What is a document witness?
A "document witness" is a third-party individual who watches another individual sign a document.
For a witness to be valid, they cannot benefit from the contract in any way!
A witness is brought in during the signing of a document to physically observe the parties sign it. Witnesses should be able to confirm the identity of both parties which GoWitness can do because all parties have valid IDs present at signing. They then sign the document as a witness to confirm that they saw each party sign.
This ensures that no forgery took place. Having someone there to attest to this can be valuable if there is ever a dispute.
What types of documents might GoWitnesses sign?
Powers of Attorney
Certificates of Law
Bills of Sale
What are the Acceptable Forms of ID?
U.S. State Issued Driver’s License
U.S. State Issued Photo ID
U.S. Passport Book
Certificate of US citizenship
Certificate of Naturalization
Foreign Passport Alien Registration Card with Photo (Green Card / Permanent Resident Card)
Prisoner ID (Must be a photo ID and must contain a signature) **Currently only accepted if issued by the State of Nevada (NV), Texas (TX), or Virginia (VA).
What'll happen when I request a GoWitness ?
1. Open your app and enter your requested destination. This works even if you're meeting your client at their home or place of business.
2. Follow the booking prompts to book one or more witnesses for a selected amount of time. You'll receive a price estimate based on the distance of your location and duration of time needed by the GoWitness. A typical closing meeting takes 30-60 minutes.
*You can book a witness immediately or up to 1 day out at no added charge (or up to 7 days out as a one time in-app purchase). You do not want to scramble on the day of signing so book ahead if you can!
3. A GoWitness signer (or multiple signers) will recieve a notification to confirm your request. Once a signer accepts your request, you'll see their location and estimated time of arrival on the map.
GoWitness will send you notifications when your signer is close to your pickup location.
Requests 5am-8am and 7pm-9pm CST have an automatic additional charge.
How Should I Prepare for Signing Day?
View your documents before the closing date and ask your lender or title agent any questions you have in advance.
Sit near your internet router for a strong wifi connection.
Use Google Chrome as your internet browser.
If you’re closing is fully online:
Sit in a well-lit room because you’ll need take a photo of your ID.
Use a computer with a camera
Bring the required identification: your social security number and two government-issued IDs.
If your closing requires witnesses, they need to be physically in the same room as you and have a government-issued ID.
What about safety?
All GoWitness signers will submit a background check and prove to have valid and current I.D. prior to recieivng notifications for any signing requests!
If the GoWitness driver shows up and does not feel safe they can leave and report the situation immediately in the app or even to emergency dispatchers if necessary. They are subject to penalties under the law for any false reports.
All Users should report any GoWitness signer that appears not to be sober or general well enough to enter a place of residence or business or sign their name. Any User should refuse to accept this signer and report within the application immediately.
Safety first! Sign later.
Cancellations will be allowed for $1 unless the GoWitness signer is en route, which in that case, would result in a $9 fee to the user.
GoWitness cares deeply about the safety of our users and signers. In order to continue providing amazing service and keep the confidence of our users, we ask that all GoWitness users follow safety protocol to ensure professionalism and quality standards.
GoWitness is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely, and taking action based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and local and federal officials. Extra health safety precautions are necessary to help protect each other from COVID-19.
During this global pandemic, all users must wear face masks during their signings with a GoWtiness signer.
GoWitness Signers are encouraged to either use their own signing pen, if signing in person, or use hand sanitizer.
Before anyone can drive and sign with GoWitness, they must undergo a multi-step safety screen, including being checked for driving violations, impaired driving, violent crime, and other checks.
SAFETY TIPS WHEN BOOKING THROUGH GOWITNESS
Check the car and I.D. Every time you book with GoWitness, please make sure your GoWitness Signer is in the right car with the right driver by matching the license plate, car make and model, and driver photo with what’s provided in your app. GoWitness Signers can only be requested through the app, so never allow someone into your home, business, or place of signing where the vehicle or driver identity doesn't match what’s displayed in your app.
Have the Signer confirm your name - In addition to confirming vehicle and I.D., you can also ask the GoWitness to confirm your name before you accept them into your home, business, or place of signing. Your Signer sees your first name in their app, and your Signer’s first name is displayed to you in your app. To safely exchange names, you can ask, “Who are you here to sign for?” The Signer may also ask you to confirm their name for their own peace of mind.
Share your booking details with loved ones. - Although GoWitness users are professionals in the field of law and notarial work, it is also a good idea to share your booking info with someone who knows your location.
Protect your personal information - Our technology anonymizes your phone number when you call or message your driver through the GoWitness app. Be mindful of the location that you choose to have your signing. If you book a signing in your home, please consider conducting the signing in a space that is close to exit doors in case of emergency.
Follow your intuition - Trust your instincts and use your best judgment when requesting services with any courier service, including GoWitness. If you ever feel that you’re in an urgent situation, you can call 911. And remember, if you feel unsafe you can end the service at any time and contact GoWitness support.
Be kind and respectful - Please respect fellow GoWitness community members by listening to their wishes if in regard to personal space, language used in their presence, cultural considerations, and GoWitness Signers are to do the same. GoWitness has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for any descrimination or violence, physical, emotional, or psychological.
Give feedback about your service - After each booking, you’re asked in the app to rate your experience. Your feedback helps keep GoWitness safe and enjoyable for everyone. If you ever experience a safety or respect issue, please report it to GoWitness with as much detail as you can. Our team will follow up.
What Is a Notary Signing Agent?
A Notary Signing Agent (NSA) is a Notary who has specialized training to handle loan document signings. Title companies and signing services hire NSAs to deliver loan documents to borrowers, oversee the signing, and return the documents.
This is NOT the same as a GoWitness signer.
How will GoWitnesses be paid?
WHEN YOU START DRIVING WITH YOUR PASSENGER, YOU EARN:
Base rate: Your payment for starting the job.
Time rate: What you earn per minute in the region where your ride starts.
Distance rate: What you earn per mile where your ride starts.
THERE MIGHT ALSO BE:
Bonuses: Bonuses are typically offered during peak hours, such as holidays, when you'll earn more and are likely to get more booking requests.
What are the fees?
Main types of fees:
Service Fees: The Service Fee is an additional fee added on a per-booking basis. The fee helps support the GoWitness Platform and related services, including a broad spectrum of operating costs and safety measures like insurance and background checks.
Early/Late Bookings - 150 percent of the ride subtotal (the cost before the service fee, taxes, and any airport fees if booking between 8pm - 7:59am, the ride will cost before taxes or additional fees
If the driver has to pay a toll, the app needs to allow them to indicate that so that amount can be added to the User’s final charge to reimburse the Driver
Cancellation fee if Driver is en route - $9 ($1 cancellation fee if Driver is not en route). All cancellation charges are subject to the GoWitness Platform Fee.
No-Show fee - If GoWitness shows up and no one is there - $15
Parking fees - If GoWitness has to pay to park for the signing, the app needs to allow them to indicate that so that amount can be added to the User’s final charge to reimburse the Driver
Can GoWitnesses serve as "Credible Witnesses"?
GoWitnesses are NOT considered "credible witnesses" as there is no way to confirm the identity of the Signing Agent's client prior to booking and verify known relationship. State laws vary on this as well, and GoWitness aims to "keep it simple."
According to the National Notary Association, the credible witness appears at the time of the notarization and takes an oath or affirmation before the Notary that the signer is who they claim to be but lacks other forms of ID. Essentially, a credible identifying witness serves as a human ID card for the signer.
Remote Online Notarization & Remote Witnessing
In remote online transactions, the signer and Notary meet on a secure platform and conduct an audio-video recorded session. The signer’s identity is verified electronically, and then the document is signed and notarized electronically using special software. In some states, remote witnessing is also allowed. Remote witness may only considered "in person" if the presence and identity of the witness is validated by the notary at the time of the signing, according to Dushunna F. Scott, who has worked as a remote Notary since 2016.
Notaries also will need an electronic Notary commission in addition to their regular commission, a digital certificate, and a digital seal.
Learn more about which states allow RON here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/states-that-allow-temporary-remote-notarization
Here is another guide on remote witnessing orders: https://www.actec.org/resources/emergency-remote-notarization-and-witnessing-orders/