February 4, 2022


Remote online notarization is the process of notarizing a document without having to be physically present in front of a notary public. Remote online notarization is made possible through the use of technology, such as video conferencing and email. Online authorized notaries in Florida are now able to utilize this for clients located anywhere in the country. 

Read on to learn more about Florida’s remote online notarization and how it has become even more important and prevalent during the pandemic situation.

What Is Remote Online Notary?

Remote Online Notary, also known as RON, is a service which is 100% virtual. From the online signatures to remote online notarization via webcam and microphone, there is no paper involvement whatsoever in the process. However, an individual has to be certified and trained in performing these public Florida notaries for the process to be considered legitimate. For this reason, RONs are a completely safe and scam-free procedure, which means that you are in good hands!

What Is Remote Online Notary?

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When Did The Florida Notarization First Set Its Way In The Modern World?

An announcement on January 1st, 2020, allowed Florida online notaries to opt for remote online notarizations by getting themselves registered.

As of now, this law is applicable in Florida. To get registered, there are a few steps that need to be taken. They include:

  • You must hold either a commission of deeds, a civil law Notary, or a traditional Notary.
  • A RON training course will have to be completed, along with passing an exam
  • You need to get a $25,000 surety bond, as well as an error and omissions (E&O) insurance policy worth the same amount.
  • Choosing a state-approved RON technology service provider and ensuring that you have a digital certificate, an electronic journal, and a seal compatible with that company's system is vital.

Lastly, once the steps above are complete, you will be required to mail the completed registration form to the Florida Department of State. This will incur a $10 fee and requires proof of your RON training, the bond and E&O policy undertaken, as well as the RON provider you have chosen.

Along with the requirements mentioned earlier, the individual must not be younger than 18 years of age. They must also not be involved in any fraudulent activities and must be legal residents of Florida to qualify for a Notarial act. 

Note: From January 1st, 2022, the registration process will also include an appointment or commission number.

What Training Is Required?

To pass, you must complete a Florida remote online notary training course and pass an exam which is usually two hours long. The course is very comprehensive and caters to covering all different subjects relating to a remote online notary service and technological requirements. 

In regards to the cost of the training program, the typical range is between $20 to $170. 

However, this will, of course, be dependent on the provider that you choose. For any questions or issues that may arise during your training, seek guidance from the online notary program offered by the National Notary Association for all legal citizens.

How Difficult Is The Exam?

The exam is not meant to be difficult, however, it is meant to make you an expert. Practice, speak to those who have passed the exam in the past, and study hard. If you have practiced well enough, and the education service provider you have chosen is reputable, you are in good hands to ace the exam!

Are There Specific Technological Tools Needed To Complete Online Notarization In Florida?

The advantage of the Florida Remote Online Notarization is that there is no additional investment needed. All that virtual notaries demand in Florida is a working computer or laptop, a webcam (it is great if it is already attached to the desktop), a microphone, and a secure internet connection. Visual and audio communication is also mandatory in performing a Florida notary service.

In addition to the above, no law in Florida restricts you from contracting with more than one RON technology provider. But, you do have to make sure to keep the Department of State in the loop of your selected vendors to avoid any complications later on.

Finally, do not forget to have an electronic seal, journal, and a digital certification with your electronic signature. 

Does The Florida Remote Online Notarization Need An E&O Policy?

An Errors and Omissions Insurance Policy is vital, and the standard amount is $25,000. If you already have an insurance policy, then the best course of action is to get in touch with the insurer and inquire whether you can increase your coverage. This will help you in meeting the Florida Remote Online Notarization requirements with ease, and you will also know whether your insurance policy already covers these kinds of commissions or not.

Is A Surety Bond Necessary?

All remote online notaries in Florida are to have a $25,000 surety bond. If, for instance, the existing Notary bond that you already have meets those requirements, then you should rejoice in knowing that there are no additional purchases required.

If you want to become an online Florida notary and have surety bonds less than $25,000, you need to increase the bond to complete your remote notary application.

Is A Remote Notarization Worth It?

If we compare the traditional notarization mechanisms with the online one, then yes, it is very valuable. You don't need to meet a notary in person which saves traveling time and costs. Currently, with the COVID-19 pandemic, this is safer as well. 

This also decreases your own personal time investment. Moreover, with the assistance of the RON company, you will be able to receive and complete the request for notarization immediately, after which you are free to do as you please.

Is A Remote Notarization Worth It?

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How Does The Remote Online Notarization Process Work In Florida?

The entire procedure is straightforward. Here is how the process works in seven simple steps:

  • The signer will appear before the online Notary Public with audio and visual aids in use.
  • The signer will log into the RON platform to display their dynamic knowledge.
  • Credentials showcasing no involvement in fraudulent activities will be given as proof.
  • Once the verification is done, the signer will meet with the Notary through a camera.
  • Traditional questions such as whether the signer is aware of what they are signing and their willingness to proceed further will be discussed.
  • All notarized documents will be checked.
  • The Notary will fill out the signer's electrical journal and save the audio-visual recording as proof that the transaction has taken place.

Note: The Florida Remote Online Notarization needs the physical presence of both parties in the State at the time the Notarial Act is being executed.

Additionally, as per recent announcements, remote Notaries will no longer be held accountable for keeping audio-visual records. Rather, the responsibility will lay with your RON provider.

What Are The Notarial Acts That Are Allowed To Be Performed Virtually?

The Florida Remote Online Notarization allows the following acts to be conducted virtually:

  • Undertaking an acknowledgment.
  • Affirming and administering an oath.
  • Executing any jurat.
  • Monitoring the observation of an electronic record.

How Long Will It Take For The Confirmation To Arrive?

The Florida Remote Online Notarization usually takes up to six weeks to confirm your registration.  

Another thing to note here is that the Notary commission online and your traditional Notary commission run concurrently. This means that both of them will expire on the same day. However, you can quickly get them renewed by re-applying.

By Becoming A Remote Online Notary, Will I Only Be Limited To Florida Residents?

Once you become an online notary, you will see a massive rise in your business. You won't only have the option of notarizing for residents in Florida, but for residents all over the country! You will be able to do it all as long as you are physically located in the state while conducting the notarization process.

The Bottom Line: Effortless And Secure!

In conclusion, the Florida Remote Online Notarization is a step in the right direction. This has made it exceptionally easier to get notarizations done without resorting to traditional methods. 

In a nutshell, the Online Notarization being performed in Florida saves one a great deal of time, money and is very useful. All you need to do is follow the steps mentioned above, and you will be on your way to commencing your Online Notary journey!

About the Author

As a native Washingtonian, Carlos Reyes’ journey in the real estate industry began more than 15 years ago when he started an online real estate company. Since then, he’s helped more than 700 individuals and families as a real estate broker achieve their real estate goals across Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.

Carlos now helps real estate agents grow their business by teaching business fundamentals, execution, and leadership.

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