Alabama Notary and Remote Online Notarization (RON) Guidelines

What are RON Requirements for Alabama Residents and Businesses?

Conducting Remote Online Notarizations in Alabama

Yes, Remote Notarizations are Legal in Alabama

As in many states, Alabama passed a series of executive orders during the initial years of the pandemic, permitting the use of online notarizations in place of traditional in-person transactions. Those executive orders were superseded by a statute passed by the Alabama state legislature, signed by Governor Kay Ivey on April 29, 2021, and took effect July 1, 2021.

Alabama Remote Notarizations are RINs

Alabama is a "wet signature" remote ink-based notarization (RIN) state, which means that a fully electronic document with only digital signatures and a digital notarization is NOT enough.

In other words, the notarization can be done remotely, but the parties must sign the original document and send it to the notary — for a manual notary stamp and signature.

Yes, Astrean Can Be Used in Alabama Notarizations

Astrean's platform provides the RIN capabilities required for Alabama remote notarizations, including a two-way audio-video communication tool that meets the state's technical requirements. In addition, Astrean provides Alabama notaries with additional eNotarization tools, including In-Person Electronic Notarization (IPEN) capabilities and an integrated electronic journal.

Additional AL Remote Notarization Requirements & Guidelines

How to Become a Remote Online Notary in Alabama

Technology

What are the tech requirements for remote notarizations in Alabama?

In addition to a computer with reliable internet access, webcam and microphone, Alabama notaries must use a two-way audio-visual communication software (or a platform that provides it), with recording capabilities.

Notary Eligibility

What are the eligibility requirements for remote notarizations in Alabama? There are no additional training or testing requirements to become a remote online notary, as long as the notary has a valid commissiona. The recent law allows all Alabama notaries — not just attorneys — to conduct remote notarizations.

Registration

What are the application requirements for remote notarizations in Alabama? There are no current application or registration requirements to conduct RONs in Alabama. Notaries are actually commissioned by the probate judge in the county they reside. These probate judges then provides their notary information to the state.

State Notary Links

Insurance Coverage

What are the insurance requirements for remote notarizations in Alabama? Alabama's recently enacted RON/RIN law establishes NO additional surety bond, E&O insurance or other liability coverage for remote notarizations. But make sure your current policy does cover remote notarizations.

Notary Location

What are the location requirements for remote notaries in Alabama?

Alabama law requires the notary to be physically located in the state to conduct remote notarizations. In fact, the notary must attest to their physical location in the audio-video recording of the remote notarization.

Signatory Location

What are the location requirements for remote signatories in Alabama? Alabama law is silent when it comes to the location of remote notarization signatories, so AL notaries could service clients throughout the U.S. — as long as they conduct a wet-signature RIN transaction.

EXCLUSIONS!

What are the major prohibitions for remote notarizations in Alabama? There is one major remote notarization prohibition: absentee ballots. Alabama requires absentee ballots to be signed by two witnesses or by one (1) notary — but NOT remotely. Violations are Class-C misdemeanors.

Original Documents

What are documentation requirements for remote notarizations in Alabama?

As noted above, Alabama is a "wet signature" remote ink-based notarization (RIN) state, so the signatories all must sign the original document. Notaries receive original docs last, before signing and officially notarizing it with ink on paper.

ID Validation

What are the ID validation requirements for remote notarizations in Alabama?

Alabama law requires signatories to present two (2) valid government-issued identification documents, one of which must include a photo. The notary must then validate these ID documents by researching public records or using a private vendor.

Identity Verification

What are ID verification requirements for remote notarizations in Alabama? Alabama does not require additional identity verification procedures, such as knowledge-based authentication (KBA). The notary just has to confirm that the signatory presenting the validated ID documents is the person on the ID.

ID Waiver

What are exceptions to the ID requirements for remote notarizations in Alabama?

As with traditional face-to-face notarizations, Alabama allows the remote notary to waive the ID validation and identity verification requirement if the signatory is "personally known" to the AL-commissioned public notary.

Audio-Video

What are the recording requirements for remote notarizations in Alabama? The recording should include the ID verification of the parties, state-required attestations by the Alabama notary and the actual signing. The audio-video recording must then be saved for at least seven (7) years.

Digital Signature

What are the signature requirements for remote notarizations in Alabama?

Because Alabama is "wet signature" RIN state, digital signatures are not applicable with Alabama notarizations. The signatories and the notary must all manually sign the original paper document, even for RON or RIN transactions.

Digital Notarization

What are the digital certificate requirements for notarizations in Alabama? Again, because Alabama is a "wet signature" RIN state, digital notary stamps or certificates are not applicable with Alabama notarizations. The notary must all manually stamp the original paper document, even for RON or RIN transactions.

Other Requirements

What are additional requirements for remote notarizations in Alabama? Recording must include... — Notary attestation of physical location — Date & time of notarization — Description of docs — Image of IDs and description of how they were validated — Image of the act of signing

How Astrean Can Help You

On a Mission to Unleash Electronic Notarization and Notaries

Designed to Empower Notaries

Astrean offers the most user-friendly and cost-efficient SaaS remote online notarization (RON) tool in the market. Astrean manages the full online notarization process from the training of notaries to transitioning to an online notary experience. Businesses and notaries can enjoy the 24/7 convenience of remote online notarization, with all the tools needed to educate, track, schedule and record the remote online notarization process within one easy-to-use dashboard. Astrean leverages dynamic knowledge-based authentication (KBA) and AI-based facial recognition algorithms to accurately identify and monitor notary participants, meeting the highest standards for identity verification, full audio-visual communication, secure video storage and encrypted digital notary certificates.

More than Just Electronic Notarization

Additionally, Astrean’s full notary platform helps notaries beyond their digital and online notarization needs. It's also designed to help notaries grow their business and support their careers. Our suite of business success tools for notaries provide solutions and software to help notaries become more efficient and generate more business — with tools such as an electronic journal. The electronic journal streamlines the notaries’ legal recording responsibilities, by automatically linking and adding details from remote online notary transactions. Astrean’s built-in scheduler allows clients to digitally schedule notarization appointments, while giving notaries an efficient view of their daily calendar. And these are just a few of the tools Astrean offers to its notary users.

Expanding your reach while increasing your efficiency

Remote Online Notarization is here to stay!

Notarization has been a critical part of our legal, governmental and business systems for centuries. But it has been relatively slow to adapt to the Digital Age – until now.

Partly as a response to the COVID pandemic, almost every state will soon have enacted laws allowing notarizations to be conducted remotely and online. Many nations have also taken steps to legalize notarization, including the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.

As this trend continues, RON will no longer be an optional service offered by some notaries. It will probably be the primary method used by all notaries in the future. At Astrean, our mission is to empower notaries with the most reliable, robust and easy to use digital notary resources available – including advanced RON tools.

Reynaldo Villar
Reynaldo Villar