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We're Going Techie: Electronic Notarization

Electronic Notarization, also referred as eNotarization, is a notary public’s way of keeping up with our technological age. The electronic notarizations are not about the technology, though—they encompass the same basics as a traditional notarization. The responsibilities and requirements of the notary public have not changed. electronic-not A notary public is still required to have the presence of the signer when the notarial act is performed, the proper identification is presented, the document is complete and satisfactory for a notarial act (i.e. no blanks, the county and venue are correct, the wording of the act matches what the signer asked you to perform), establish the signer fully understands the contents of the document and what they are signing, perform the notarial act and complete the notarial certificate. Although, the fundamentals of the notarial act are the same, there will be some differences with eNotarization. The main differences are: • Digital document • No official seal is required • Different forms of a signature will be used Obviously, with the electronic notarization you will no longer have a paper document in front of you, but a digital format of it. The state of Florida does not require an official seal to be applied to the document. The information included in your notary seal is required to still be present on the document, though. The words “Notary Public- State of Florida,” the notary public’s commissioned name, the expiration date of your commission, your commission number must be written into the document. This information is usually placed under the notary’s signature on the notarial certificate. The different forms of the signature allowed are: The signer may • Type in their name • Sign on a stylus pad that will digitize their signature • Attaching a graphics file • Attaching a recording of a sound • Signing with a software program to attach a digital signature Florida law allows characters, sounds, letters, and symbols to be used as a person’s signature. The signer must stipulate they would like this to be used as their signature. Once, you have established the signer’s signature, they may sign and the notarial certificate would be applied, with the notary public’s commission information typed below it. Electronic notarizations do not change the responsibilities of the notary public, and those core ethics must always be at the forefront. Florida is not the only state allowing the use of electronic notarization, other states are now permitting them as well: South Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Iowa, Connecticut, Virginia, North Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Nevada, Delaware, North Carolina, Kansas, and Colorado. This particular blog pertains to state of Florida policies, for information on other states please visit their Secretary of State’s website. Each state varies to what they allow a notary public to perform, please check with your state before proceeding.