Essential Document Notarizations During The COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 vs Remote Online Notarizations
UPDATE: As of July 30, 2020, we have discontinued Remote Online Notarizations due to inefficiency of cost.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created the need for social distancing, which hinders the process necessary to execute and notarize legal documents, a procedure in which people gather in close proximity, present identification, sign printed pages, and pass them between one another – potentially along with the coronavirus. How can we prevent this from happening? Switch to Remote Online Notarizations.
How Remote Online Notarizations Work
State-approved platforms use audio-video and other necessary technologies to facilitate every aspect of a document signing, while maintaining privacy and security during a Remote Online Notarization.
Though signers will have to accept some change to get documents notarized online, the high-tech aspect works mostly behind the scenes, and for non-tech-savvy folks, all efforts have been made to make the process as simple as possible.
What To Expect During A Remote Online Notarization
First of all, you’ll need adequate Internet connectivity for audio-video transmission. You’ll need a device with a webcam, speakers, and microphone, and be able to input text and make onscreen selections.
During an online session, each signer will need to pass ID verification in the form of KBA (Knowledge Based Authentication), in which they must correctly answer 80% of the questions presented in order to prove their identity.
Also, during the Remote Online Notarization process, the signer will receive a notification requesting them to:
- Capture their ID (using a camera on a computer or other device)
- Capture their face (using a camera on a computer or other device)
- Adopt their signature for digital signing
- Connect with the Notary using a webcam on their computer or other device
Doing Business During COVID-19
Sometimes signings are arranged by Real Estate Agents, Title Companies, Banks, and so on, and that business entity may want you to come to their office to execute documents. During the best of times, that can be inconvenient and is the reason Mobile Notaries exist in the first place — we travel to you, so you don’t have to travel to them.
As in the pre-COVID-19 world, you have choices about where you want to execute your documents. Now the issue isn’t just about time and travel, it’s about safety and peace of mind.
Remote Online Notarizations were in the works in Florida before the coronavirus appeared, but in my opinion, they are the best-practice solution for people who want to complete their business matters while staying safe.
The Cost of Doing Business In A Pandemic
Since there is no travel involved for the Notary doing an Online Notarization, there is no travel fee. But the Notary will have to do some admin tasks on your behalf to facilitate the signing, so there may be a fee for that. Florida Statutes set the fee for Remote Online Notarizations at $25 for each notarial act, which is to say, for each stamp. However, some platforms allow multiple documents to be combined into packets, which brings down the cost for the Notary and ultimately for you.
It’s Your Choice
Just as in life before COVID-19, you’ll have to weigh convenience against cost when getting your documents notarized. Now, you’ll also need to factor in safety against the virus.
Get more information about Remote Online Notarizations
The information above is not legal advice and should not be taken as such.