Information Center

Special Concerns - Paper Remote Online Notarization & Remote Ink Notarization

I heard some states allow notaries to watch signers sign over Zoom or FaceTime. Is that also allowed in Florida?

No.


Is it true that Old Republic has said that if an online notary affiliated with the issuing-agent uses the RON features built-into platforms by NotaryCam, Notarize, Pavaso/Pavaso Essential, SimplySecure, Signix, Nexsys or DocVerify, the online notary can watch the signer wet-sign the documents and, after the documents are shipped to the online notary, have them notarized and recorded in the usual manner? 

Yes. Unlike traditional RON signing sessions, where Old Republic Title and The Fund do not mandate the use of any particular RON service provider (so long as it meets Florida’s minimum standards), Old Republic and The Fund have designated those platform providers as approved for PRON signing sessions.

Is this the same as “RIN”?

No. Although these acronyms can be confusing and applied differently by the title underwriters, “RIN” implies the authorization, on an emergency basis, of notaries using Zoom, Facetime or such other non-RON platform to visually confirm the signer’s execution of instruments and then affix their notary seals later. This method is not permitted by Florida law and is not authorized by Old Republic Title and The Fund.


My buyer can’t meet in person with a notary and his lender is demanding that the loan documents be wet-signed. Can PRON help me?

Yes.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of RON has boomed and has proven very useful for execution of seller documents, e.g. deeds and affidavits. However, many lenders still insist that their loan package be ‘wet-signed’ i.e. signed by ink. This has resulted in frustrations for buyers-borrowers who are house-bound and cannot meet with a traditional notary.
 
In response to this circumstance, The Fund issued a bulletin, detailing a process that it has approved, called Paper Remote Online Notarization (“PRON”). Please review the bulletin for details, but the process involves an online notary affiliated with the issuing-agent utilizing an Old Republic Title-approved RON service provider to first ID credential and KBA-prove the signer (as per the traditional RON process); from there, it allows the online notary to watch the signer wet-sign the loan documents and take the signer’s acknowledgement, all while recording the signing session as per the usual RON process. The signer will then overnight the wet-signed loan documents to the online notary for the affixing of their signature and stamp/seal and recording in the traditional manner.
 
 


Wait. Didn’t I hear of an Emergency Order allowing for notaries to do something that they couldn’t do before the pandemic?

The order referred to allows for notaries to swear-in remotely based witnesses in judicial proceedings. It does not apply to real estate transactions.


What is PRON? How is it different than RON?

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of RON has boomed and has proven very useful for execution of seller documents, e.g. deeds and affidavits. However, many lenders still insist that their loan package be ‘wet-signed’ i.e. signed by ink. This has resulted in frustrations for buyers-borrowers who are house-bound and cannot meet with a traditional notary.
 
In response to this circumstance, The Fund issued a bulletin, detailing a process that it has approved, called Paper Remote Online Notarization (“PRON”). Please review the bulletin for details, but the process involves an online notary affiliated with the issuing-agent utilizing an Old Republic Title-approved RON service provider to first ID credential and KBA-prove the signer (as per the traditional RON process); from there, it allows the online notary to watch the signer wet-sign the loan documents and take the signer’s acknowledgement, all while recording the signing session as per the usual RON process. The signer will then overnight the wet-signed loan documents to the online notary for the affixing of their signature and stamp/seal and recording in the traditional manner.