How does an online notary authenticate the signer’s identity?

March 24, 2021

When requesting an online notarization, signers who are unknown to the notary are required to undergo an identity screening since the remote notary cannot authenticate the signer’s identification in person.  In Florida, there are two (2) acceptable types of identification screenings that a remote notary may use to authenticate the signer. 

  1. The most common type is a Knowledge Based Authentication also known as KBA. KBA is a form of identity proofing that includes a set of five (5) questions, which may include information obtained from an independent background check.  These questions provide you with a set of answers for each question.  Some of these questions may ask the signer to choose the hospital closest to their home or where he or she graduated from high school.  
  2. The other type is Biometric Verification, which is a broad term used to identity an individual by using his or her biological traits.  These traits may include, but are not limited to, a signer’s fingerprints or face screening to authenticate his or her identity.  This is identity proofing is frequently performed by using the signer’s phone number and prompting the signer to take a photo of his or herself or scan a fingerprint into software using a smart (touch screen) device. 

In addition to these identifications’ screenings, each signer must also provide a picture of his or her valid identification, a recent photo, telephone number, social security number and birthdate.  These screenings provide a more secure signing experience and help eliminate fraud.