Online webcam notarizations are invalid and illegal activities for California notaries public.
California notaries public should beware of misleading information from private companies claiming to have legal online notarization websites and legal online notarization services. Web-based platforms that purport 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 (e.g., appearance via webcam) do not meet the requirements for notarization by California notaries public.
California notaries public are authorized under current law to perform electronic notarizations as long as all the requirements for a traditional paper-based notarial act are met, including the use of a seal for all but two specific documents used in real estate transactions. California 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 California state law. Technology solutions from private companies offering online notarial services do not meet the requirements for notarization by California notaries public. The Commonwealth of Virginia is the only state in the United States that provides for legal web-based notarization services.