Notary Law Change

On December 19, 2018 Governor John Kasich signed the Ohio Notary Public Modernization Act, which will go into effect on September 20, 2019. This new piece of legislation standardizes notary law and the requirements to become a notary in the state of Ohio, centralizing the administration of the process to the Secretary of State.

Highlighting the Changes:

  • This bill eliminates the 88 separate requirements that are currently in place for each of the 88 counties in the state of Ohio. All procedures will now be handled directly by the Secretary of State.
  • Notary Applicants will follow a standardized three-step process:
    1. Must pass a uniform, statewide examination.
    2. Must pass a national background check with fingerprints.
    3. Must receive 3 hours of mandatory training. This will now include new attorneys, who previously bypassed the process.
  • Fees will be increased up to $5 for each notarial act, rather than by each signature.
  • Notarization via webcam will be newly permitted, allowing documents to be notarized for a $25 fee online, rather than in-person only.

Going Digital

For the first time, the state of Ohio will allow remote notarization. This will be completed by a certified notary over a webcam, without the signer being physically present. As this procedure has been modernized, newly elected Secretary of State Frank LaRose will develop a set of detailed procedures on how to obtain an electronic seal.

This digital process will make it easier for Ohio residents to obtain notarization, when circumstances prevent them from being physically present. This two-way video and audio, coupled with specially designed sealing software will even go so far as to allow notarization outside of the United States.

Often, when documents need to be notarized, time and distance can be a limiting factor. With the standardization of notary law, the process will be a little less complicated, for notaries and signers alike. AR&H is excited to see the changes these amendments make to the notary process, as this practice continues to step into the modern era.

For More Information

If you have questions about notary law, starting a business, or you have already started a business and you have legal questions about your business after reading this article, please contact our office for a conversation so that we can discuss your business law needs.

We look forward to hearing from you.