With all the new year hoopla behind us (Happy New Years to you and yours by the way!), the new year also ushered in significant changes in Kentucky's notary laws.
In case you weren't aware, Kentucky became one of 22 states that allow remote online notarization (aka RON) on January 1, 2020. This means notaries who are already commissioned (as an at large notary) can now notarize documents online and as long as we're in Kentucky when we do so, the signer can be located anywhere in the world.
This concept was pushed by the banking and title company lobbies very hard. So while it may take some time to adopt, the future is here!
Notaries always talk about how it would be nice to work closer to home, well it doesn't get any closer than this!
So here's the scoop: the Kentucky Secretary of State's office (SOS) has a registration page for notaries and another one for the software companies to register. As of January 3, 2020, no software companies have registered, but I expect Notarize, DocVerify and a few of the other big boy/heavyweight software companies to be the first to do so.
The cost to register with the SOS sounds like it's going to be nominal, $5 or $10 according to a conversation I had with their office.
The costs will start to add up though when you want to set up with a company like DocVerify which is one of the only platforms that's going to make fiscal sense to independent notaries.
You can sign up for a free account, but they charge a $100 set up fee before you can upload/download documents. I believe after this there will be a cost to register your certificate and then a cost per seal used. So I'm trying to wrap my head around how this can make sense for loan closings where you might notarize 10-12 documents at a minimum.
I'll be interviewing several guests for our podcast that will debut later this month 😎 and hope to share more information about RON.
After that, familiarize yourself with RON basics. I'll try to update this post with links to helpful resources. Here's what I have so far:
Kentucky SOS RON Registration Page (eventually!)
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments, I know I sure do! It looks like this will take some time to develop.
Also note that there are notaries in other states (Texas, California) that have valid concerns about the costs, privacy issues and liability exposure placed on the notary. So keep an open mind and make sure you get your questions answered before you take steps that may not benefit you down the line.
One last thing to keep an eye on is to check with your county clerk and find out what their policy is regarding the recording of electronic documents. Because we could e-notarize and/or remotely notarize documents all day, but if your clerk isn't going to accept them, then what?
It's going to be interesting to see how the next six months play out in Kentucky. Thanks for reading and stay tuned to Notarizzle for updates on this important notarial topic.