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How To Become An Online Notary In Washington In 2023

How to become an online notary in Washington is a dynamic and innovative way to serve your community and offer essential notarial services in the digital age.

Susan Murillo
Oct 23, 202311309 Shares150793 Views
How to become an online notary in Washingtonis a dynamic and innovative way to serve your community and offer essential notarial services in the digital age.
The role of a notary public is crucial for ensuring the authenticity of documents, and with advancements in technology, traditional notarial practices have evolved to encompass online transactions.
This guide will walk you through the steps and requirements to embark on your journey to becoming an online notary in the state of Washington, empowering you to provide notary services efficiently and securely in the virtual realm.

What To Expect From The Job Of Online Notary In Washington?

The workload for an online notary varies greatly, just as in any other job. The tax season is peak time for notaries since many people need to sign and have their tax returns notarized. However, demand for identification services remains high all year round, both from organizations and people. Numerous enterprises have continuing needs for notarizations.
When acting as a notary public online, keep in mind that you are still subject to the rules and regulations established by the state. This involves completing and having witnesses sign paperwork and making sure they include all required information. The most profitable online notaries also invest time in prospecting for new business and nurturing leads.
Blue Notary promises new users $25 when they complete their first online notarization using their service. You may increase your income as a notary by taking on loan signing packages as you acquire expertise and have notarized more papers. This means you may work from the convenience of your own home and yet make a respectable living.

Requirements To Become An Online Notary In Washington

Becoming a Remote Online Notary in Washington involves adhering to a set of prerequisites. To embark on this journey, you must meet the following criteria:
  • Age Requirement- You should be at least 18 years old to begin the process of becoming an online notary in Washington.
  • Hold a Valid Washington Notary Public Commission- It's imperative that you currently possess a Washington notary public commission to qualify for remote online notary status.
  • Residency and Identification- As an applicant, you must be a resident of Washington and have a valid identification.
  • Completion of an Approved Online Notary Training Course- Enrolling in an approved online notary training course is a critical step. This course will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform your role effectively.
  • Passing a State-Approved Exam- Success in a state-approved exam is a prerequisite to becoming a Remote Online Notary in Washington. This exam assesses your understanding of the notary duties, rules, and regulations.
  • Technology Requirements- You must have access to the essential technology required to fulfill your responsibilities as an online notary. This includes the tools and platforms necessary for remote notarization procedures.
Upon satisfying these prerequisites, you become eligible to submit your application and take the next steps towards becoming a certified Remote Online Notary in Washington.
A woman Notary is holding documents while sitting in office and a laptop is present on table in front of her.
A woman Notary is holding documents while sitting in office and a laptop is present on table in front of her.

Steps On How To Become An Online Notary In Washington

Step 1 - Obtain A Surety Bond For Washington State Notary

Before applying, it's crucial to purchase a $10,000 Washington State Notary Bond, costing $40 and valid for four years. This bond acts as insurance, ensuring the protection of notary clients, courts, and businesses relying on accurate notarized documents.
Notaries play a vital role in validating individuals' identities, speeding up court proceedings, and safeguarding businesses from voided contracts. Negligent or fraudulent notaries can disrupt these processes, causing delays and financial losses.
Surety Bonds Direct offers a fixed $40 price for the mandatory $10,000 notary bond, instantly downloadable for quick and easy compliance.

Step 2 - Consider Errors And Omissions Insurance (E&O)

While not mandatory, having Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O) is wise. E&O insurance protects notaries from unintended mistakes or false claims filed against them, potentially saving thousands in legal defense costs.
A surety bond protects notary clients, while E&O insurance safeguards notaries themselves. E&O policies can be as affordable as $2 per month, but researching and talking to insurance providers is crucial for a custom rate.

Step 3 - Decide On Remote Notarizations

Notaries in Washington have the option to conduct remote notarizations over a webcam, offering convenience and efficiency. Deciding early on if you plan to offer remote notarizations is essential, as it influences software selection.

Step 4 - Choose Notary Software

Selecting appropriate notary software is vital for electronic and remote notarizations. Washington State Department of Licensing mandates the name of the software used for these services. Several options such as DocuSign, DocVerify, and LiveNotary offer electronic notarization functionality with varying pricing structures.
Conduct thorough research to find a software solution tailored to your specific needs. Some focus solely on electronic notarizations, while others offer additional webcam functionality for remote notarizations.

Step 5 - Complete Applications And Pay Fees

The final step involves filling out official applications, including the Notary Public Commission Application and the Notary Public Electronic Notarization Endorsement Application (for electronic notarizations). Fees include a $40 application fee for a notary license and an additional $15 application fee for the electronic endorsement.

How To Apply For License For Online Notary In Washington

Becoming a licensed online notary in Washington involves a series of specific steps. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process smoothly:

Meeting The Requirements

To qualify for a notary public license in Washington, you need to fulfill the following criteria:
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Proficient in reading and writing English
  • A citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
  • Reside in Washington or have a place of employment or practice in the state

Gather The Necessary Documents

Before you start your application process, ensure you have the following documents ready:
  • Electronic copy of your notarized Oath of Office form
  • Electronic copy of your signed $10,000 surety bond
  • Payment for the application fee

Submit Your Application

You have two options for application submission:
  • Online Application -Applying online allows for a faster processing time. Ensure you have a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account to complete the process online.
  • Mail Application -If you prefer to apply by mail, send a completed Notary Public Commission Application, a copy of your signed surety bond (excluding Errors and Omissions policy), and a check or money order for the application fee to the following address:

Applying For Electronic Notary Endorsement

If you wish to add an electronic notary endorsement, you can do so when applying for a new commission or renewing your existing one. To add this endorsement separately:
  • Online -Log into SAW and add the endorsement online, providing the necessary details.
  • By Mail -Mail a completed Notary Public Electronic Notarization Endorsement Application, along with the name of your electronic notary software, and a check or money order for the endorsement fee to the address mentioned above.

Applying For Remote Notary Endorsement

If you already have an electronic records notary endorsement, you can request a remote notary endorsement. Email the request, including the name of your remote notarization software, to notaries@dol.wa.govor send it by mail to:
Notary Public Program, Department of Licensing, PO Box 3917 Seattle, WA 98124-3917
Wait for approval before conducting remote notarizations.

After Receiving Your Commission

  • Get Your Stamp or Seal -Order a stamp from a reputable vendor, ensuring they verify your notary license before producing the stamp.
  • Maintain a Notary Journal -Keep a physical journal of all notarizations. The journal must be permanent, bound, numbered, and kept in a secure area, and entries must include necessary details.
  • Stay Current -Stay updated with current and upcoming notary public laws and rules. Consider taking optional notary education classes for further knowledge enhancement. Notify authorities of any name or address changes promptly.
By following these steps diligently, you can obtain your notary public license in Washington and embark on your journey as a certified online notary.

Benefits Of Online Notaries In Washington

  • Convenience- Online notaries offer unparalleled convenience to clients. Signers can have documents notarized from the comfort of their own homes or offices, eliminating the need for in-person appointments.
  • Global Reach- Online notarization transcends geographical boundaries. Signers and notaries can connect across vast distances, making it an ideal solution for international transactions.
  • Time Efficiency- Online notarization significantly reduces the time required to complete notarial acts. This expedites document processing, making it a preferred choice for time-sensitive matters.
  • Enhanced Security- Advanced identity verification measures are often employed in online notarization, ensuring that signers are who they claim to be. Secure digital records are maintained, reducing the risk of fraud.
  • Cost Savings- Online notarization eliminates the need for travel and related expenses. This translates to cost savings for both notaries and clients.
  • Eco-Friendly- Reducing the use of paper and travel has a positive environmental impact, making online notarization a greener option.

Responsibilities Of Online Notaries In Washington

  • Adherence to Regulations- Online notaries must comply with all state and federal regulations governing notarial acts. This includes following the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).
  • Verification of Signer Identity- Ensuring the identity of signers is a primary responsibility. Online notaries must use secure and reliable methods to verify the identity of clients, often through multi-factor authentication.
  • Document Security- Notaries must maintain the security and privacy of notarized documents, preventing unauthorized access to sensitive information.
  • Technology Proficiency- Online notaries should be proficient in the technology used for notarization, including digital signatures, electronic notary seals, and secure platforms.
  • Recordkeeping- Online notaries are responsible for maintaining accurate and complete records of all notarial acts performed. This includes a journal of notarizations.
  • Impartiality- Notaries must act impartially and not provide legal advice. Their role is solely to verify the identity of signers and ensure the integrity of documents.
  • Education and Staying Informed- Online notaries should continuously educate themselves about changes in notarial laws and regulations. This includes attending optional notary education classes and keeping up-to-date with current and upcoming notary public laws and rules.
  • Communication- Effective communication with clients is essential to clarify the process, requirements, and responsibilities involved in online notarization.
  • Ethical Conduct- Upholding the highest ethical standards is paramount. Notaries must avoid conflicts of interest, maintain client confidentiality, and act with integrity.
  • Maintaining Technology- Online notaries should ensure their technological tools are up-to-date and secure, providing a reliable and seamless notarization process for clients.
Online notaries in Washington play a vital role in ensuring the security and efficiency of online notarization, while also contributing to the broader accessibility of notarial services.

FAQs - How To Become An Online Notary In Washington

What Educational Requirements Are Needed To Become An Online Notary In Washington?

To become an online notary in Washington, you need to meet specific educational requirements. You must complete a state-approved notary training course to ensure you are well-versed in the notarial laws and regulations of the state.

Is It Mandatory To Have Errors And Omissions Insurance As An Online Notary In Washington?

Yes, it is mandatory for online notaries in Washington to have errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. This insurance provides protection in case of any unintentional mistakes or omissions in notarized documents, ensuring the notary and the parties involved are safeguarded.

What Technology And Equipment Do I Need To Become An Online Notary In Washington?

To become an online notary in Washington, you'll need specific technology and equipment, including a digital certificate, a computer with a webcam, a secure digital journal, and access to a secure notary platform for performing remote notarizations.

Are There Any Restrictions On Who Can Become An Online Notary In Washington?

Yes, Washington has specific requirements for online notaries. Applicants must be currently commissioned as a traditional notary public in the state and meet additional eligibility criteria, such as completing training and obtaining the necessary technology.

Can Online Notaries In Washington Notarize Documents For Clients Located Outside The State?

Online notaries in Washington can notarize documents for clients located both within and outside the state. However, the notarial act must physically occur within the state's borders, even if the signers are located elsewhere.

Final Words

How to become an online notary in Washington represents a significant leap into the modern era of notarial services. Embracing this digital transformation opens doors to a broader client base, increased convenience, and a vital role in the verification of electronic documents.
By navigating the regulatory process, acquiring the necessary technology, and upholding the highest standards of integrity, you can establish yourself as a trusted online notary, contributing to the ever-evolving landscape of notarial practices in Washington State.
Your journey toward becoming an online notary is a testament to your adaptability and dedication to maintaining the authenticity and legality of documents in the digital age.
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