The state of Montana just became a technology innovation leader.
This month, Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed a bill that will make it legal for a document signed by a person in a remote location to be notarized electronically by a licensed Montana notary public, using a webcam or other audio-visual conference technology.
Aside from Virginia, which amended its laws in 2012 to allow for online notarization, Montana leads the rest of the nation in this innovation. The move will open new job opportunities for Montana notary publics and those wishing to go into the field, as Montana’s notaries will now have the freedom to perform their duties online after receiving proper training in security and online identity authentication.
“When the new bill goes into effect, Big Sky Country will be a pioneer in bringing the archaic practice of notarization into the digital era,” said Rick Triola, President and CEO of NotaryCam, the nation’s only completely online notary service and a leader in this emerging technology.
The new law is particularly significant for those Montanans who live in remote areas, the elderly and infirm, those in the military, or those living or working abroad, Triola said.
“It will offer a more efficient way to have documents notarized in a timely and hassle-free manner. To those Montanans, remote notarization will certainly save money, time, and worry,” he said.
Online notarization turns a cumbersome and archaic act into a convenient and easy one. But most importantly, the online notaries have far more sophisticated security tools at their disposal than in-person notaries currently have. In fact, several state’s attorneys general have noted that NotaryCam’s security is able to prevent fraud before it can happen.
“By taking today’s technology tools that positively authenticate identity and applying them to an established public need, we are able to provide much safer and secure notary services,” Triola said. “Additionally, every video signing session is recorded and archived giving 100 percent auditability. Nobody wants to commit fraud if they know their act is being memorialized on video.”
Other states are currently looking to follow Montana’s lead, including Texas, which recently introduced an online notary bill.