Remote Online Notary in Pennsylvania is currently: ACTIVE
Remote Online Notary (RON) was in effect for the duration of the Declaration of the State of Emergency in Pennsylvania, as declared by Governor Tom Wolf on March 6, 2020. As of October 29, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf enacted Act 97, making Remote Online Notary (RON) a permanent fixture in Pennsylvania, effective immediately. The status of RON is no longer tied to the State of Emergency, and it will remain active in Pennsylvania indefinitely, unless or until revoked by an act of law.
What is RON and how is it different than eNotary?
The key differences between RON and eNotary are that while both involve documents that are digitally signed, eNotary requires all parties to be present before the notary for live ID Verification, whereas in a RON act, all parties are participating through video/audio chat and ID verification is done through the internet.
Please watch this 11 minute video we compiled detailing the differences between RON and eNotary, and how we conduct RON acts. This video contains a brief animated video prepared by the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries. We did not produce that video and we do not own its copyright.
How does SCN conduct Remote Online Notary (RON) acts?
- SCN subscribes to DocVerify as our state-approved third party vendor.
- To set up a RON, you must provide us with a digital (PDF) version of the documents to be notarized, as well as the full names and personal (non-work, non-business) email addresses for all parties to the notarial act.
- This includes all signatories apart from the notary, and all witnesses required by the documents
- It is recommended that the personal email addresses have been in use for at least 5 years. This is because of the ID verification process using the email to pull public records questions about the individuals.
- Once we have all this information, we will upload the document to DocVerify & make it a fillable PDF by adding signature and date fields, etc.
- At the time we have agreed upon for the RON appointment, DocVerify will email all parties a link to begin what is called “Knowledge Based Authentication” (KBA). This is a series of multiple-choice questions using public records data to verify individual identities.
- As parties to the act pass KBA, they are entered into a virtual waiting room. Once all parties have passed, the notary is brought into the virtual waiting room and the notarial act can commence.
- Once the document is digitally signed by all parties, the notary signs and affixes the notarial seal, triggering the end of the RON. All parties are booted out of the video chat.
- Within 15 minutes of the conclusion of the RON, DocVerify emails a link to all parties to the act to download a copy of the executed document, complete with notarial stamp and seal.
- The notary will send an invoice via email at the conclusion of the RON act, due upon receipt.
PLEASE NOTE: Steel City Notary is not responsible for session failure or the inability to complete a RON due to email address or ID Verification issues or compatibility issues.
RON Frequently Asked Questions
Q. My documents call for witnesses, but I don’t have anyone available. Can Steel City Notary provide witnesses?
A. Yes. Steel City Notary can provide up to two non-notary signatory witnesses, at a rate of $25.00 per witness per hour during regular business hours. There is a 1 hour minimum charge for all SCN-provided witnesses.
Q. My partner and I will be in the same room. Can we use the same phone/tablet/laptop for the video chat?
A. No. DocVerify ties the verified identity and the e-signature to an email address. Therefore, each participant to a RON act has to be on from a unique device (think of your email as an “account login”).
Q. I am out of the country. Can I still use RON?
A. Yes. As long as you have a US. Social Security Number and have lived in the states at some point in time for at least 5 years, there will be enough public records data for you to pass Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) and be able to conduct a RON.
Q. I am not a US Citizen. Can I still use RON?
A. Unfortunately not. You must have a US. Social Security Number and have lived in the states at some point in time for at least 5 years in order for there to be enough public records data for you to pass Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) and be able to conduct a RON. Even if you have lived in the USA as a legal non-citizen, the KBA process may not be able to find enough public records data to authenticate your identity.
Q. Can you notarize my car title through RON?
A. No. Vehicle titles are one of the few things unable to be completed through RON. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires wet stamp and wet signatures (pen and paper) on all vehicle title transfers, and as such they are not eligible for RON.
A possible work-around if you are unable to be present for a physical signing of your vehicle title that is recognized by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is to assign limited Power of Attorney (POA) to an individual so they can sign the title on your behalf. All types of Powers of Attorney are able to be conducted via RON.
Q. Why is RON more expensive than in-person notary?
A. In addition to the regular notary fees (administrative fee & stamp fee), the third-party vendor DocVerify charges access and session fees, as well as for the KBA ID Verification. These fees are detailed on our Services & Fees page.
Q. Can we have some participants present before the notary and others participating through RON?
A. No. Presently, you cannot perform a “hybrid” between RON and in-person notary. All parties have to either be present before the notary, or participating via RON.
Q. My document has 10 signatories that have to have their signatures witnessed. Can we do this through RON?
A. The maximum number of participants able to conduct a RON are 4 signatories plus the notary (for a total of 5). The third party vendor DocVerify allows additional non-signatory witnesses, but the maximum number of non-notary signers at one time is 4. We can conduct multiple RON sessions to notarize everyone’s signature, but the transactions would be subject to multiple session fees.
Q. I don’t live in Allegheny County. Can you still notarize my documents via RON?
A. Yes! It doesn’t matter where you live- even if you reside outside of Pennsylvania. As long as the RON-approved notary public is themselves within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, they can conduct the RON act. Inversely, if you were in PA but the PA RON notary was traveling and was not in PA, they would not be permitted to conduct the RON.