Here’s a disappointing update for Washington Notaries interested in RON: Apparently as rules currently stand, Washington notaries are expected to absorb all RON costs and not permitted to pass RON costs on to their clients. I was just phoned by Jordan at the Washington State Notary Commission and informed that Washington notaries are required to record/store/safekeep audio video recordings of all RON transactions for 10 years and at this time there are no rules in place that allow a notary to charge additional to cover a notary’s RON expenses or a/v notarization storage expenses.
So I will not be doing any RON in Washington until new WACs and pricing rules are actually implemented to fit Washington’s March 26 emergency RON proclamation. Why are Washington notaries expected to go into debt performing remote online notarization? Absurd.
Jordan said she would follow up her phone call to me with an email and so I will copy/paste that here when it arrives.
UPDATE - HERE IS THE EMAIL, COPIED AND PASTED BELOW (“xxxx” used replaces the staff member’s last name:
On April 16, 2020 at 11:17 AM “xxx, Jordan (DOL)” Jxxx@DOL.WA.GOV wrote:
This is all information from my supervisor:
Senate Bill 5641 section 1 subheading (6)-An electronic records notary public, a guardian, conservator, or agent of an electronic records notary public, or a personal representative of a deceased electronic records notary public shall retain the audio-visual recording created under subsection (3)© of this section or cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the person required to retain the recording. Unless a different period is required by rule adopted under subsection (8)(d) of this section, the recording must be retained for a period of at least ten years after the recording is made.
What this means is that the Notary would need to keep a journal of the remote online notarization as well as they are required to create an audiovisual recording of each remote notarization. Most RON platforms/providers create both the electronic journal entry and the recording of the RON event. Notaries may be permitted to store their audiovisual records through a RON service provider they choose to work with.
Right now the Governor’s proclamation 20-27 only allows for the early implementation of remote notarization with no fee increases at this time. We do hope to increase the fees at a later time when rule changes can be made. The maximum fee you can charge per notarial act is $10.00. You can charge travel fees per WAC 308-30-220 that is something that is negotiated between the notary and individual requesting the notarial act.
Customer Service Specialist II
Notaries/Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Program
Washington State Department of Licensing
Office: 360-664-1408 | Fax: 360-570-7053
firstname.lastname@example.org | dol.wa.gov