OAG cautions against online notary services
The Office of the Attorney General warned yesterday that online webcam notarization is invalid and illegal in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
A private company claims to have the first online notarization website and has sent misleading information and made false claims to CNMI notaries public concerning a new online notarization service. The web-based platform purports to allow a person to submit copies of identification over the Internet and to use a webcam in lieu of a personal appearance in front of a notary public. Appearance via webcam does not meet the requirements for notarization in the CNMI.
CNMI law requires a person to appear personally before a notary public to obtain notarial acts like acknowledgments or jurats. This means the party must be physically present before the notary public.
A video image or other form of non-physical representation is not a personal appearance in front of a notary public under current state or federal laws. The Office of the Attorney General says the technology solution offered by this private company does not comply with CNMI law. [B][I](Office of the Governor)[/I][/B]