Florida Approves Remote Online Notarization

Supporters of RON in Florida have overseen the passing of a bill legalizing remote online notarizations in the state. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law, which is scheduled to take effect on January 1st, 2020.

Florida has become the next state to institute remote online notarizations, which now number in the twenties.

Notaries Will Bear the Cost

The days of being a notary in Florida just got more expensive.

Notaries must provide audio and video of the notarial act and post execution document record. On top of that, notaries must pay a comprehensive vendor security system.

Notaries will be required to keep all audio and video data for a minimum of five years.

This is kind of onerous considering one of the main drivers behind RON are banks and real estate companies, who are looking to drive down the prices they pay to do closings.

Technology, Technology, Technology

  • Comprehensive vendor security system.
  • 3rd parties to make notaries ask signers personal questions that only they, and the third party service, are only supposed to know
  • Facial Recognition Services
  • Data Security
  • Secure Online Seal
RON moves forward in Florida

We could keep going, but will spare you.

The bill is touted to make things easier for consumers, but who is to bear the cost of paying for all of this technology.

Do you know the price to store five years of video, with multiple backups in different secure locations?

It is hard to see from where we are sitting at, how you can attempt to reduce the cost of signings, while at the same time making each signing more expensive for the notary or business.

It just does not work that way.

New Notary Requirements

There is a rather logical new notary requirement under the new law. Notaries will now have to use two separate certificates. One for in person signings and one for remote online notarizations.

You can continue to to procure or create your certificates as you do now. The state of Florida has a template on its site, that you can use as a guideline, even if you have to make a minor update or two.

The Inevitable Blowback

Where do we start.

  • Convenience stores and others that do low cost signings.
  • Individuals (and we love you for it) who perform signings for those most in need, be if for a low cost or free.
  • Diversity of notaries available to you locally.
  • Is this really going to make $10 signings cheaper?

The fact is, we could write an entire article on just this point.

Like we keep saying, intentions do not matter if you do not have the knowledge, means and will of properly executing those intentions.

Will It Really Work as Intended?

Will this really make it easier for the average Joe, after all the local stores who notarized documents have stopped because they are money losers?

How about many who were able to eat the cost and help people who really needed it? Will they be able to continue when the costs to help people rise?

There may not be as many as in years past, but what about those who do not have easy access to the internet?

Will this really make signings cheaper? Or will it only make a handful cheaper while driving up the cost of others?

How will the cost of new required technology be integrated into the cost of notarial acts?

One small step for RON, one giant bag of questions for the rest of us.

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