The Department of State is making some major changes to the Commonwealth’s Electronic Notarization Initiative as the program enters its third year.
As of Jan.30, the department opened the program to allow multiple vendors to participate, providing notaries with more choices on how to electronically notarize documents.
In addition, since the Department is considering other vendors for the program, notaries seeking approval as eNotaries will no longer need to download the digital certificate of the original approved vendor. Notaries can merely complete the application online, print the application and send the completed application to the Department via U.S. Mail to be approved. However, a notary cannot electronically notarize a document until another vendor is approved by the Commonwealth. If the notary decides to seek approval without downloading the digital certificate, the approval is good for 45 days. After the 45 days elapses, the notary must reapply for approval.
The department also eliminatedhe $40 electronic notary application fee for applications submitted and received on or after Jan. 30. The department will continue to use a single vendor for the issuance of digital certificates until other vendors are approved by the department. The current $24.95 cost of the certificate is not set by the department and the price could change once other vendors enter the market.
At this time, PAN cannot recommend renewing your digital certificate, unless you are currently in a position that allows you to notarize electronically.
“PAN is very grateful and pleased that the department has opened the initiative to include other vendors,” said PAN President Marc Aronson. “We think this will give electronic notarization in Pennsylvania the boost it needs to go to the next level.”
Pennsylvania’s Electronic Notarization Initiative began on Jan. 30, 2006, and was the first of its kind in the nation. The Initiative allows qualified Pennsylvania notaries public to perform notarizations electronically, in compliance with provisions of the amended Notary Public Law and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA).
For more information on the program or to obtain an application, visit http://www.dos.state.pa.us/notaries and click on the Electronic Notarization link in the left column.