Florida Remote Online Notarization Statute Changes
Florida Statute 117, which governs remote online notarization (RON), was amended and the following changes take effect on January 1, 2022:
• A Florida online notary performing a RON closing shall select the technology to be used. No person, other than the notary’s employer, may require the notary to use a particular technology.
• For online notarization of an individual located outside the United States, a passport issued by a foreign government can be relied upon as a government-issued identification credential to verify the individual’s identity, even if the passport does not include the stamp of the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
• Provisions were added authorizing use of audio-video communication technology for certain oaths, such as oaths by a person testifying in a court proceeding, deposition, arbitration, public hearing or admission to The Florida Bar.
• Florida law requires online notaries to maintain an electronic journal containing certain information. However, this bill provides that if the online notary public indicates in the journal that he or she has personal knowledge of the individual signing, it is unnecessary to include that the individual presented identification and passed identity proofing.
• The requirement to maintain a copy of the audio-video communication is now the responsibility of the RON service provider (instead of the online notary).
• The RON service provider may delegate the storage of the audio-video recording to a secure repository provided notice is given to the Florida Department of State.
• The RON service provider may charge up to $20 for providing access to the audio-video communication provided, however, certain parties including title insurers and title agents, must be provided with access free of charge for 10 years.
• The services of a RON service provider are not considered closing services, as defined in section 627.7711, Florida Statutes, and a fee for those services may be separately charged.
• The Florida Department of State shall publish on its website a list of each online notary public. The list shall include the notary’s RON service provider and any secure repositories used by the notary.
• A RON service provider must file an annual self-certification with the Florida Department of State, certifying compliance with applicable Florida law. The Department shall publish on its website a list of each RON service provider and any secure repositories to which the RON service provider delegated its duties.
• A RON service provider may not use, sell or transfer personal information obtained in an online notarization, subject to certain exceptions.
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