Start-up offers online notarization service for U.S. citizens worldwide

Boston-based start-up Notarize aims to make such bureaucracy a thing of the past.

Staff of Boston-based start-up Notarize (photo credit: Courtesy)
Staff of Boston-based start-up Notarize
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Whether it’s buying a home, assigning power of attorney or selling a business, documents need to be notarized during life’s most important and stressful moments.
Yet for the millions of US citizens living outside of the country, it has been necessary to travel long distances and wait days or weeks for an appointment with a notarizing officer at a US Embassy or Consulate –  until now.
Boston-based start-up Notarize aims to make such bureaucracy a thing of the past, enabling US citizens at home and abroad, including in Israel, to legally notarize documents online, day or night, in a matter of minutes.
“The company was started because our founder Pat Kinsel had sold his last company to Twitter, and he was able to sell the company almost entirely while in the back of a cab in Korea, except for the notarization process,” Notarize director of marketing Ryan MacInnis told The Jerusalem Post.
“We started a company in 2015 that quite simply provided the ability to Facetime with a notary, according to necessary notarial laws. Today we have over 100 employees and have raised $31 million.”
Using any computer, smartphone or iPad, users simply upload the document they need notarized to the company’s online platform and verify their identity using knowledge-based authentication and photo identification.
Once complete, they are connected to a commissioned Virginia Electronic Notary Public via a live video call, who witnesses as they electronically sign the document. To conclude, the notary signs their notarial seal on the document.
“If you don’t use Notarize, you have to schedule a meeting with the US Embassy in your country, which can take anywhere from a week to several weeks depending on what you need to get notarized, and it can be very expensive,” said MacInnis.
“A key benefit is to have these documents online. You can have them for your own records, and the process is fairly instantaneous as you simply need an internet connection.”
Founded in 2015, Notarize has already assisted tens of thousands of individuals and businesses on every continent, excluding Antarctica, to have documents digitally notarized.
The company has even executed over 1,000 online mortgage transactions in the last 18 months, reducing average deal closure time from 52 days to under a week.
“We help during life’s most important moments,” said MacInnis. “In the US alone there 1.25 billion notarizations that happen every year, and we’re first trying to bring those online and digitalize all the experience surrounding getting documents notarized.”