Need a US notary? Remote Online Notarization explained
This article is written by Kelli Payne Potter, notary expert and owner of Atlas Notary, a company that provides US online notaries for signers all over the world. Kelli started Atlas Notary because she noticed online notarization is widely accepted in the US but expats are wary of the use and efficacy. Kelli has almost 20 years of experience as a traveling notary and currently has a US-based business providing online notaries for real estate closings. Kelli is here for the Notary Revolution and excited to help expats untangle their US notary needs and feel confident in their choice to use an online notary.
Nate lives in Europe and needs a document notarized by a US notary. He may be selling a home in the US, traveling with a minor or needing to authorize a power of attorney. He’s a busy professional, and his time is limited. He’s heard of remote online notaries but is wary of using one. He ponders, “Can my document be notarized by an online notary? How do I find a credible remote online notary?” Does he:
- A: Schedule an appointment at the consulate a few weeks out and refresh their website every hour hoping a sooner appointment opens up
- B: Scour the internet for a US online notary and hope that it’s a legitimate process, or
- C: Work with a company that reviews his document and screens legal and state compliant remote online notaries to ensure a safe, secure and effective notarization?
Sounds like a very real-life “Choose Your Own Adventure”, but there are some easy clarifications to remove uncertainty so that Nate feels awesome about using a remote online notary from the comfort of his couch.
Untangle your notarization needs with Atlas Notary
All states accept remote online notarization
Although there are a few states that have not authorized notaries to do remote online notarization (namely, California, Georgia and Delaware), all states accept remote online notarization and this is an important clarification. The law that enables states to accept notarizations made in other states is part of a foundational principle in the US Constitution called "Full Faith and Credit Clause."
This stipulation requires each state to recognize and accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. When it comes to notarizations specifically, many states have statutes recognizing and accepting notarial acts performed outside their territory.
For example, the state of California does not currently permit notaries within the state to perform remote online notarizations. However, California citizens can have their documents notarized remotely by a notary outside their state, and California Civil Code 1189(b) provides that any certificate of acknowledgment taken in another place shall be sufficient in the state if it is taken according to the laws of the place where the acknowledgment is made.
Most types of documents can be notarized online
Most types of documents can be notarized online, since all 50 states accept remote online notarizations. Common documents notarized online are wills and trust deeds, advanced directives, custody and guardianship agreements and executorships. If a signer is concerned that their document will not be executable with an online notarization, they can also let the agency requesting the notarization know of their intent to use an online notary. Atlas Notary can help signers determine this ahead of signing.
Untangle notarization needs
It's good to be aware that every country has a different language (that is also translated) when it comes to requesting legalized documents. For example, a request for a certified copy is not a request to get a document notarized. A certified copy of a document is ordered from the US county of [birth, marriage, divorce] and then apostilled at that state capital. Atlas notary can help signers understand their notarization needs.
Atlas Notary: Taking any uncertainty out of online notarization
It's always recommended to consult legal counsel or a notary expert regarding acknowledgment of notarization across state borders. That’s where Atlas Notary can be an exceptional resource.
Atlas Notary consists of a team of remote online notary experts. They can help you understand your notarization request and provide fully-vetted and National Notary Association certified US notaries. Plus, they are able to service both US citizens and non-US citizens. For your convenience, Atlas Notary is available for last-minute and same-day appointments!
Atlas Notary does not charge signers until the signing is complete. They take any uncertainty out of utilizing the convenience and ease of a remote online notary. Atlas Notary can be reached by phone or WhatsApp (+31 068 109 7387) or via email at [email protected].