Florida has new notary laws that went into effect January 1, 2020. Remote notarization is now permitted.  A notary will no longer have to physically (in person) witness the person sign the instrument requiring notarization, but instead notarization can be done through a video feed and record.

There are certain criteria that must be met to use the new remote notarization process. First, a remote notary must complete a two-hour training course, post a $25,000 bond, and obtain $25,000 of errors and omissions insurance coverage. Then, there are various technology requirements for notarizing an instrument via remote connection.

In addition to allowing remote notarization, the new notary laws in Florida Statute §117.05 requires revisions to the form of the notary block on instruments and affidavits. These changes are mandatory on all forms – not just forms that are electronically notarized.

An instrument with acknowledgement by its principal in their individual capacity should state the following:

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me, by means of ☐ physical presence or ☐ online notarization, this ____ day of _______, __(year), by __________ …….

An instrument requiring an oath or affirmation should state the following:

Sworn to (or affirmed) and subscribed before me by means of ☐ physical presence or ☐ online notarization, this ____ day of _______, __(year), by __________ ……

All other portions of the notarization block remain unchanged. Documents that fail to include this language as of January 1, 2020 may result in the document being rejected for purposes of recording.