We stand again in a revolution, but what are the new notary rules?
- Are we in the new wild west?
- Are the bars set today going to be the bars of tomorrow?
- Will the laws be consistent, or are we going to need to pull our hair out figuring every minute change?
It’s Time to Be Flexible
Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
While in the long term rules will probably be standardized, that is not the case as of this moment. At this time we have:
- Temporary Rules
- States with Competing Specifications
- Differing takes on the Hybrid Model
- Specific signings that still must be done in person
- Questions over whether and which signings will stay legal across state lines
The one closest to being hashed out completely are accepting legal signings in one state to cross state lines. But, there are still a few hang ups in the new notary rules.
Complicating the process are signings that must be done in person. The prevalent thought is that some things like wills or specific trusts must be done in person to truly verify the signer is not doing so under duress. But, to us, that raises a bigger question. If we have to be in person to verify a will, might things like signing off on your home fall in the same boat.
Should there be an age limit? How do we know if someone is fit to sign? Sure, we may face these issues now, but doing so over a webcam is a different ball game.
Are We Playing Follow the Leader?
Who do we depend on for our information, and are we just playing catch up as an online notary?
Most of us would probably agree we don’t want to follow the leader, we want to be the leader. But, as new notary rules blossom and the name of the game changes, that will be difficult for all of us.
It is easy to create a page or a spreadsheet to help navigate the online regulations, but keeping it updated in a timely manner is a different beast entirely. And, unfortunately, most of us are not lawyers and don’t have all fifty states sending us updates as they occur.
So, maybe the leader will be the one who can see what is coming, or at least can find new information the quickest.
Stay on Your Toes Until the New Notary Rules Stabilize
It’s time to get in the game, or to prepare for it. We’ve already spoken about a new mobile office, but how else can you prepare?
Take some time to think about it:
- Acquire the equipment you need
- Register in your state if you can do so
- Practice using the technology. Even if it is not the exact one you will use in the end, understanding the process will help you adapt quickly to any new technology or software you end up using.
- To go beyond that, understand the technology. You may end up using different platforms for different signings. But, if you understand the process and the mechanics behind it you’ll be an online notary that companies will want to go to.
- Make sure your clients or signing services you do business with know that you are online and on time.
We may know the general direction the ship is sailing, but we need to be ready to arrive at any of its possible destinations.
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