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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title X
Chapter 117
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F.S. 117.265
117.265 Online notarization procedures.
(1) An online notary public physically located in this state may perform an online notarization that meets the requirements of this part regardless of whether the principal or any witnesses are physically located in this state at the time of the online notarization. A commissioner of deeds registered as an online notary public may perform an online notarization while physically located within or outside of this state in accordance with the territorial limits of its jurisdiction and other limitations and requirements otherwise applicable to notarial acts by commissioners of deeds. An online notarization performed in accordance with this chapter is deemed to have been performed within this state and is governed by the applicable laws of this state.
(2) In performing an online notarization, an online notary public shall confirm the identity of a principal and any witness appearing online, at the time that the signature is taken, by using audio-video communication technology and processes that meet the requirements of this part and of any 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) In performing an online notarization of a principal not located within this state, an online notary public must confirm, either verbally or through the principal’s written consent, that the principal desires for the notarial act to be performed by a Florida notary public and under the general law of this state.
(4) An online notary public shall confirm the identity of the principal by:
(a) Personal knowledge of each principal; or
(b) All of the following, as such criteria may be modified or supplemented in rules adopted by the Department of State pursuant to s. 117.295:
1. Remote presentation of a government-issued identification credential by each principal.
2. Credential analysis of each government-issued identification credential.
3. Identity proofing of each principal in the form of knowledge-based authentication or another method of identity proofing that conforms to the standards of this chapter.

If the online notary public is unable to satisfy subparagraphs 1.-3., or if the databases consulted for identity proofing do not contain sufficient information to permit authentication, the online notary public may not perform the online notarization.

(5)(a) An online notary public shall select the RON service provider to be used to perform an online notarization, and a person may not require the online notary public to use a particular RON service provider; however, if the online notary public is required by his or her contract or employer to perform online notarizations, the contract or employer may require the use of a particular RON service provider for those online notarizations.
(b) An online notary public may change his or her RON service provider or providers from time to time, but shall notify the Department of State of such change, and its effective date, within 30 days thereafter.
(6) The online notary public or his or her RON service provider shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the audio-video communication technology used in an online notarization is secure from unauthorized interception.
(7) The electronic notarial certificate for an online notarization must include a notation that the notarization is an online notarization which may be satisfied by placing the term “online notary” in or adjacent to the online notary public’s seal.
(8) Except where otherwise expressly provided in this part, the provisions of part I of this chapter apply to an online notarization and an online notary public.
(9) Any failure to comply with the online notarization procedures set forth in this section does not impair the validity of the notarial act or the electronic record that was notarized, but may be introduced as evidence to establish violations of this chapter or as an indication of possible fraud, forgery, impersonation, duress, incapacity, undue influence, minority, illegality, or unconscionability, or for other evidentiary purposes. This subsection may not be construed to alter the duty of an online notary public to comply with this chapter and any rules adopted hereunder.
History.s. 13, ch. 2019-71; s. 23, ch. 2020-2; s. 8, ch. 2021-137.