Elevating Security & Efficiency: Remote Online Notarization for Foolproof ID Verification

Kelli Potter

Remote online notarization is a new system for having a document notarized. Many signers ask how remote online notaries verify their ID remotely.

The ID verification will depend on a few factors including whether the signer is a U.S. citizen, if the signers ID is expired, if the signer has enough credit history to generate knowledge-based questions (KBAs) and how tech-savvy the signer is.

The ID verification process is sent by the platform the remote online notary is using to complete the signing. I’ll give the example of a remote online notary using DocVerify with a signer that is a U.S. citizen, a current ID (passport or State ID/driver license) and at least two years credit history.

Remote online notarization service makes the process simple and stress-free

After the remote online notary uploads the documents to be notarized, the signer gets an email to start their ID verification. They will be asked to upload the front and back of their ID as well as a selfie. DocVerify also gives the signer the option to use their SMS system where the signer will text these photos into the DocVerify system (Signers will need a U.S. phone number to choose this option).

The next part is called the knowledge-based questions which are five security questions pulled from a third party source. LexisNexis offers these solutions and describes their questions as “billions of commercially available and regulated data sources and non-credit content” on their website. Questions may include addresses or companies the signers have been associated with. Signers can struggle with these questions for several reasons including that there is a two minute timer. If the timer runs out or signers answer more than two questions incorrectly, it is considered a fail. Signers have two chances to answer these questions. If the signer fails twice they must wait 24 hours to try the questions again. This is why it’s important for time-sensitive documents like closings that remote online notarizations be scheduled at least two days in advance of closing.

After successful passing of the knowledge-based questions, signers “adopt” a digital signature and then are admitted into the virtual signing room.

If signers are unable to pass the knowledge-based questions or do not have a U.S. social security number they will need to be placed with a remote online notary in Florida or Virginia that utilizes a platform that uses biometrics. The reason is Florida and Virginia law allows for biometrics as a form of ID in and of itself. Biometrics is essentially facial recognition software. The signers face is analyzed to match their passport. Please note, biometrics is only available with a passport from any country. State licenses are not accepted. NotaryCam is a platform that offers biometrics as a form of ID. Please also note, some title companies such as the Fidelity companies do not allow for biometrics as a form of ID in and of itself. Fidelity has a list of Fidelity-approved platforms they will allow for their closings.

Now, what happens if the signers ID is past the expiration any State will allow or cannot pass the knowledge-based questions or cannot be verified by facial recognization? They have one more option!

In a few States, such as the State of Oregon, signers can provide at least one credible witnesses that will make a sworn oath as to the identity of the signer. The credible witness cannot be related to the signer or have a financial interest in the transaction. I did a signing for a gentlemen in Thailand who lost a considerable amount of weight and the biofacial recognition software could not verify his identity. He provided two credible witnesses that swore to his identity and both of these credible witnesses had to be able to pass the identity verification. The State of Oregon only requires one credible witness, but the title company managing the transaction requested the signer provide two credible witnesses.


So there is a lot to consider when matching signers with notaries and platforms. What makes Atlas Notary different is we have remote online notaries across States that use several different platforms. We ask the right questions in the beginning to make sure we are optimizing everyone’s time and energy. Please email info@atlasnotaryonline.com with any questions and schedule a remote online notarization at www.atlasnotaryonline.com.

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