What is an Online Notary Public?

In April of 2018, the Tennessee Legislature passed Senate Bill 1758 known as the “Online Notary Public Act”. This Act went in effect as of July 1, 2019. The Act defines “Online Notarization” as “a notarial act performed by means of two-way video and audio conference technology…”. This means that the notary and the principal whose signature is notarized are not in the same place but interact remotely over the internet. All regular notary rules apply to these transactions including the requirement for the notary to confirm the identity and state of mind of the principal, the voluntary nature of the act and the legality of the document. This will require online notaries to have access to significant technological resources via a contract with a third-party online notary vendor. This Act authorizes Tennessee notaries to perform remote online notarizations after the completion of an application and approval from the Tennessee Secretary of State.  The steps which must be taken for a notary to perform online notarizations can be found in the  Online Notary Public Guide.