Electronic Notary Log Book
Founded in 2017, Jurat Inc. has been at the forefront of promoting the use of IT in real estate and notary public space, which has largely been deprived of it when compared with other sectors. Jurat Inc. creates products and services that allow you to take advantage of smartphones and connectivity options to experience the power of Information and Communication Technology in notary public space.
Jurat Inc. operates in B2C Notary Public and Real Estate industry with a strong belief that digitization can make a huge positive impact on this industry, which has not been able to make the best use of information and communication technology so far.
This case study corresponds to the Jurat Inc. and Bayometric’s collaboration to achieve the integration of SecuGen Unity 20 Bluetooth Fingerprint Scanner with Jurat Inc.’s Notary eJournal mobile app.
The Business Need
An accurately maintained notary journal offers multiple benefits for the notary as well as the signer. A typical notary journal captures all important bits and pieces of information such as date & time of notarization, service type, type of documents, personal information (name, address, phone number, etc.), signature, type of ID presented, witness’s personal details and witness’s signature. In a typical notary log book, a cell for “Individual’s right thumbprint if required” cell is also provided to capture biometric information of the signer.
A well-maintained notary journal not only enables notaries keep record of all notarizations but also helps them combat document fraud and protect the parties involved. However, maintaining an accurate notary records journal manually is a tedious task.
Despite the unprecedented advancements in the field of information and communication technology, the way of maintaining notary journal has not changed much. It is the same paper-based record book that has been used since the beginning. Today when ICT is transforming every business activity, Jurat Inc. wanted to improve the way notary records journal is maintained with a smartphone application.
Creating functionality to maintain notary records journal with a mobile app was only a part of the problem. Capturing the signer’s biometric information (thumbprint) was another business need that Jurat Inc. wanted to incorporate in the mobile app. Another problem was that the requirement of capturing biometric information of the signer differs from state to state across the United States.
Notary journal requirements by state
Not all states across the U.S. requires notaries to maintain a notary records journal, however states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois (for conveyances for residential and/or commercial property in Cook County), Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia (for electronic notarial acts) require notaries to maintain a journal.
Do notaries take fingerprints?
Requirements of capturing biometric information (a notary journal thumbprint) of the signer may vary from state to state across the United States and in most cases it is voluntary. However, California law requires notaries to obtain a thumbprint from a signer for any document concerning real property.
California’s Govt. Code §8206 also states that if the signer is not able to provide right thumbprint for any reason, his/her left thumbprint can be used and indicated in the journal. If left thumbprint is also not available then any available finger can be used and should be indicated in the journal.
Notaries are required to record the signer’s thumbprint in the notary journals (or electronic notary log book whatever the case is) whenever they notarize any of the following documents:
- A power of attorney
- Quitclaim deed
- Deed of trust
- Any other document affecting real property
The notaries have an ink pad available in order to stain the signer’s thumb and take impressions on the record book. This is not only inconvenient for the signers but also for the notary public. Capturing thumbprint on paper is not secure as they are visible to everyone, unlike today’s biometric devices that keep biometric data in encrypted form.
There is no doubt that including biometric information in the notary journal can make it more authentic, however, doing it with ink stained thumb impressions presents more problems than it solves. There are biometric data security issues as well, not to mention. Jurat Inc. not only wanted to create an electronic notary log book but also facilitate electronic fingerprinting capture to make the whole process seamless and secure for notary public as well as parties involved.
What our clients say
Jurat Inc. decided to develop a solution that could entirely replace a manual notary ledger with an efficient and user-friendly application and Notary eJournal app came to existence. This app was able to address the issues faced by notaries while maintaining a notary ledger manually. Instead of maintaining the bulky and tedious notary journal, the user could just install the app and bid farewell to paper-based notary records forever.
Notary eJournal can scan signer ID with the device’s camera and populate the data. It also provides secure cloud storage so you do not have to worry about backup and security of your data. You can create as many entries as you want. Even if you are in a state that does not require notaries to maintain a notary ledger, it is in your as well as your parties’ best interest to do so. The app can handle your notary records regardless the state you are in.
To provide unparalleled efficiency and seamless convenience, Jurat Inc. partnered with Bayometric and after careful examination of all the options available, they ended up choosing SecuGen Unity 20 Bluetooth Fingerprint Scanner to digitally capture the thumbprint of the signer. SecuGen Unity 20 Bluetooth offers some unparalleled advantages that made it the most suitable scanner for Notary eJournal app.
SecuGen Unity 20 Bluetooth is one of the few bluetooth fingerprint scanners available in the market. Today’s smartphones come equipped with several connectivity options including Bluetooth, so it made a perfect sense to leverage wire-free connectivity for Notary eJournal app.
It is also one of the few fingerprint scanners that comes with built-in rechargeable 1000mAh battery, just like the mobile devices it can connect with, which means you do not have to keep it connected to a power source all the time.
Business Benefits Achieved
Developers at Jurat Inc. and Bayometric collaborated and were able to successfully integrate Notary eJournal app with SecuGen Unity 20 Bluetooth Fingerprint Scanner. The app was able to seamlessly connect with the fingerprint scanner with bluetooth and download the singer’s thumbprint. This thumbprint was attached to the electronic notary log book record of the signer.
According to Jurat Inc.
“The Notary eJournal is an app that completely digitizes the entire notary journal experience. From capturing a signer’s thumbprint via Bluetooth scanner (an industry first) to scanning a signers ID to populate the entry fields – this turns the entire notary journal process into a fun and painless experience for both the notary & the signers.”
“Our business is software, and we needed a solid partner to provide our end users with very specific, niche piece of hardware to properly handle certain workflows. After speaking with various solution providers all at once, it became very clear that Bayometric was going to be our first choice for handling our clients. I’d like to add, on that note – our business model requires our end users to interact with the vendor (Bayometric in this case) on their own accord, thereby creating a scenario where Bayometric (and their staff) are responsible for representing my business by proxy. It is imperative that this vendor act with professionalism, haste, and dignity – all of which Bayometric has been more than capable of providing to us and our end users. Business relationships are an integral part of being able to keep pace with an ever-changing environment, and we feel our partnership with Bayometric will allow us to continue focusing on our core products without having the distractions of being worried about our choice of hardware provider.”
A Bluetooth fingerprint scanner is definitely more suitable in case of Notary eJournal as a wired connection would keep the phone confined to taking signer’s thumbprint. However, using Bluetooth to connect to the scanner gives users the freedom to use their phones for other purposes as well.
With the use of Notary eJournal app, there is absolutely no need for a paper-based notary ledger. Notary eJournal app works like an electronic notary log book, which can log your notarizations digitally and store the thumbprint wherever applicable.
Manual record keeping can have challenges around fraud, privacy and security. These challenges are automatically addressed with Notary eJournal and Jurat Inc. has taken the much-needed step in the right direction.