August 14, 2020
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CS/HB 1305

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to notaries public; creating s. 117.021,
3F.S.; authorizing electronic notarization; requiring
4electronic signatures to include certain information;
5providing requirements for the use of a notary public seal
6with electronic signatures; providing that failure to
7comply with such requirements may result in specified
8sanctions against the notary public; authorizing the
9Department of State to adopt rules to ensure the security,
10reliability, and uniformity of the signatures and seals;
11providing an effective date.
13     WHEREAS, notaries public are among the longest serving
14public officials in the United States, and
15     WHEREAS, in Florida, notaries public are commissioned and
16regulated by the Executive Office of the Governor, and
17     WHEREAS, notaries public are the time-tested defense
18against identity fraud, mortgage fraud, and other kinds of fraud
19that represent a threat to a healthy economy, and
20     WHEREAS, notaries public provide a disinterested third-
21party witness in a broad spectrum of transactions, ensuring
22credibility and reliability to signatures on documents vital to
23our economy, and
24     WHEREAS, a notary public's signature and seal is vital to
25the authenticity and integrity of notarized documents, and
26     WHEREAS, the advent of electronic notarization demands that
27the issues of security and identity in the electronic
28notarization process be subject to accountability and uniform
29standards so as to foster public trust and protect consumers,
31     WHEREAS, to ensure that electronic notarizations enjoy the
32same level of credibility as paper-based notarizations, it is
33imperative that appropriate, substantive, secure, and uniform
34standards and procedures be adopted, and
35     WHEREAS, the absence of uniform standards represents a
36hindrance to the adoption of technologically available
37electronic notarization systems, NOW, THEREFORE,
39Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
41     Section 1.  Section 117.021, Florida Statutes, is created
42to read:
43     117.021  Electronic notarization.--
44     (1)  Any document requiring notarization may be notarized
45electronically. The provisions of ss. 117.01, 117.03, 117.04,
46117.05(1)-(11), (13), and (14), 117.105, and 117.107 apply to
47all notarizations under this section.
48     (2)  In performing an electronic notarial act, a notary
49public shall use an electronic signature that is:
50     (a)  Unique to the notary public;
51     (b)  Capable of independent verification;
52     (c)  Retained under the notary public's sole control; and
53     (d)  Attached to or logically associated with the
54electronic document in a manner that any subsequent alteration
55to the electronic document displays evidence of the alteration.
56     (3)  When a signature is required to be accompanied by a
57notary public seal, the requirement is satisfied when the
58electronic signature of the notary public contains all of the
59following seal information:
60     (a)  The full name of the notary public exactly as provided
61on the notary public's application for commission;
62     (b)  The words "Notary Public State of Florida";
63     (c)  The date of expiration of the commission of the notary
64public; and
65     (d)  The notary public's commission number.
66     (4)  Failure of a notary public to comply with any of the
67requirements of this section may constitute grounds for
68suspension of the notary public's commission by the Executive
69Office of the Governor.
70     (5)  The Department of State may adopt rules to ensure the
71security, reliability, and uniformity of signatures and seals
72authorized in this section.
73     Section 2.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2008.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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