Frequently Asked Questions
Frequent questions about the world's first online notary public platform.
Notarize is an electronic notary public platform and software service that allows businesses and individuals to complete the notarization process entirely online. Learn more about our story and team here.
Notarize is a remote electronic notary public platform that enables Virginia notaries, as authorized by Virginia law, to notarize documents for use in Virginia and in states across the country. Every state provides legal authority for recognition and acceptance of common out-of-state notarizations, including those from Virginia.
Notarize is an electronic notary public platform and software service offered to clients via any web-enabled desktop or laptop with a webcam or via any Android, iPhone, or iPad. Notarize’s service enables a face-to-face meeting with a notary, just like meeting with a traditional notary public in-person, but the meeting takes place entirely online.
You simply register on the Notarize app or website, then upload your document(s) and verify your identity. You verify your identity using knowledge-based authentication, which offers you a series of specific questions that only you can answer. Once your ID has been verified, your identity is further validated using a government-issued photo ID. Here at Notarize, IDs are authenticated whenever possible using computer imaging technology and a software-based forensic analysis. You are then connected with a commissioned Virginia Electronic Notary Public via live audio-video call. The notary public re-confirms your identity visually using the scanned photo ID, and then witnesses as you electronically sign the document. Similar to how a traditional notary operates, the Notarize notary signs and places his or her notarial seal on your document. For greater security, our notary then completes the electronic notarization process using digital tools. Once complete, you will receive detailed instructions to access your notarized document online and can deliver it or send it electronically to whomever you would like. The whole process is completed in minutes. In accordance with the Virginia statutes governing electronic notarization, all video calls are recorded so that any authorized party may verify your electronic notarization.
If you're a customer uploading a document that you need notarized, then retail pricing applies.
Retail Pricing Menu:
Base Charge: $25
The base charge covers your session with the notary, and up to one document and one notarial act (i.e. a seal).
+$7 –– For each additional seal.
(Most people only need the first one!)
+$5 –– For each additional customer placing a signature beside yourself.
(This doesn't include any witnesses your notarization might need.)
Business pricing applies to business account users. Please note that a business account is not used if you need to sign a document. A business account should be used when you need to send documents on behalf of your business for notarization.
Please note that we do offer discounted pricing based on volume. If you’d like to explore volume pricing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The legal landscape is complicated when it comes to notarizing wills, trust, deeds, or other related documents. Laws at the federal and state level provide for electronic signing of documents across virtually all categories of everyday forms, contracts and transactions. There are exceptions for a few categories of documents, and some states, public agencies and court systems impose specific additional requirements, limitations and conditions for accepting electronically-signed documents.
While many agencies and courts accept electronically-signed and notarized documents, it’s always a great idea to check with your intended recipient to confirm their specific ability and requirements for accepting these notarized documents. Find out more about the documents we notarize here.
We currently do not notarize:
· Wills and codicils
· Trusts and any documents related to the creation or execution or amendment of a trust in any form
· Motor vehicle title transfer documents and odometer disclosure statements
· Documents for use in Iowa
· I-9 Forms
· Certified true copies of birth, marriage, death certificates, court-issued documents
We are also not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies, although we wish you much happiness.
In 2011, the Commonwealth of Virginia adopted Virginia Code Sections 47.1 and following, allowing appropriately commissioned Virginia notaries to notarize documents remotely via live audio-video technology. Notarize is a remote electronic notary public platform that enables Virginia notaries to notarize documents for use in Virginia and in most US states. Every state provides its own legal authority for recognition and acceptance of common out-of-state notarizations. Customers use documents notarized by our e-notaries in states across the country. In addition to laws in each state recognizing and accepting common out-of-state notarizations, the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution may provide an additional basis for states to accept out of state notarizations.
Documents notarized on the Notarize platform are electronically signed by the signer(s) and our notary. Certain states and public agencies have specific additional requirements and limitations for accepting electronically-signed documents and out-of-state notarizations, and not all documents may be electronically-signed. For example, Notarize is not notarizing documents for use in Iowa. You should contact the agency that will receive your e-signed and e-notarized document to ensure your document will be acceptable for its intended use. Learn more here.
We’d like to help with general information wherever we can, so let us know of any questions at email@example.com.
The short answer is no, not yet.
When a notarized document is intended for use in another country, the notary’s commission and current status must typically be certified by his or her Secretary of State. That certification is attached to the notarized document and is called an “apostille.” Currently, Virginia is not able to provide apostilles for electronically-notarized documents, and all documents on Notarize are electronically signed and notarized. Please check with us for updates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notarize is working with the Virginia Secretary of State to provide apostilles, and we hope to have this service available soon. If you’d like to learn where you can use documents that are notarized on our platform, click here.
P.S.: It’s also always a great idea to double check with the recipient of your documents to ensure they are acceptable for its intended use.
No, Notarize will only charge a fee for successful notarizations. If we are unable to process any document, the session will be terminated without any cost to you.
Notarize offers unparalleled convenience for both consumers and businesses looking to notarize a document securely at any time and from any location.
For consumers, they can easily log onto Notarize to get their documents signed, online anytime in front of a commissioned notary public. For businesses, Notarize dramatically improves their processes for institutions that require notarized documents in their operations. Using our business portal or custom API, companies may now share with their customers electronic files that need to be notarized. Then the notarized files are automatically sent back to the company, dramatically reducing complexity, time, and operating expense while improving the customer experience.
Notarize is operational 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days a year.
Our application development team has extensive experience building bank grade, highly secure software systems. Our data is transmitted and stored using industry-best data security practices. For example, all user communications are encrypted and all data at rest (such as documents) are protected using AES-256. All application accesses are also tracked using an audit trail.
We recently completed a comprehensive information security audit, including a cyber-security maturity assessment, with a trusted third-party to align our code and security procedures to the SANs Top 20 critical controls. This also included an audit of internal security procedures and protocols, and comprehensive penetration testing of our software and hardware environments to provide a comprehensive risk analysis of our application and associated data. We have our SOC2 Type I compliance report and expect our SOC2 Type II report later in 2018.
Acceptable forms of ID include the following photo IDs if valid and unexpired:
In addition to verifying your identity using knowledge-based authentication, as required by Virginia, Notarize also employs advanced photo ID analysis technology. Over 300 institutions, including Federal Reserve Banks, nuclear power plants, law enforcement and liquor and bar establishments, currently use this ID analysis technology.
This service uses a patent-pending forensic approach which can analyze modern forms of government issued IDs. The process includes document classification, vector matching, microprint analysis, security pattern inspection, multi-spectrum image processing, and 1D and 2D barcode analysis.
After you pass knowledge-based authentication, and after we apply forensic analysis to your ID, you are connected with a commissioned Virginia electronic notary public via a live video call. The notary re-confirms your identity visually, using the scanned copy of your photo ID, and then witnesses as you electronically sign the document.
For more info on the ID verification process, click here.
Notarize supports documents that require two forms of identification.
If you’re a business and need to add the option for a secondary form of identification, go into your Account Settings and toggle on Secondary Form of ID. Individuals who need to furnish a secondary form of ID will be prompted to provide their secondary ID by the notary during the session.
If your document must be signed by more than one person, you have a few options.
First, you and your secondary signer can be co-located (in the same room), log into the session with the notary together, on the same device, in order to get your documents notarized. If your document requires two signers and you’re not co-located, both signers may use Notarize by completing separate transactions. Each signer would register for Notarize and upload an unsigned copy of his/her document to the service. When complete, you will have separately notarized documents that you may then submit to your recipient agency or institution.
Learn more about multiple signer support in our Help Center.
Many transactions will require more than just a notary and signer: you may need a witness. As a signer, you’ll want to make sure your witnesses are co-located with you during the signing. Once the notarization is under way, the signer simply hands over their device to the witness during the signing when prompted by the notary.
If you’re a business using Notarize for witness-required documents, when uploading your document, simply indicate that the document will require witnesses. Learn more about witness-required documents here.
A standard notarization requires individuals to appear physically before a commissioned notary public where they must demonstrate proof of identity, sign (or acknowledge their signature on) a document, and, if their document requires a sworn statement, be placed under oath.
Electronic notarizations are very much the same, with the following additions for the digital environment:
1) your requirement to appear in-person before the notary is accomplished via a live audio-video call between you and a commissioned Virginia notary
2) you and the notary complete your respective portions of the document electronically
3) in lieu of a physical stamp, the notary’s electronic seal and digital certificate are attached by the notary to your document. When complete, you may print your notarized document or share it via electronic means, and you may access a video recording of the transaction.
Notarization enabled by Notarize offers other significant advantages that validate and secure your document. The notarial session is recorded to protect against identity theft and to create a secure record of the entire process. In accordance with governing Virginia statutes and rules, Notarize attaches an x.509 PKI (public key infrastructure) security certificate to each notarized document. This certificate seals the document to protect against tampering and is unique to each notary, enabling any authorized recipient of a Notarize document to confirm the validity of the document and the authority of the notary public.
Learn more about how Notarize is different from traditional notarization services here.
Yes, Notarize only uses commissioned Electronic Notary Publics in the Commonwealth of Virginia. While not required by law in the Commonwealth, Notarize agents also undergo additional background screening and training, and are required to maintain a $25,000 Notary errors and omissions (E&O) policy.
Interested in joining Notarize as a Notary Signing Agent? We’re hiring!
Electronic notarizations completed by Notarize offer an unprecedented level of security and verifiability. We ensure the integrity of all documents in two key ways.
First, all documents notarized on our platform are digitally signed by the notary using a special x.509 digital certificate issued to the notary (after a rigorous identity security process) by IdenTrust, a trusted Root Certificate Authority. Once our notary’s digital certificate is applied to a document, it creates what’s called a digital “hash,” which is like a hidden record of all the bits and bytes comprising the document. If any component of the document is later changed, no matter how small, the document will show that it has been changed (or “tampered with”) after the digital signature was applied. This enables all users to confirm that they are looking at the original document as originally signed and notarized. (This digital signature information is readily viewable in the “signature pane” whenever you view a pdf in Adobe Acrobat). Here’s more info on how we verify digital certificates.
Second, we store a digital record of every notarization in a password-enabled “verification portal” where the customer and any authorized recipient (or others authorized by law) can access a digital copy of the original notarized document along with key transactional information about the notarization itself. We also store the video of the notarization session, showing both the notary and the signer as their document is notarized, to deter fraud and provide a secure record of the entire transaction.
In accordance with governing Virginia statutes and rules, Notarize attaches an x.509 PKI (public key infrastructure) security certificate to each notarized document. This certificate seals the document to protect against tampering and is unique to each agent, enabling any recipient of a Notarize document to confirm the validity of the document the authority of the notary public.
Want more info on how we verify digital certificates? Check out this post in our Help Center.
Anyone authorized to verify a transaction will be able to confirm the transaction and view key transaction details in our Verification Portal. If they have the additional necessary permission or authority, they will also be able to access the video recording of the transaction. Our notaries digitally seal every transaction using a digital certificate issued by a prominent nationwide Certificate Authority and use Public Key Infrastructure Encryption.
To provide simple and secure access, each document is assigned a unique ID. In order for an interested person to retrieve a particular document and (if authorized to do so) its associated video recording, a recipient or receiving institution must share the provided retrieval instructions and necessary security credentials. Using these, the notarized document and related records can be accessed on our verification portal.
Any authorized person who receives or accesses a digital copy of a document may open that document in Adobe Acrobat (or other similar programs) to verify its authenticity by viewing transaction and verification information about the notary’s use of his/her digital certificate. To learn how to verify a notarized transaction, head to our Help Center for more detailed instructions.
Not at this time. We can notarize a document if you and our notary can communicate directly without third party involvement, including an interpreter. The notarial wording (the part that the notary signs) will need to be in English. If it is not in English, our notary can update the notarial wording during the transaction.
Regardless of language, we are only able to notarize documents that are intended for use in the United States and for signers who have a valid United States Social Security Number. In all cases, we recommend that you confirm with the intended recipient that the document is acceptable for its intended use.
We welcome your requests for notaries who are fluent in other languages, and you can send us your language requests at email@example.com.
Notarize is not a law firm, a substitute for an attorney or law firm, or provides legal advice. Neither we, nor our notaries, are licensed to provide any legal advice.
While we provide general information throughout the website, neither Notarize nor any of our notaries can provide any kind of advice, opinion, or recommendation about your specific legal situation or rights, including whether any particular document may be electronically signed or whether an electronically signed or notarized document will be accepted by your intended recipient.
At this time, Notarize is only hiring notaries for our in-house team. The Commonwealth of Virginia is the only state to allow its notaries to serve customers across the country using remote electronic notarization. (Montana also allows its notaries to perform notarizations remotely, by audio video connection, for users in Montana). However, it is our ultimate goal to modernize the national notary public industry and we work with policymakers nationwide who are interested in authorizing their own state’s notaries to participate on our platform.
If you are a notary public from a state other than Virginia and are interested in bringing remote notarization to your state, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest. Additionally, if you’re a commissioned Notary Public in Virginia, feel free to apply for our current open positions (we’re hiring!)
To become an Electronic Notary Public in Virginia, you must first become a commissioned traditional notary public. Learn more here. Once a commissioned notary public, you must then purchase a valid x.509 security certificate, obtain an electronic seal and subsequently apply with the Commonwealth of Virginia to receive an additional commission as an Electronic Notary Public.
Any commissioned electronic notary in the Commonwealth of Virginia is eligible to apply to become a Notarize agent. If you are interested in becoming an agent for Notarize you can apply here.
Notarize offers unparalleled convenience for people looking to notarize a document at any time and from any location. Notarize also dramatically improves the process for businesses and institutions that require notarized documents in their operations or with their customers.
If you are a business that frequently requires notarized documents, learn more about Notarize for Business or integrate Notarize into your apps, workflows, and services with our API. Using notarizations for mortgage and real estate transactions? Notarize for Mortgage is a great option. You can also feel free to reach us at email@example.com anytime to discuss partnership options!
If you operate in an approved geography, we can enable these features for you and your customers almost immediately! Please contact us to learn more.
No. Unlike our consumer offering, a borrower cannot simply upload their documents and proceed. Because closing a mortgage online requires the participation of lenders and title companies, a borrower must be working with one of our approved partners.
However, if you’re a borrower and you’re not working with one of our partners, we’d love to hear your story so that we can continue our advocacy on your behalf.
No. By choosing to close online with us, we take care of all of that for you so you don’t need to go technology shopping. We provide eNote generation services, an eVault, an online closing platform, and a connection with the MERS eRegistry — all integrated into a seamless experience for the borrower.
We can provide you with a list of approved partners, including lenders, brokers and title companies, in your area who are enabled with Notarize. We’re also working on new ways to get realtors connected directly into our system so they can participate in the closings. Please contact us to learn more.