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Online Notary: Future of Notarization!

handshakeAt RETechnology.com, whenever we welcome in a new hire there are certain steps to orientation that are observed. The grand tour, compliments of Victor!  There are the team introductions, usually with the sharing of random, funny facts about each team player. And then there is the necessary paperwork, like I-9 forms, NDA agreements, etc.  With this comes the dreaded notarizing of the new hire on various documents.

Why do I say dreaded?

I think I dread any administrative task that pulls me out of my zone at work and interrupts my thinking.  Funny I don’t mind being pulled out of my thoughts to meet a new person, or speak to a client, but call someone and try to schedule a meeting?  I’d rather Tungle. Maybe I’m alone in this, but Googling a local notary and then tracking them down and trying to find a good time for them to come out to the office is painful. It’s not convenient and nine times out of ten we cannot get someone to the office that same day.

With this in mind, I find the topic of digital video notarization of legal documents particularly interesting.

With document storage and digital signature moving online, it is not a far stretch of the imagination. Digital notarization allows agents, sellers and buyers to remotely and securely have documents verified online by notaries via a video conference where ID is confirmed and all parties are provided video documentation that all the steps of notarization were satisfied.

Specific to real estate AYIN International, Inc. has been working on producing a legal and convenient way to bring digital notarization to the industry. This week I interviewed J. Andrew Hatter who is the chief inventor of patent no. 7590852 method for remote electronic notarization and Founder/Chairman of AYIN International, Inc., a digital notary company looking to target busy agents, who like me, don’t always enjoy the traditional measures needed to procure a notary.

What’s on the horizon for digital notarization?

AYIN International, Inc. is pioneering the digitalization of notaries. AYIN International, Inc. currently is beta testing its platform called youaremywitness.comyouaremywitness.com to allow newly hired employees to meet on-line with a live YAMW certified notary public and complete their employee verification and certification Form I-9. This may be a viable tool in the real estate sector for brokerages seeking to expand its agent associate pool. AYIN estimates only about a 15-20 minute wait for a notary to be alerted to the request and respond.


Hatter maintains that a true notarization involves the presence of all parties to an agreement. However, he argues that notarization has been mutilated by the need to “have it now”.

“Typically a notary public will notarize a document with only one party to an agreement present, and it has become an acceptable practice. The impact of this misappropriation in the notarization process has impacted many sectors of business particularly the real estate sector”, states Hatter.

AYIN International, Inc. notarization solution for the real estate sector will require all parties to be present on-line and in real-time via video conference. This is to ensure accountability between buyers/sellers, agents/escrow officers, and even lenders. Their solution for notarized loan signings transactions are audio/video recorded along with facial recognition biometric capture, and electronically archived. In addition all I.D.’s are validated via interface with an on-line 3rd party.

“Finally we have a true record of who said what to who, who offered what, who agreed to what, and the notary can be present as a true witness between two parties agreeing to a mortgage”, Hatter states, “Once signed, the loan documents can be electronically forwarded to the county recorders office for recordation in a timely manner.”


Legal Controversy?

Similar to digital signature, the main concern revolving around this budding technology is the legality of it. However digital signature has been widely accepted.  The jump to a digital notary may not be that far after all.

Getting a document notarized, some out argue, should require hoops to jump through merely to ensure no one is trying to game the system.  Hatter would not disagree.  AYIN is not trying to cut corners, just make the same service convenient.

But how can you take this online and maintain the same checks and balances that help keep our country safe from identity fraud and illegal immigrants?

As a founder of a digital notary technology company, Hatter certain has tackled all of these concerns and comes equipped with answers to many legal considerations.  His responses were insightful.


Q: How can a notary validate an ID via a video?

A: First of all, no notary actually can verify an ID- they cannot swipe an I.D which would be a true process to verify the authenticity of an ID card such as a drivers license or passport.  Currently notaries look at the ID and match the picture to the face of the person in front of them. In California, for example, a notary can accept an ID card that is a year expired. So far video validation does not make the status quo less secure.

Q: Doesn’t a notary have to be there in person?

A: A notary needs to be able to view the live person and confirm the person in front of them is the same as the person in the legal ID presented to them. Through recorded video agents actually have the opportunity to safeguard their records above and beyond modern practice by keeping a video record to show all legal steps were taken.

As a final note on the legality of using video to remotely validate someone’s identity, Virginia is leading the states in its adoption. In February Virginia passed legislation that clearly states that in the instance of notarization, audio/video may be used to establish the identity of the signee, and a video may be used to validate a digital certificate accessed by biometric data. (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?111+ful+SB827S1+hilhttp://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?111+ful+SB827S1+hil)


“A notary traditionally acts as the eyes of the public,” says Hatter. “With the evolution of the digital environment and the wide acceptance of electronic documentation and digital signature, this technology is right around the corner.”

It certainly is.  AYIN International, Inc. is also rolling out a digital notary solution to target employers looking to validate employees’ legal right to work within the United States.

Beyond the legal implications about this technology, Hatter feels that educating the public on this new technology is key to its success.

“If agents can see how the solution functions and what checks and balances are inherent to its design, then they will feel more comfortable with this solution,” says Hatter.

That being said if you would like to see a demo video to visualize how this type of technology could function to process Form I-9 employee verification and certification, AYIN International, Inc. has provided this demo video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1TVv6bw_Tohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1TVv6bw_To

 


What concerns or questions, if any, do you have about this technology? Let us know!

 

Other articles of interest: MLSFinder.com | dsSearchAgent IDX