RON - Foreign National

Title Company contacts you to do a RON with a feign national in his/her country.

As a notary we realize that we have guidelines to follow as Identification and language. It is one thing to do it in-person and another to do it as RON. In international business we need to follow the Hague Convention Rules and of course the State we are certified as Notaries.

So - you are an AZ notary asked by a title company to do a RON closing for a French foreign national who has inherited property in AZ. Do you do it?

I’m in VT, not AZ. I looked at page 56 of the AZ notary manual, and it says unless the notary personally knows the signer, the signer’s identity must be checked by visually comparing the signer’s ID to the appearance of the signer on the video screen, AND using credential analysis AND dynamic knowledge-based authentication assessment.

ID is a problem because the list of acceptable IDs is US-oriented. The signer probably won’t have any acceptable ID. Note their French passport won’t be valid unless there is acceptable proof of legal presence in the US, but they aren’t in the US.

From what I’ve read, the credential analysis systems only work for US IDs, not foreign IDs.

The dynamic knowledge-based authentication assessment involves questions about data gathered from US sources. Unless the signer has had extensive business dealings in the US, the system won’t work because there isn’t any information about the signer.

Page 35 also contains this passage:

(b) The notary public has no actual knowledge that the act of making the statement or signing the record is prohibited by the foreign state in which the remotely located individual is located.

So as far as AZ is concerned, as long as you don’t know of any French law against a US notary performing a RON while the signer is in France, it’s OK. But France might have a different view of a foreign notary performing a RON while the signer is in France.

Thank you for your response. Under AZ Rules for Notary Public:

    Unexpired; contains customer’s signature and photograph; DOB; date of issue and expiration; issuing
    agency must use biometric identity verification
    techniques including fingerprint identification and
    retina scans.
    Issued by: Foreign Government
    A.R.S. § 41-5001

Further - would be - does the foreign national understand English, as I do not speak French, the language of the document.

Also, I agree - France is under the Hague Convention - but what are the rules for France executing documents for notarization under the Hague Convention with the US.

So, first the foreign national would have to go through Biometric authentication and then you would need to know what requirements are required by France to do an international notarization using a notary from a foreign country.

This is to vague for me to put my Notary at such exposure. However, I feel this is going to be a question that will arise more and more in the future.

The only country I’ve heard of issuing consular identification cards is Mexico. Apparently there was a problem with them being issued with much looser standards than a Mexican passport.

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