What is the process to become an online notary in Florida?

Online notarizations or remote notarizations is a new type of notarization where an individual and an online Florida notary can see and hear each others through webcam over the the time of notarization

Requirements to register as an online notary in Florida:

  1. first be commissioned as a Florida notary public;
  2. certify that he or she has completed a classroom or online course covering the duties, obligations, and technology requirements for serving as an online notary public;
  3. pay a notary public registration fee;
  4. submit a registration as an online notary public to the Department of State, signed, and sworn to by the registrant;
  5. identify the RON service provider whose audio-video communication technology and processes for credential analysis and identity-proofing technologies the registrant intends to use for online notarizations and confirm that such technology and processes satisfy the requirements of Chapter 117 and any rules adopted by the Department of State pursuant to Section 117.295;
  6. obtain a $25,000 bond, approved, and filed with the Department of State; and
  7. provide evidence satisfactory to the Department of State that the registrant acting in his or her capacity as an online notary public is covered by an errors and omissions insurance policy from an insurer authorized to transact business in Florida in the amount of $25,000 on such terms as are specified by rule by the Department of State as reasonably necessary to protect the public.

Requirements to perform online notarizations in Florida

  1. Be physically located within the boundaries of Florida, even though the principal may be geographically located in any state or country. The principal must be visually in the presence of the online notary through the use of an interactive, two-way, audio-video communication.
  2. Confirm the identity of a principal and any witness appearing online, at the time that the signature is taken, using an audio-video communication technology and processes that meets the legal requirements and rules adopted hereunder and record the two-way audio-video conference session between the notary public and the principal and any witnesses. A principal may not act in the capacity of a witness for his or her own signature in an online notarization.
  3. Confirm, either verbally or through the principal’s written consent, that the principal desires the notarial act to be performed by a Florida notary public under the general law of Florida.
  4. Inform the participating parties that the remote notarial act will be captured by an audiovisual recording.
  5. Include in the audiovisual recording a recitation of how the identity of the principal was authenticated.
  6. Include in the audiovisual recording recitation of a confirmation by the principal that the principal’s signature on the record is knowingly and voluntarily made.
  7. Complete an electronic notarial certificate for each online notarization.
  8. Include the language in the electronic notarial certificate that the notarization was an online notarization, which may be satisfied by placing the term “online notary” in or adjacent to the online notary public’s seal.
  9. Record the online notarization in a secure electronic journal.
  10. Make a recording and backup of the audio-visual conference that is the basis for satisfactory evidence of identity used for the online notarization.
  11. Take reasonable steps to ensure that the two-way video and audio communication used in the remote notarization is secure from unauthorized interception.
  12. Take reasonable steps to ensure that any registered device used to create an electronic signature is current and has not been revoked or terminated by the device’s issuing or registering authority.
  13. Attach the remote notary’s electronic signature and seal to the electronic certificate of an electronic document in a manner that is capable of independent verification and renders any subsequent change or modification to the electronic document evident.
  14. The maximum fee the online notary or his or her employer may charge for the online notarization is $25.

Security of online notarizations in Florida

Florida notary law requires an online notary who performs online notarizations to access the information contained in the electronic journal using a password or other secure means of authentication. An online notary must be able to print or produce a tangible record of any entry logged in the notary’s electronic journal. An online notary may charge a fee to recover expenses related to the copying of electronic journal entries or audiovisual recording of remote notarial acts.

An online notarization performed in accordance with Chapter 117 is deemed to have been performed within Florida and is governed by the applicable laws of the state of Florida. Moreover, the liability, sanctions, and remedies for the improper performance of online notarizations are the same under the law for the improper performance of a notarial act performed by a traditional notary public.

Legal Disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding notaries' best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss or consequential loss out of or in connection with the use of the information contained in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states' notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

Florida notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, the American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company (established 1900). Kal Tabbara is a licensed insurance agent in Florida.