History of Virginia RON

Iris Rentas

There are some out there who are curious about when remote online notarizations started in Virginia. This can be tracked back to 2011 when the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation allowing for the use of electronic notarization. However, it wasn’t until 2019 that the Virginia legislature passed a bill specifically authorizing remote online notarization (RON) in the state. Remote NotarEZ started providing commissioned online notary services around 2020. 

A Virginia Remote Online Notary (RON) may be able to notarize a document for someone who is not physically present in the United States. This is as long as both Virginia and the other state allow for remote online notarization and the document being notarized is valid for remote notarization under the laws of both states.  

In response to the pandemic, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order in April 2020 temporarily allowing remote notarizations to take place in the state. This order was later extended through the end of 2021. 

Remote online notarization became more popular during COVID. This was a great solution to the problem of meeting with people physically. House Bill 2318 was passed, allowing Virginia notaries to perform notarial acts electronically, provided certain conditions were met. These conditions include using video-audio conferencing in real time and the recording of the notarial act. The notary is required to keep this recording for a period of at least five years. 

Virginia’s remote notarization law was amended in March 2021. This amendment made the law permanent. It provides a clear framework for remote online notarizations in the state going forward. It also includes provisions to protect against fraud and ensure the integrity of the notarization process.