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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title X
PUBLIC OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND RECORDS
Chapter 117
NOTARIES PUBLIC
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F.S. 117.245
117.245 Electronic journal of online notarizations.
(1) An online notary public shall keep one or more secure electronic journals of online notarizations performed by the online notary public. For each online notarization, the electronic journal entry must contain all of the following:
(a) The date and time of the notarization.
(b) The type of notarial act performed, whether an oath or acknowledgment.
(c) The type, the title, or a description of the electronic record or proceeding.
(d) The name and address of each principal involved in the transaction or proceeding.
(e) Evidence of identity of each principal involved in the transaction or proceeding in either of the following forms:
1. A statement that the person is personally known to the online notary public; or
2.a. A notation of the type of government-issued identification credential provided to the online notary public;
b. An indication that the government-issued identification credential satisfied the credential analysis; and
c. An indication that the principal satisfactorily passed the identity proofing.
(f) The fee, if any, charged for the notarization.
(2) The RON service provider shall retain an uninterrupted and unedited copy of the recording of the audio-video communication in which an online notarization is performed. The online notary public shall ensure that the recording includes all of the following:
(a) Appearance by the principal and any witness before the online notary public.
(b) Confirmation of the identity of the principal and any witness.
(c) A general description or identification of the records to be signed.
(d) At the commencement of the recording, recitation by the online notary public of information sufficient to identify the notarial act.
(e) A declaration by the principal that his or her signature on the record is knowingly and voluntarily made.
(f) All of the actions and spoken words of the principal, notary public, and any required witness during the entire online notarization, including the signing of any records before the online notary public.
(3) The online notary public shall take reasonable steps to:
(a) Ensure the integrity, security, and authenticity of online notarizations.
(b) Maintain a backup record of the electronic journal required by subsection (1).
(c) Protect the electronic journal, the backup record, and any other records received by the online notary public from unauthorized access or use.
(4) The electronic journal required under subsection (1) and the recordings of audio-video communications required under subsection (2) shall be maintained for at least 10 years after the date of the notarial act. However, a full copy of the recording of the audio-video communication required under subsection (2) relating to an online notarization session that involves the signing of an electronic will must be maintained by a qualified custodian in accordance with chapters 731 and 732. The Department of State maintains jurisdiction over the electronic journal and audio-video communication recordings to investigate notarial misconduct for a period of 10 years after the date of the notarial act. The online notary public, a guardian of an incapacitated online notary public, or the personal representative of a deceased online notary public may, by contract with a secure repository in accordance with any rules established under this chapter, delegate to the repository the online notary public’s duty to retain the electronic journal, provided that the Department of State is notified of such delegation of retention duties to the repository within 30 days thereafter, including the effective date of the delegation and the address and contact information for the repository. If an online notary public delegates to a secure repository under this section, the online notary public shall make an entry in his or her electronic journal identifying such repository and provide notice to the Department of State as required in this subsection. A RON service provider may, by contract with a secure repository in accordance with any rules established under this chapter, delegate to the repository the RON service provider’s duty to retain the required recordings of audio-video communications, provided that the Department of State is notified of such delegation of retention duties to the repository within 30 days thereafter, including the effective date of the delegation and the address and contact information for the repository. During any delegation under this subsection, the secure repository shall fulfill the responsibilities of the online notary public or RON service provider to provide copies or access under s. 117.255(2) and (3).
(5) An omitted or incomplete entry in the electronic journal does not impair the validity of the notarial act or of the electronic record which was notarized, but may be introduced as evidence to establish violations of this chapter; as evidence of possible fraud, forgery, impersonation, duress, incapacity, undue influence, minority, illegality, or unconscionability; or for other evidentiary purposes. However, if the recording of the audio-video communication required under subsection (2) relating to the online notarization of the execution of an electronic will cannot be produced by the RON service provider, the online notary public, or the qualified custodian, the electronic will shall be treated as a lost or destroyed will subject to s. 733.207.
History.s. 11, ch. 2019-71; s. 22, ch. 2020-2; s. 6, ch. 2021-137.