Electronic Notarization (e-Notarization)
What Is Electronic Notarization (e-Notarization)?
e-Notarization, or Electronic Notarization, is a process by which a notary provides an electronic acknowledgement for an electronic document (Microsoft Word, PDF, etc.). "Electronic," as defined by West Virginia Code §39-4-2(2), means "relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic or similar capabilities." The effect is the same as a notary signing a hard copy of a paper document, but it allows for easier transmittal of the document by email or other electronic source and enables electronic filing.
How to Electronically Notarize Documents?
You must be a commissioned Notary Public in order to electronically notarize documents. If you are not already a commissioned Notary Public, download and complete the Application for Appointment as a Notary Public (Form N-1) and send it to the Secretary of State’s Office with the required filing fee. You may include with your initial notary application the application for e-Notarization Authorization (Form N-2).
Follow these steps to become an e-Notary:
Select a valid technology to electronically notarize documents. The technology you choose must meet the requirements set forth in West Virginia 153 CSR 45. There are a few different companies that provide appropriate technology. The following is a list of Secretary of State approved vendors:
- Once you have selected a technology, fill out the e-Notarization Authorization application (Form N-2) and submit it to the Secretary of State’s Office. There is no fee to register as an e-Notary. However, you must be a commissioned Notary Public in order to be an e-Notary.
After you receive confirmation of your e-Notary status by Secretary of State, you may begin to notarize documents electronically using the technology you’ve selected.
Important Things to Remember
- Even for e-Notarization, the person whose signature you are verifying must physically be in your presence. Phone calls, webcams, Skype, FaceTime, or other electronic methods of communication are not acceptable.
- If you change the technology you use for e-Notarization, you must notify the Secretary of State’s Office. Even for e-Notarization, the person whose signature you are verifying must be in your presence. Phone calls, webcams, Skype, FaceTime, or other electronic ways of communicating are not acceptable.
- If you violate any of the laws or rules of e-Notarization, your e-Notary registration could be conditioned, suspended, or revoked. A violation could, but does not necessarily, result in the conditioning, suspension, or revocation of your commission as a notary public.
Contact the Notary Division for further assistance regarding Notary Public commission.