On June 7, 2019, the Florida governor signed House Bill 409 into law. The bill allows Remote Online Notarization (RON), in Florida, starting January 1, 2020. With this bill, Florida joins Minnesota, Nevada, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia as the only states to allow remote online notarization.
What is Remote Online Notarization?
Unlike our customary closings where buyers, sellers, and Realtors all meet at a designated location to sign closing documents. Remote online notarization closings use electronic devices to not only electronically sign the final closing paperwork, but also allows the notary to “stamp” or notarize the signers’ signatures. In these closings, the borrower or seller (commonly referred to as a signer) and the notary are located in different physical locations. The identity of the signer is established with a two-way audio-video technology in addition to credential analysis.
In order to perform these closings, there are certain requirements that must be met for title insurance underwriters to insure and provide owner and lender title insurance policies.
No. 1: The notary must be licensed as a remote online notary in Florida. The Florida notary must be commissioned as a traditional notary public before becoming eligible for an appointment as a remote online notary.
No. 2: Location of the notary, signer and property. The location of the notary must be located within the borders of the state of Florida and the notary must verify the signer’s location at time of signing the documents. The property must be located within Florida as well.
No. 3: Consent must be given by all parties. All parties including the lender must approve and provide consent in writing to use remote online notarization and video recording of the same.
No. 4: Technology vendor must meet statutory requirements for identity proofing and credential analysis and electronic storage.
The remote online notarization recorded video must be stored and maintained by the notary or employer for at least 10 years.
No. 5: Electronic Recording must be accepted by the courthouse in which documents are to be recorded.
The county where the property is located and its jurisdiction (Abstract or Torrens) must accept electronic documents for recording. If not, the more traditional notary and closing process shall be utilized.
What does Remote Online Notarization means for closings?
RON removes barriers to complicated business deals by removing the logistical problems of closings and, properly communicated, can serve to lure investors from throughout the nation to Florida, driving growth and creating jobs.
As we move into this world where doc tagging becomes more automated and seamless, and where county recorders become fully familiar and comfortable with new technology developments, all participants in the process will gain confidence and it will steadily become more scalable and move into the mainstream for lender operations.
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