Remote Notarization Florida

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What is online notarization?

Remote Online Notarization (RON) is a form of notarization carried out entirely online using audio-visual technology and electronic forms. This is different from traditional notarization services, where document signers appear in person before a notary to complete a signature. Online notarization allows both notaries and document signers to complete a notarization act within minutes from wherever they happen to be located. 

It eliminates the inconvenience of having to coordinate a place and time to meet with a notary. It is essential to be aware that RON law varies state-by-state, with different requirements and regulations to be considered valid.  

Remote Notarization in Florida: Is it legal?

Yes. Notaries who are commissioned to practice online can perform Remote Online Notarization (RON) services in Florida.

Remote Notarization in Florida has been legal since January 2020. While many states have recently adopted RON laws in response to COVID-19, Florida introduced their legislation just before the pandemic. To perform remote online notarization in Florida, notaries must possess a current commission as one of the following types of notaries: 

  • Traditional notary: An individual who is commissioned to perform notarial acts within the state of Florida. This includes both walk-in and mobile notaries.
  • Civil law notary: A Florida attorney (a good-standing member of the Florida Bar) who is appointed by the State. A civil law notary is able to provide legal advice and prepare instruments with legal effect, in addition to providing traditional notary services. 
  • Commissioner of deeds: A commissioner of deeds is an appointed officer whose job is to administer oaths and take acknowledgments in connection with timeshares executed within Florida. They are notably able to perform their duties outside of the state, however, they are limited to documents related to timeshares located within the state of Florida.  

Approved RON providers in Florida

The Florida Department of State does not have a list of approved third-party vendors. To perform RON services, online notaries in Florida only need a computer that supports two-way audio and visual communication and a secure connection to the internet.

Here is a list of vendors that offer end-to-end remote notarization solutions in Florida:

PandaDoc Notary
DocuSign
DocVerify
Notarize
NotaryCam
Pavaso
Safedocs
SIGNiX

Florida allows you to contract with more than one RON technology provider as long as you keep the Department of State up to date with each of your chosen vendors.

How does online notarization work in Florida?

To receive online remote notarization in Florida, there are certain requirements that must be met to be considered valid.

What types of notarizations are permitted online in Florida?

Remote online notaries in Florida are permitted to carry out all of the same notarial acts that a traditional notary can. These notarial acts include (but are not limited to) notarizing the following types of documents:

  • Affidavits: A statement sworn under oath, in written form.
  • Executing a jurat: Verifications confirming the veracity of documents. 
  • Taking an acknowledgement: An official acknowledgment from a signer to a notary that a document has been willingly signed. 
  • Taking depositions: A form of gathering evidence from a witness for a trial.
  • Wills and trusts: Legal documents detailing the distribution of an estate and its assets.
  • Court documents: Documents or materials filed in relation to a court case.
  • Property deeds: Documents that transfer property ownership from seller to buyer.
  • Custody and guardianship agreements: Documents that assign custody rights over a child. 

Requirements for performing Remote Online Notarization (RON) in Florida

In addition to obtaining a traditional notary commission, notaries have to take a specialized two-hour online notarization training course. This course must be administered by a state-approved education provider. Upon finishing the course, notaries will need to pass an exam to receive a certification of completion. Proof of this certification will be required at the time of their RON commission application

Florida also requires that online notaries own a $25,000 surety bond. In addition, online notaries must obtain a $25,000 errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy. The surety bond and E&O insurance are not required for traditional notaries in Florida. 

To prevent fraud and ensure a notarization’s validity online, notaries must be prepared to meet several security requirements as well. Before the signer meets the notary using audio-visual technology, the signers must go through an identity verification process. This will include passing through a knowledge-based authentication (KBA) and having their documents analyzed for fraud. 

The state of Florida does not have any specifications for which platforms you must use to perform the notarial act. Some of the companies that offer these kinds of platforms for RON services include PandaDoc Notary, DocuSign, Safedocs, Notarize, and NotaryCam.

What do I need to receive Remote Notarization in Florida?

To receive online remote notarization in Florida, there are a series of steps you will have to follow in order to ensure the notarization is valid. You should first contact your county recorder in order to ensure that they accept electronically signed and notarized documents. 

Using an online notary is quicker and cheaper than using traditional notary services. It also provides a greater level of security against fraud protection. Let’s take a look at the process in more detail in order to better understand these benefits.

How to have documents signed and sealed online

At the time of the document signing, the signers and the notary will appear on screen together via a two-way audio-visual internet connection. The document that will be signed is also displayed on the screen for all parties to see. At this time, the signers will review the documents before applying an electronically-created signature. 

Next, the notary will apply their own electronic signature, along with an electronic seal and their digital certificate. This certificate is a unique piece of code that will attach to the notarized document, verifying the notarization and providing a layer of tamper-proof security. 

Florida requirements for when appearing before an online notary

Online notarization makes it easier than ever to appear before a notary. Rather than having to schedule a place and time to meet with a traditional or mobile notary service in advance, the notary and signers can all be in different locations. 

While an online notary in Florida is required to perform their duties within the state boundaries, the signers can appear for the notarization from anywhere in the world. By allowing signers and notaries to appear via video conference for a notarization, RON makes appearing faster, safer, and easier than traditional notarization.  

Remote Online Notarization (RON) helps protect your document 

Remote online notarization is the most secure form of notarization. This is because with online notarization, the signer’s identities are verified using a knowledge-based authentication system. On top of this, the online notarization platform will perform an in-depth analysis of the signer’s identification and documents to identify fraud. 

In addition to verifying the signer’s identities, the entire notarization process will be recorded and stored. Florida Remote Online Notarization statute dictates that this record must be securely stored and accessible to all parties for a minimum of ten years. This detailed record ensures that if any disputes arise down the road, every bit of information will be available for review. 

Finally, the digital seal and certificate provided by the online notary ensures that the signed document is sealed with a tamper-proof code. This code identifies and tracks any unauthorized changes made to the document so that any disputes may be easily resolved.  

Florida online notary service

If you are looking for a remote online notarization service provider in Florida, PandaDoc Notary can support you with a fast, secure, and 100% state-compliant solution for Remote Online Notarization that won’t break your bank.

FAQ

If I notarize a document online in Florida, will it be recognized by other states?

Yes. Online notarial acts performed in Florida will generally be recognized by other states, including ones that have not yet adopted RON law. While the specifics may vary depending on the other state’s requirements, established precedents have set forth that notarial acts carried out within compliance with the applicable state RON law can be recognized as valid across state lines. 

Do the signers have to be physically located in Florida to receive services from a Florida online notary?

The signers of the document do not need to be physically located within the boundaries of the state of Florida at the time of notarization. To provide remote notarization in Florida, however, the notary must be physically located within the state boundaries.  

Disclaimer

The contents of this website are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The information presented on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments. No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this website, and we disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues and jurisdictions.

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