Notary Experts Expose Flaws in Notary System, Advise Bringing Notaries Online

Share Article

A recently released White Paper outlines a way to dramatically reduce notary fraud like Robo-Signing and allow individuals to safely notarize from their home computer.

News Image
New technology such as video recording of an online notarization can ensure the security of a transaction and allow authorized third parties to confirm awareness, identity, and integrity of the process.

Top notary experts have released a joint paper entitled, “The Future of Notarization is Online.” The paper comes in the wake of the recent foreclosure document and robo-signing frauds, which revealed that the Notary Public system is fundamentally flawed. It discusses theoretical and practical solutions to problems like notary fraud.

“New technology such as video recording of an online notarization can ensure the security of a transaction and allow authorized third parties to confirm awareness, identity, and integrity of the process. The speed and convenience of remote notarization are additional benefits to the traveling, disabled, or people who cannot afford expensive mobile notaries,” said Chris Hawkins, author of the book A History of Signatures.

The paper addresses that while notarization is essential to modern society, pen-and-ink notarization does little to fundamentally ensure the identity of the signer, maintain the integrity of the signed documents, or allow for regular oversight of the millions of notaries in the United States. Notaries have been trusted for millennia, but were ineffective at preventing many of the largest frauds of 2010. In addition, the technology used to commit fraud has evolved faster than the tools to prevent fraud in the current notary system.

“Previous financial firms I worked for found that wet-ink notarizations failed miserably at preventing signature fraud,” said Andrew Ellis, creator of NotaryNow. “Businesses need a practical method to determine the legitimacy of a notarization and to ensure notaries are true third parties.”

The model proposed in the paper would allow for individuals to notarize documents by connecting via webcam to notaries, paired at random, and securely identified by multiple forms of identification. Notarizing a document online following this model would be more secure, easily authenticated, and environmentally responsible. The paper’s authors make a compelling claim that much of the foreclosure fraud could have been prevented if notarizations were conducted online in this manner.

“This paper provides one model of effectively reducing the opportunity for fraud in the notary community, and I hope it can serve as a useful guide to legislatures and businesses trying to dramatically improve their ability to authenticate documents and identify individuals,” said Richard Hansberger, Esq.

The White Paper “The Future of Notarization is Online” can be downloaded here.

Chris Hawkins and Andrew Ellis are Co-Founders of SignNow, Inc.--the company behind NotaryNow.com. NotaryNow seeks to bring the millennia-old practice of using hardcopy signatures into the digital age through user-friendly, consumer-oriented Web applications. Designed to meet or exceed the security provided by long-standing handwritten practices, NotaryNow offers the most secure and easy to use online notary service. Learn more at NotaryNow.com. Chris Hawkins is the author of A History of Signatures: From Cave Paintings to Robo-Signings, the first comprehensive book on signature history.

Richard Hansberger is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in electronic notary and electronic signatures. He is the former Vice President of Electronic Notarization at the National Notary Association and, while there, developed electronic notarization solutions for Fortune 500 member companies, developed the nation’s first statewide electronic notary credentialing system for the State of Pennsylvania, successfully obtained SISAC accreditation for this system and advised dozens of state and local government entities and private companies on electronic notarization laws, regulations, policies and best practices. He can be found on LinkedIn.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Chris Hawkins
NotaryNow
(805)604-5508
Email >