized, that can create a negative customer experience. What’s more, many transactions are moving online, increasing expectations for a seamless, digital experience.
Businesses that have a notary public or access to an online notarization platform can deliver the convenience that their customers crave, while seeing measurable benefits for their own business as well.
The major benefits of having a notary for your business are:
The role of a notary within a business is to notarize documents needed for internal operations and in some cases, such as with local bank branches, to notarize documents as a service to the public. In many businesses, such as lending, auto dealerships, and law firms, notarizations need to happen on a daily basis, and so the value of having in-house notarization services is especially helpful to keep business moving efficiently. In other cases, such as mortgage lending, even one notarization in a day can be critical in generating revenue and providing a positive customer experience.
It’s clear that notarization is an important capability to have available within many different businesses, but what are the different options? Today, businesses can have either an on-site notary public or utilize an online notarization platform, or both.
A notary public is an employee who has been certified to perform legal notarizations. A designated employee must meet state requirements of residency and education, and submit an application for a fee. Once their application is processed, they receive certification as well as a notary “stamp” that they can use to perform notarizations. In most states, the notary certification lasts for a period of a few years and then needs to be renewed.
An online notarization platform provides a convenient and easy option for notarizing documents online. For many businesses, having the availability to notarize from any location at any time provides an improvement in convenience and customer service.
Businesses can have both an in-house notary public and an online notarization platform so that they have maximum flexibility. For example, in some states, in-house notaries can use an online notarization platform to notarize documents for their customers. This means that customers don’t have to physically come into an office to get a document notarized, but businesses can still use their own notary.
Each industry has unique notarization needs that can be solved with in-house or online notarization capabilities. Here are some examples:
Car sales can require notarizations, with requirements differing by state. There are title agreements, out-of-state purchase forms, and correction forms. Now that many people are buying cars remotely, there are a lot more out of state purchases, which increases the complexity of notarization. For many automotive dealerships, the title clerk is the main notary. But what happens if they’re not in the dealership at the particular time a document needs to be notarized, or if the buyer is unable to make it to the dealership in person? Many auto dealerships are benefiting from online notarization as the solution.
Local banks, insurance agents and other financial services companies have a huge variety of documents that need to be notarized. Whether someone is submitting a claim, getting a new policy, or transferring assets, notarizations could be required. Many local financial institutions also offer notarization to the public. While this is considered to be a customer service benefit, customers could be frustrated if they travel to a bank and the notary isn’t available. Many financial institutions have adopted online notarization technology to ensure a positive customer service experience.
Notarization is a critical part of a mortgage closing. For every house sold, there are documents that need to be notarized in order for the sale to actually happen. Mortgages are such important transactions that there can be up to 6 or 8 people present at the closing, including the buyer, seller, lender, title agent, real estate agents and notary. While some title agents are also notaries, that’s not always the case. It's important to ensure that a notary is available to enable the closing to take place. If a notary is sick, a closing may have to be postponed. Having the ability to offer online notarization eliminates this risk. Furthermore, offering fully-digital closings through a platform like Notarize enables mortgage closings without having anyone in the home buying transaction need to step foot in an office to sign papers or get documents notarized.
Depending on the law firm, any number of documents need to be notarized on a daily basis. It’s smart for law firms to have not one, but several notaries on staff in order to ensure that business can operate smoothly. Many lawyers at firms also keep very late hours, while a notary might work normal business hours, causing a bottleneck that a 24/7 online notarization platform can help to solve.
Construction companies are subject to a number of notarization requirements, from contracts to purchasing and leasing equipment, to pulling building permits and in some cases, selling properties. The legal, regional and business requirements of many construction companies are complex. Plus with so many people spread out across construction projects, having online notary capabilities can provide extra convenience to keep business moving.
The equipment leasing market is massive — $1.8 trillion in 2019 — and comes with a slew of contracts, agreements, insurance and other documents to ensure the safety and security of every party involved. Notarization plays a key part, and having a notary available when deals are in process can ensure that there is never a need to turn a potential customer away to get a document notarized.
Today’s consumer wants a convenient experience — whether they are closing on a mortgage, buying a car, or leasing equipment for their business. While an on-site notary can deliver an improvement in convenience, online notary services that are available 24/7 provide true flexibility.
What’s more, many industries have embraced digital transformation, and are offering online options to their customers. Many auto dealerships ask that car buyers complete their paperwork via an online portal before they arrive at the dealership to finalize the sale. Mortgage lenders are embracing eClosings, where documents are signed online. Many law firms, insurance agencies and leasing businesses are also digitizing paperwork to reduce costs, reduce errors and improve convenience. Using an online notarization platform is another tool in businesses’ “digital tool belt” that directly supports and improves these new digital processes.
An online notarization platform like Notarize, provides:
24/7 notarizations: While an employee who is certified to be a notary can help customers during their working hours, that leaves a gap during after hours. What’s worse, if that employee decides to leave their job, a business has to do without a notary until they certify a new employee. With our online notarization platform, notaries are available all day, everyday.
Flexibility of remote notarizations: Online notarizations can dramatically increase the flexibility of transactions. Rather than requiring everyone to be present in the same location, online notarization enables a business owner to lease equipment from the comfort of their office, or enable someone to purchase a car while they are on vacation.
Efficiency for the business: Many business transactions have moved online as digital transformation was accelerated during the pandemic. Both customers and business owners have seen the efficiency gained from fully-digital transactions. Those that embrace online notarization as well as other online transactions (such a eSignature) will also see time savings, error reductions and other cost savings that really add up.
Notarize delivers quick and easy access to remote online notarizations that can be used for a huge range of business transactions, immediately improving the flow of business for any company that relies on paper-based, in-person notarizations. Whether you have your own in-house notary that you want your clients to be able to use online, or are in need of a notary, the Notarize platform can help.