Online notarization has taken a huge stride in the last couple of years regarding providing a safe, secure, and fast way to get your documents notarized. There are two ways you can get your document signed electronically though that stumps traditional notarization: Remote Online Notarization (RON) and eNotary.

How do you know you need your document notarized? Well, NationalNotary highlights what notarization is and what paper you’ll need them for, like a motor bill of sale, power of attorney, or bank transfers. RON and eNotary will both get your paper notarized, but provide key differences that can benefit you depending on the one you choose.

What is eNotary?

eNotary is a type of notary public that has the ability to sign your documents electronically. This type of notarization allows borrowers to get their documents signed electronically and stamped for approval with a digital stamp instead of a physical one. A borrower and a notary public must be in the same room, though the borrower’s identity can be verified per the state’s laws when the signing takes place.

This paperless option allows borrowers a more secure way to notarize their documents since the papers are turned into PDFs or word documents. They rendered tamper-evident, so documents can not be altered after signing. eNotaries are not legal in every state, though, and can only be performed in one of these 18 states such as California, North Carolina, Texas, Oregon, and Virginia.

What is RON?

Remote online notarization is a way to sign your documents electronically without having to meet a notary public face to face. The process is started over a video-audio call that allows the participants to meet without being in the same room. The ID of the borrower still needs to be verified but instead is done by knowledge-based authentication (KBA) and remote presentation instead of being seen in person. ID verification may still vary depending on the state that the borrower is in and their laws. A credential analysis is also done during this meeting.

Everyone, in this case, signs the documents electronically, including the borrower. This process also requires a third person to be present, which could be just a witness or someone else that the transaction needs to be present. Remote online notarization is allowed in 29 states. Still, thanks to a 2012 law passed in Virginia, as long as a notary public is based in Virginia, their signature will be recognized in all 50 states.

Key Differences Between Remote Online Notarization and eNotary

eNotaries and remote online notarizations both allow a borrower to get their papers signed electronically. Remote online notarization provides a remote way for the borrower, a witness, and the notary public to sign the papers without being face to face in the same room. With an eNotary, your documents have to be in PDF or in an online document form, where some states allow remote notarizations to have a hard-copy of the documents.

Remote online notarization is more secure since they are required to have a recorded copy of the session to store as digital evidence and create an audit trail and customer tracking so further fight against fraud. The last major difference is that not only remote notarization is legal in more states, but it can also be done from anywhere as long as you’re dealing with a Virginia-based company.


Remote online notarization and eNotaries allow borrowers to sign their documents with an electronic signature for a hassle-free, paperless experience. The key difference between these two methods comes down to security and accessibility. eNotaries can’t be done online; the stakeholders need to have a face-to-face process, whereas remote notarization allows for an easier experience where the borrower and notary public can meet through a video-audio conference from two separate places.

Despite this, though, eNotaries still provide a safe and secure way to get your documents signed without having to worry about how to connect with your notary public. No matter what option you choose, both allow the borrower a paperless experience that will get their documents signed faster and cheaper.

Digital transformation is taking place in almost all business sectors. In sectors like banking, it’s impossible to digitize certain processes without the communication of various business stakeholders. Both the above processes are results of digitizing the taxing business processes of notaries.