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Rule

FL Administrative Rules (2020)

Notary Law Update: FL Administrative Rules (2020)

State: Florida

Summary:

The Florida Department of State has adopted rules for registering to become a remote online Notary and performing remote online notarial acts.

Effective:  February 16, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

Creates Chapter 1N-7 in the Florida Administrative Code.

Changes:

Definitions

  1. Defines "registrant," "attached to or logically associated with," "department," electronic document," "'electronic notarization' and 'electronic notarial act,'" 'electronic notary system," "electronic signature," "unique to the notary public," "retained under the online notary public's sole control," and "tamper-evident."

Online Notary Registration

  1. Provides an application form for applying to register as an online Notary (link to the application form is provided and the application form is incorporated into the rule by reference).
  2. Establishes a $10 registration fee for registering to become an online Notary.
  3. Requires an applicant for registration as an online Notary to submit the application, fee and all required information for the application by U.S. mail, in-person delivery, or courier service, and provides the addresses for use in each of these options.
  4. Clarifies that a registration as online Notary is effective upon filing with the Department of State and expires on the date of expiration, termination, or resignation of the registrant's Notary Public commission, appointment as a civil law Notary, or appointment as a commissioner of deeds.
  5. Clarifies that all qualifications and registration requirements applicable for an applicant’s registration as an online Notary apply to a renewal registration.

Performing Remote Online Notarizations

  1. Requires an online Notary’s electronic journal, electronic signature, and electronic seal to be retained under the online Notary’s sole control.
  2. Prohibits an online Notary from allowing another person to use the online Notary’s electronic journal, electronic signature, or electronic seal.
  3. Requires an online Notary to attach the online Notary’s electronic signature and seal to the electronic notarial certificate of an electronic document in a manner that is capable of independent verification and that renders any subsequent change or modification to the electronic document evident.
  4. Requires online Notaries to use remote online notary service providers to facilitate their performance of online notarization.
  5. Requires remote online service providers utilized by the online Notaries to comply with the standards and requirements pursuant to Section 117.295, F.S., and utilize tamper-evident technologies.
Analysis:

The Florida Department of State has published administrative rules that cover registering for and performing remote online notarizations (RON). The rules specify the information required in a registration, how a registration is to be submitted to the Department, and the duration and renewal of registrations. The rules also require an online Notary to secure the Notary's electronic signature, electronic seal and electronic journal, to attach the online Notary's electronic signature and seal to an electronic notarial certificate in a manner that allows it to be independently verifiable and tamper-evident, and to only use online notary service providers in perfomring RONs.

Read the text of the administrative rule.

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