2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title X PUBLIC OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND RECORDS
Chapter 117 NOTARIES PUBLIC
117.201 Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
(1) “Appear before,” “before,” or “in the presence of” means:
(a) In the physical presence of another person; or
(b) Outside of the physical presence of another person, but able to see, hear, and communicate with the person by means of audio-video communication technology.
(2) “Audio-video communication technology” means technology in compliance with applicable law which enables real-time, two-way communication using electronic means in which participants are able to see, hear, and communicate with one another.
(3) “Credential analysis” means a process or service, in compliance with applicable law, in which a third party aids a notary public in affirming the validity of a government-issued identification credential and data thereon through review of public or proprietary data sources.
(4) “Electronic,” “electronic record,” or “electronic signature” has the same meaning as provided in s. 668.50.
(5) “Errors and omissions insurance” means a type of insurance that provides coverage for potential errors or omissions in or relating to the notarial act and is maintained, as applicable, by the online notary public or his or her employer, or a Remote Online Notarization service provider.
(6) “Government-issued identification credential” means any approved credential for verifying identity under s. 117.05(5)(b)2. However, for an online notarization of a principal not located within the United States, a passport issued by a foreign government not including the stamp of the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services may be used as a government-issued identification credential to verify the principal’s identity.
(7) “Identity proofing” means a process or service in compliance with applicable law in which a third party affirms the identity of an individual through use of public or proprietary data sources, which may include by means of knowledge-based authentication or biometric verification.
(8) “Knowledge-based authentication” means a form of identity proofing based on a set of questions which pertain to an individual and are formulated from public or proprietary data sources.
(9) “Online notarization” means the performance of a notarial act using electronic means in which the principal or any witness appears before the notary public by means of audio-video communication technology.
(10) “Online notary public” means a notary public commissioned under part I of this chapter, a civil-law notary appointed under chapter 118, or a commissioner of deeds appointed under part IV of chapter 721, who has registered with the Department of State to perform online notarizations under this part.
(11) “Physical presence” means being in the same physical location as another person and close enough to see, hear, communicate with, and exchange credentials with that person.
(12) “Principal” means an individual whose electronic signature is acknowledged, witnessed, or attested to in an online notarization or who takes an oath or affirmation administered by the online notary public.
(13) “Record” means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form, including public records as defined in s. 119.011.
(14) “Remote Online Notarization service provider” or “RON service provider” means a person that provides audio-video communication technology and related processes, services, software, data storage, or other services to online notaries public for the purpose of directly facilitating their performance of online notarizations, in compliance with the requirements of this chapter and any rules adopted by the Department of State pursuant to s. 117.295.
(15) “Remote presentation” means transmission of an image of a government-issued identification credential that is of sufficient quality to enable the online notary public to identify the individual seeking the notary’s services and to perform credential analysis through audio-video communication technology.
1(16) “Witness,” when used as a noun, means an individual whose electronic signature is affixed to an electronic record to attest or subscribe to a principal’s signature on such record.
History.—s. 6, ch. 2019-71; s. 3, ch. 2021-137; s. 1, ch. 2021-205; s. 1, ch. 2023-215.
1Note.—Section 5, ch. 2023-215, provides that “[t]he amendment to s. 117.201, Florida Statutes, made by this act is intended to clarify existing law and applies retroactively to January 1, 2020.”