Working with Remote Notarization in Nevada
By: Kimberly Surratt, Esq.
You can legally sign, send and notarize documents online through a reputable vendor in less than 15 minutes and without any social contact or leaving your home office. Remote notarization offers a signer an impartial witness to the signing of a document, heightened identity validation, shields against in-person duress and coercion, and increases the evidentiary quality of the documents. However, you cannot just simply put your paralegal – who is a notary – on a web cam and have a document notarized.
How Does Remote Notarization Work?
Remote notarization allows for documents to be notarized using a web cam with the final product in electronic form. Here is how it works:
- Signers go to a reputable vendor (more information on “reputable” is coming) either on a desktop computer or a mobile device.
- The signer uploads the documents they need to get notarized. If they only have the paper version of the document in front of them, then a reputable vendor will have an option in their mobile app to capture the document with your camera one page at a time and combine them into one document. (Pro Tip: If you want to make sure the client has mobile-scanned the document clearly in its proper order, then have them download an app such as Adobe Scan. Then they can send the document to you first to see what they are trying to have notarized.) In most situations with lawyers, you will have set the exact document that you want notarized already in one combined file, so this step will be easy.
- The next step is for the software to confirm the signer’s identity. For most vendors this means that the signer will take a photo of both sides of their driver’s license and enter the last four digits of their Social Security number. The vendor you are using will authenticate the driver’s license, something that a notary cannot do with a traditional paper notary book. Once the driver’s license has been submitted, the signer will answer a series of “knowledge-based authentication” questions that are personal to them. You have done this when you have signed up for banking and credit sites. Questions might include places you have lived and not lived or cars you have owned, etc. If your signer cannot accurately answer enough of the questions in a specific amount of time, they will be locked out of the system and notarization will not take place. Again, your paper notary in your office doesn’t have access to such questions to assure the person in front of them is who they say they are, and I guarantee if the signer went down to the local mailbox-type store, they don’t even care if it is the same person as the one listed on the documents.
- Once the identity of the signer has been confirmed, they are connected by video camera to a notary who, pursuant to the state laws in which they are certified, can legally do a remote notarization. Once on the video, the notary continues a set of questions to assure the person is legitimate and that they are of sufficient mental capacity to have the document notarized.
- The document is then electronically signed (initials can even be completed for every page) and the remote notary attaches the electronic notary to the document. The document is then electronically sealed and made tamper-resistant. You then have the ability to prove that the document that was signed was not changed after the signature was attached.
How Do I Get a Nevada Document Notarized?
Nevada’s laws require a Nevada notary to take additional steps with the Nevada Secretary of State to be qualified for remote notarization. After a Nevada notary becomes qualified to do remote notarization, they must still work with a vendor who can provide the security features mentioned above. For attorneys who need to have a document notarized, you must go to one of the vendors and proceed with the transaction. The electronic notary provider will only match your signer with a notary who is certified. The notary your signer is matched with may not be located in the state of Nevada. However, that is not a problem, because Nevada law recognizes a notarized document as long as the notary was qualified to do the remote notarization under the laws that certified them.
The absolute leader in the industry is Notarize Inc. They were the leading lobbying power in the state of Nevada when the law passed in our state. However, many users have reported that all of the companies have been having a hard time keeping up with the workload demand due to the pandemic. Thus, don’t be afraid to try more than one platform if you are having a hard time getting a document notarized.
The following is a list of other respected remote notarization companies: