Understanding Remote Ink-Signed Notarizations (RINs)

What are Remote Ink-Signed Notarizations?

Remote Ink-Signed Notarizations (RONs) are notary services performed via audio video technology. They allow the notary to witness the documents to be signed, and to then notarize the documents. RINs are not entirely new for every state. They have been around for a while, but only performed by notaries in states that have been approved under their notary state laws. For New York state, this became the new temporary normal under a state executive order due to COVID-19.

Remote notarizations in New York State

Different states have varying requirements on how to perform RINs. Be sure to check with your specific state laws. Many states have similar guidelines, however.

For New York, RINs are performed remotely via video conferencing technology such as FaceTime or Zoom. The only difference between face-to-face notarizations and RINs is that the interaction is through audio video technology and there is an electronic transmission of the documents. The notary witnesses the entire interaction including witnessing signatures and verifying identities, as is done during a face-to-face interaction.

  • The technology must allow for all parties involved to physically see each other and communicate with each other during the entire remote notarization process.
  • The person seeking notary services must provide valid proof of identification during the videoconference, not before or after.
  • The person must affirmatively represent that they are physically located within the state.
  • The person must transmit a legible copy of the signed document to the notary on the same date it is signed, by fax or other electronic means.
  • The notary will notarize the transmitted document and transmit the same back to the person.
  • The notary may repeat the notarization of the original document as long as the notary receives the original and transmitted document together within 30 days after the date of execution.

Additional considerations for New York include requiring the notary to sign in black ink, recording the correct county, and allowing the signer to use an electronic signature.

Other best practices for New York notaries are to keep a notary log of each remote notarization in your journal and indicate that the notarization was in pursuant to the executive order.

What to expect

  • RINs can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. It depends on the type of notarization being requested.
  • The notary will set up the appointment and confirm the RIN appointment date and time beforehand with the signer(s), advise the signer(s) about presenting valid identification during the video conference, as well as go over steps on how the RON process will be handled.
  • Additional details, such as confirming the type of video conferencing that will be used and confirming that the signer(s) has the ability to transmit the documents to the notary are also discussed during the confirmation call.

What are the benefits of RINs?

Remote Ink-Signed Notarizations have a number of advantages:

  • They are a convenient way to provide notary services to a larger geographical area for persons who live farther away in different counties around the state.
  • There is no traveling required of the notary, resulting in quicker turnaround times and the ability to schedule immediate notary services.
  • Less travel time allows the notary to serve a larger clientele daily.
  • There is also no handling of hard copy documents to be notarized and no delay with receiving the documents.
  • Signers have immediate access to their notarized documents and lenders do not have to wait to receive signed documents via carrier service.

RIN vs RON

RINs are performed with significantly different requirements than the traditional notarizations and remote online notarizations (RONs). All 3 have different requirements for the document format, identification verification, the signature and seal format, and how the notary journal entry should be recorded. NNA has a useful RIN vs. RON comparison chart. Be sure to check with your state laws for specific details on which type is approved for your state and how each should be performed.

Socially-distanced notarizations

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, RINs are a potentially safer option to provide essential services to the public who otherwise cannot obtain in-person notary services. Check with your state laws and see if they are an option for you, and let us know if we can help with your document signing needs.

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