Remote Online Notarizations
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, remote online notarizations, particularly in real estate is critical. Why? Because people must sell, refinance, and buy property. With mortgage rates approaching all-time lows, refinancing a home loan at a lower rate and payment may make the difference, especially now, to be able to keep the home.
But, how do documents get signed and notarized when we face stay at home orders?
Florida passed a law, effective, January 1, 2020 to allow for Remote Online Notarization (RON). RON is where a signer and notary public use audio and video communication to notarize a signer’s electronic signature on electronic documents. The signer appears before the notary public by means of the audio-video technology. This means that the notary and the signer see and hear each other via the computer but do not have to be in each other’s physical presence.
This is a huge game-changer in the State of Florida, particularly now. No longer do parties all have to get together at a certain set time around the conference room and execute documents. Now, from the comfort of your own home, provided that you have your own laptop or smart phone, you can execute documents online and remotely and have those documents notarized. While the technology is new, it is not that new. It is the same technology that is used to validate your passport or driver’s license when you go through security at an airport. This validation technology is now being used for remote online notarization (RON).
If, for example, you are in another state and are closing on real estate located in Florida, or, perhaps, you are in a profession (such as being a doctor and on call) that makes it difficult to attend a closing especially now, you can now remotely video into the closing and notarize your documents from the comfort wherever you might be. Documents are produced online for your review, and at the point that you are prepared to execute those documents, you can do so remotely. A notary is present at the time online, not physically with you, and that notary is then able to confirm and validate that you executed the documents without any duress or coercion.
Note that while remote online notarization, in theory, should work all over the world, it really is more of a domestic service for people within the United States. It is difficult for the technology, at this stage, to validate foreign credentials.
Our partners at Oppenheim Law are approved remote online notaries, and our sister company, Weston Title & Escrow, is leading the way with remote online closings today. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
Oppenheim Law | Remote Online Notarization
2500 Weston Rd #404
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331