Online Webcam Notarization: Illegal and Invalid in Oregon

From the Oregon Secretary of State:

A private company claims to have the first online notarization website and has false claims concerning a new online notarization service. The web-based platform purports to allow a person to submit copies of identification over the Internet and to use a webcam in lieu of a personal appearance in front of a notary public. Appearance via webcam does not meet the requirements for notarization in Oregon.

Oregon notaries public are not authorized under current law to perform electronic notarizations. Even if they were, Oregon law requires a person to appear personally before a notary public to obtain notarial acts like acknowledgments or oaths. This means the party must be physically present before the notary public. A video image or other form of non-physical representation is not a personal appearance in front of a notary public under current state or federal laws. The technology solution offered by this private company does not comply with Oregon law.

It is important that Oregon notaries do not participate in this scheme. Clearly, Oregon notaries public who notarize in this fashion are breaking the law, and are subject to administrative and possibly criminal and civil sanctions. It is unclear if notarizations of Oregon citizens done remotely by notaries that are not in Oregon will be upheld in court.

To get updates on Oregon notary laws, rules, and procedures, subscribe to NOTARYNEWS – a free e-mail subscription service of the Oregon Secretary of State.  To find an Oregon Notary Public, use the Corporation Division’s free Notary Search Tool.

One thought on “Online Webcam Notarization: Illegal and Invalid in Oregon

  1. Pingback: Running a Successful Law Practice « Oregon Law Practice Management

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