IPEN: In-Person Electronic Notarization

RON and IPEN are similar but have some key differences that will be explained here in the context of using the SIGNiX software.

What is it?

SIGNiX offers a digital signature software for use in RON (remote online notarization) as well as IPEN (in-person electronic notarization) depending on the notary's location and needs.

Many states in the US allow for RON and IPEN, but some areas like the District of Columbia only allow for IPEN. You can find plenty of information about RON in our knowledge base articles, and now we will explain IPEN.

The traditional RON involves both the notary and the client to be Remote, so they will meet using a video / audio program such as Zoom to see and hear one another as the documents are signed online in a program like SIGNiX.

IPEN involves the notary and the client being physically present in the room together, while still signing the documents online, rather than on paper. This allows for the signed documents to be saved as PDF files with the digital certificate to validate the signatures for anyone who needs to review the documents after signing.

How does it work?

In the SIGNiX software, an IPEN transaction will proceed much the same as a RON with the following steps:

  1. The notary will receive the PDF document(s) from their client and create a new transaction.
  2. The transaction will be setup with the client as the first signer, and the notary as the second signer. If any additional parties also need to sign the document, they should be added as well.
  3. If the notary will be validating the client's ID in person, they can select the "Email Only" authentication method when setting up the transaction, as they do not need SIGNiX to verify the client's identity.
  4. The document(s) will be added and tagged for signatures, text boxes, notary stamps, etc.
  5. The transaction will be Sent, which formally creates it in the SIGNiX system.
  6. The notary will Bypass the Zoom meeting prompt, by selecting "Not Right Now" and then "In-Person Transaction" as outlined in this FAQ article.
  7. When the client arrives to the notary's office for their appointment, the notary will login and use the Stop Email Hold button to send the client an email to access the document(s).
  8. The client can use their own device, such as a laptop, to login to their email and begin the login process to then sign the document(s).
  9. Once the client is finished signing, the system will email the Notary that it is now their turn to sign.
  10. The notary will login and sign then notarize the document(s) and the transaction will be Completed by all parties.

Once everything is finished, the notary can download the signed document(s) and send a copy to the client, if necessary.

These steps are generalized, as every notarization can be unique and different from the next.

It is up to each notary to know their state's RON and IPEN requirements.