On the heels of Indiana, Florida has become the second state this year to pass a remote notarization bill, empowering any Florida-based notary public to perform notarizations entirely online. The bill is now headed to Florida Governor Rick Scott’s desk to be signed into law. We’re thrilled to welcome Florida notaries to the Notarize platform and are thankful to our partners and the strong coalition that helped get this legislation passed.
The Sunshine State follows in the footsteps of Virginia, Texas, Nevada, and Indiana by enabling its notaries to conduct online notarizations for citizens of all 50 states, when and where they want, regardless of where they’re located at the time of signing (at home or abroad). Similar to the legislation passed in those states, the Florida law follows the operating model that Virginia originally enabled and Notarize helped pioneer and evangelize.
Thousands of Florida citizens have already saved time and money using Notarize for documents relating to Florida interests, including real estate transactions with Westcor Title. Now, Florida-based notaries will be able to serve their customers entirely online. Leading up to this day, we’ve been proactive in building our platform with Florida notaries in mind, including the recent launch of Witness Support, a requirement applicable to Florida property transactions. Today’s legislation marks the final step, enabling Florida notaries to serve people online starting next year.
[quote from bill sponsor]
While Notarize has been successful in changing several laws across the country, we’re particularly proud of this milestone in Florida.
Florida is the fourth most populous state in the country and one of the most important real estate markets nationwide. It is a market the housing, finance, and legal communities care deeply about. This legislation would not have passed without a broad basis of support. We’re extremely thankful to NAR, MBA, ALTA, the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law section of the Florida Bar Association, the Florida Land Title Association, and countless others who spent more than six months to get this right for industry and consumers in Florida.
When we launched our product just two years ago, online notarization was perceived to be “less than” its traditional, paper alternative. In fact, several national organizations strongly opposed the concept of notarizing documents and executing mortgage transactions online. We realized the benefits of online notarization for both businesses and consumers were still unclear to many, so we set out to educate the market and build strong partnerships to make this a reality.
Since that time, Notarize has built a coalition that recognizes online notarization to be a more safe, verifiable, and convenient means for people to execute the most important transactions of their lives. Many of the organizations that originally resisted the concept now explicitly support it.
Texas was the watershed moment last year where Notarize and several key organizations agreed to the core principles for legislation governing online notarizations. The Texas bill was approved last May with Nevada enacting its own bill soon after. Just last week Indiana also passed a bill, being the first state to do so in 2018. This year, the Mortgage Bankers Association and American Land Title Association have adopted that Texas bill we helped to create as model legislation. The National Association of Secretaries of State, of whom we traveled to meet with nearly forty members across the country, recently adopted standards for online notarization. The National Association of Realtors, which made a strategic investment in Notarize, has supported legislation alongside us. In short, as organizations have studied online notarization, they’ve come to support it and are now pushing for its adoption.
Beyond these national organizations, we’re proud to have significant support from the Florida real estate community specifically. Many of our partners traveled to Tallahassee to testify in support of this legislation and we can’t thank them enough for their time and dedication to moving the industry forward.
Notarize continues to lead on these issues. As legislation spreads so does the adoption of online notarization in the real estate, insurance, finance, and other industries. We’re now focused on supporting adoption industry-wide as we Chair MBA’s MISMO Online Mortgage Standards Committee to set technical standards for the mortgage industry at large.
“Notarize enables real estate professionals to focus on their clients with greater attention and efficiency, providing a superior technology that automates a variety of complex processes. A faster, more secure closing reduces stress and improves the overall experience, and we believe Notarize is the company that will make this a reality for agents across the country.” - Bob Goldberg, CEO of National Association of REALTORS
“I’ve been in the title business my entire life and am proud to have built the largest conglomerate of title agencies in Florida. In serving this industry for over 20 years, we’ve seen lots of change, new software, improved technology, and continual process improvement. Notarize is revolutionary in its approach and is the first true game changer I’ve seen in our industry in decades. I’ve been vocal in my support since I met the Notarize team more than a year ago, and was honored to testify in Tallahassee to explain how online closings will transform the real estate industry to benefit the consumers we all serve. Notarize has led the push to bring this concept to market and has built a strong coalition of support here in Florida. Our clients love the convenience of closing online and I’m thrilled the Florida legislature passed this bill today.” - Aaron Davis, CEO of Florida Agency Network
Whether you’re an organization looking to serve your customers online or an individual attempting to execute one of the most important transactions of your life, we’re dedicated to serving you with the best tools possible.
We’ll see you in the Sunshine state!