With the onset of technology, many aspects of life have changed.
However, the Florida notary public codes of ethics and obligations have remained steadfast through the years. Furthermore, the fundamentals of the job have not changed.
The core of the position is still to fight against identity theft. This role has only increased its value to society in recent years, you could argue, as technology’s place in society rises.
The prominent role of the notary public centers around knowing the identity of the signer, having the person present for the signing and knowing the signer is not being coerced or under duress.
Technology has had its impact, leaving many notaries to wonder if completing the notarial act via skype or online video chat is acceptable.
No, it is not acceptable in Florida. To properly identify someone, the individual needs to be physically present for the signing. He or she must present you one of the forms of identification that Florida has approved (i.e. driver’s license, passport). You can find a full list of those approved items in your Florida Notary Handbook. Even if you know the individual, and can identify them based on personal knowledge or they are being identified through a credible witness, any online video is not an acceptable medium to complete a notarial act.
A notarial act completed via online video chat will NOT be upheld.
Using Facetime with the individual, calling, send picture texts, or any form of these communications is not acceptable.
Simply arrange a time and place to meet someone who needs a notarial act. Too many of the components of ensuring you are completing a notarial act correctly hinge on having the person physically present, and it is illegal to complete an act otherwise.