Ohio Recognizes Remote Online Notarization (RON)

Electronic Notarization and Remote Online Notarization

On September 20, 2019, Ohio will recognize remote online notarization (RON).  Ohio joins numerous states including Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee, Vermont, and Kentucky in passing legislation to allow for electronic notarization and RON.

Senate Bill 263 also known as The Notary Public Modernization Act was enacted into law in December 2018.  The Act allows a properly licensed online notary to use live two-way audio-video conference technology to verify an individual’s identity and perform RON.

With this new technology and enabling legislation, an Ohio notary public can witness and authenticate various documents including affidavits, deeds, contracts, advanced directives and powers of attorney.

What Is RON?

In a RON transaction, the signer and notary public use interactive two-way audio and video communication technology to notarize the signer’s electronic signature on electronic documents.  In order to perform RON, both parties need access to two-way video and audio conference technology.  This allows each party to see and hear the other transaction participant.

Administrative rules will require an online notary to be in Ohio when the notarization occurs, but the signer can be located anywhere in the United States.  The law states that an online notary public may perform online notarizations only if the online notary public:

  • is a resident of Ohio and
  • is located within the geographical boundaries of Ohio during the online notarization.

What To Expect

There will be changes to the rules for obtaining a notary license in Ohio, including the registration, commissioning and training of notary publics.  The new rules will establish uniform training, curriculum, testing, background checks and standards of service for notaries public across Ohio, including attorneys.

County recording offices must update their recording systems to allow for electronic filing of documents. The new law provides that an electronically notarized document shall be considered an original document.  Additionally, county auditors, engineers and recorders are required to accept a printed document that was notarized electronically for purposes of approval, transfer and recording if the document contains the required notarial certificate.

How Does This Affect The Title Industry

The title industry is establishing its own rules and approved process and vendors.  In addition to State regulations, title underwriter requirements must be followed transactions  that involve electronic notarization and/or RON can be insured.  Many underwriters have already begun the process of establishing rules and approving RON processes and vendors.

The rules to implement the new law can be viewed here:



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