Electronic Notarization FAQ

How much does it cost?

​It varies widely and depends on the sophistication and security of the chosen electronic notarization method. Strong security generally costs more than weak security but is well worth the expense.​

Can I charge more for electronic notarizations?

​No. The maximum fee for any notarization is $10, plus a pre-negotiated travel fee if applicable.

As a notary public, do I have to be able to perform electronic notarizations in addition to paper notarizations?

​No. Electronic notarization is optional and at the discretion of the notary. Some industries and offices may insist on it, so you may find it a requirement of your job.

What's the difference between paper notarization and electronic notarization?

​The major difference is that you use electronic means to affix your notarial stamp and signature to an electronic document. No paper is involved unless the document is later printed. Physical presence of the signer, identification and journal entries are required for both paper and electronic notarization.

What steps do I take to perform electronic notarial acts?

  1. ​Shop for a reputable vendor whose technology meets the National Electronic Notarization Standards.
  2. Once you’ve chosen a vendor, contact the Secretary of State to get an Electronic Notarization Notice form, fill it out and send it in. It's free to file.
  3. Decide if you're going to have an electronic journal in addition to your paper journal.
  4. Perform electronic notarizations.

How do I know if a vendor meets the National Electronic Notarization Standards?

​Under OAR 160-100-0140, the notary may rely on a vendor’s declaration that the vendor’s technology meets the National Electronic Notarization Standards. Keep documentation of their declaration in case an issue arises.​

Does the signer have to be in Oregon when I notarize?

​Yes. All the standard rules apply, including physical presence. Some vendors will try to tell you it’s OK to notarize remotely, but it's illegal in Oregon for Oregon notaries public.

Should I keep a journal of my electronic notarizations?

​The journaling requirements are the same for paper and electronic. The Secretary of State recommends you record all your notarizations. Although you may use an electronic journal (which some vendors make it easy to do), you don't have to use one even if you notarize electronically.​

How does the signer sign my journal?

​The signer signs the same way they sign the document. For instance, if the signature is handwritten on the document – paper or electronic – then the signature in the journal must be handwritten even if using a digital pad. If the signer uses a digital signature on the electronic document, then a digital signature should be made in the electronic journal. The underlying principle is to compare the signature on the journal with the one in the document (and the one on the ID).

Is there a special electronic notarial certificate?

​The notarial certificate is the same for paper and electronic. However, it’s not unusual for electronic notarization technology to include additional information to make verification easier and the electronic nature of the original document more evident.

Where can I find Oregon electronic notarization laws and rules?

​• The Law: Ch. 219, Oregon Laws 2013 section 26
• The Administrative Rule: 160-100-0140
• Oregon Electronic Transactions Act: Ch. 84.031​
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