Have you ever spent a weekend frantically running around, trying to find an open notary to authorize a document?
Well, physically standing before a notary may soon be a thing of the past, as Virginia just became the first U.S. state to explicitly allow webcam notarizations.
According to Chris Hawkins of NotaryNow, the bill was created as a way to counteract notary fraud such as the infamous "robo-signing," which occurred during the recent foreclosure crisis.
"Bill HB 2318 outlines a model for notarization that vastly increases the security of notarial transactions," Hawkins told TG Daily.
"We believe webcam-based notarization is more than capable of reducing vulnerability to fraud. It is also more more convenient, particularly for disabled consumers."
Hawkins added that residents of all 50 states can take advantage of the new law by simply logging onto NotaryNow.com.
However, he emphasized that notary stamps issued (at this stage) would be from Virginia.
Meaning, if someone in Connecticut required a document to be notarized with a Connecticut-specific stamp, they wouldn't be able to use the above-mentioned service.
So, how does the NotaryNow work?
Well, users simply create an account and verify their identity with an authentication tool by uploading valid forms of identification.
They are then put in contact with a notary (who is physically present in Virginia) via webcam. The client uploads his or her document(s).
Upon approval from the notary, a revised document affixed with a digital certificate is issued and can be downloaded or printed out immediately.