Remote Online Notary (RON) Privacy Concerns

Florida Remote Online Notary

Is the Privacy of My Documents Assured?

Sometimes we’re asked if the documents our customers upload for online notarization will be kept private and secure.  It’s certainly a valid concern and a good question.

Here are some typical remarks and questions from customers who inquire about the privacy of RON:

“My documents are extremely sensitive, and I don’t want to upload them on the Internet.” 

“It says on your website that I must have a social security number.  Why?”

“What does my credit report have to do with you notarizing my document?”

“Please send us your Non Disclosure Agreement, or we can’t do business with you.”

“How do I know that my personal information will always be safe?

“Why do I have to provide a picture of my driver license?”

“This is ridiculous.”

Here Are Some Answers

If your documents are a matter of national security, or they are so private that you cannot risk a stranger seeing them, then don’t send them to a stranger.

Although we are duly commissioned, bonded, and insured online notaries who abide by the highest standards of professional conduct, we are probably strangers to you.  Online notarization, and actually traditional in-person notarizations too, for that matter, are probably not for you.  Any traditional, in-person notary public who performs their duties diligently, should carefully examine your driver license, record your address, and browse through your documents to become familiar with what they are being asked to notarize.  Notaries are trained to spot such things as unexplained “blank spaces”, and to make sure that the notarial language on the document complies with Florida law.  A notary public’s primary duty is to identify the signer and mitigate fraud by being alert and thorough.

Non-Disclosure Agreements

We’ve had attorneys ask us to sign, “non-disclosure agreements (NDA).”  We will not do that.  Read the paragraph above, and use your in-house notaries that you are comfortable with.  How many times have you ever asked a traditional notary public to sign an NDA?

Florida Law and Electronic Identity Verification

Most other concerns about RON privacy arise because customers aren’t familiar with the laws of the State of Florida concerning remote online notarization (RON).  The Florida notary law is strict and unambiguous.   Any candidate for online notarization must pass a two-step identity verification process.  This step is outsourced by our RON technology provider, DocVerify, to Lexus-Nexus, which uses industry standard technology to satisfy Florida’s requirements.  The ID verification process requires that you upload pictures of the front and back of your driver license and one your face (a selfie).  You will be asked to provide the last 4-digits of your social security number and a working cellular phone number from a working U.S. based carrier in order to generate the required 5-question Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) quiz.  These questions are generated using information from your U.S. credit history.  They don’t “pull your credit”, but you have to have a credit history to use RON.   Because of this, children will not pass, and anyone with less than 4-5 years of credit history is unlikely to pass.  If the process just described is unacceptable to you, don’t use remote online notarization.

Our Technology

So far we’ve talked about the technology used by DocVerify and Lexus-Nexus.  We often get some questions about the technology we use for our in-house operations.

Your remote online notarization journey with Florida Document Specialists begins when you upload a document through our secure portal.  Our intake portal is hosted by Formsite.  Formsite is the industry standard for online form management and is used by some of the largest companies in the world.  Once uploaded to Formsite, your documents are electronically sent to our office via email.  We use  Microsoft Exchange servers for email, which provides a level of security and encryption.  The documents are then transferred onto the Windows PC workstation of the online notary handling your project.  The RON notary will inspect your documents for completeness and  proper notarial language before uploading them to the DocVerify platform.  Once your documents are notarized, DocVerify provides you with a secure download link.  As you can see, there are various steps in the process.   We believe that our online notary solution is as secure as any, but no one can guarantee that your documents will never be accidentally compromised.  If your document(s) contain information so sensitive that using online notarization causes you undue concern, you probably shouldn’t use RON.

Would you Recommend your RON Services to a Friend or Family Member?

Yes.  Without hesitation.

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