Monday, January 17, 2011

Notarizing By Video?

There's been quite an uproar over the last few days about notarizing by video.  First, a company called Notary Now popped up on everyone's radar.  The company claims to offer video notarization.  You upload your ID and then the company uses online video technology to witness the signature of the individual.  Notary Rotary has been buzzing about it, as has the Secretary of State notary administrators.  And now the state of Virginia is consider a bill to allow similar video notarization.

The pitfalls are numerous.  The uploaded ID can be forged or altered.  Directly viewing an ID is paramount to fraud prevention and identity theft.  The signer could be coerced or under duress by someone off camera.  But the biggest problem I see with all of this is that witnessing a signature by video does not, in my opinion, meet the standard of personal appearance.  In an age of increased fraud, identity theft, and robo-signings, the LAST thing we should be doing is making it easier to perpetrate a fraud.  There seems to be a unanimous thumbs down from notaries, secretaries of state, and the NNA.  

Say no to video notarization.  To vote on the two Virginia bills, you can go here & here.

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