Should law firms offer in house online notarization or outsource?

December 7, 2022

Many law firms are experiencing a high demand for online signings, such as prenuptial agreements, marital settlement agreements, and estate planning documents. Most of online signing requests by signers are for documents that require remote online notarization (“RON”) and, in some cases, require witnesses’ signatures. Law firms are eager to accommodate their clients’ needs for RON. However, is RON something that law firms should be offering and having their legal team do or should RON be performed by an experienced vendor?

To understand what works best for your firm and your signers, I recommend the following considerations when deciding if your office has the capability to provide RON in-house:

  • Education.  It is vital the person you select to perform RONs has a strong understanding of the RON laws found in Chapter 117 of the Florida Statutes. For example, not all documents are created equally in accordance with Florida Law.  Estate planning documents have a separate set of procedures and not all platforms used to conduct RON accommodate those procedures which can lead to a document not being valid.  For CLE or non-CLE education opportunities, please visit
  • Billing.  Chapter 117 has been modified to include updates to fees charged for a RON, which became effective January 1, 2022.  Will your firm be selecting an individual who bills for their time to conduct a RON? How will valuable billable team members providing RON affect the firm’s productivity?
  • Productivity.  RON may appear to be a simpler more effective way to get documents notarized but RON can be time consuming.
    • For example, preparing documents for electronic signing using a mandatory RON third party provider may take up to an hour depending on the complexity of the document(s). 
    • Additionally, each signer who is not personally known to the Florida Notary Public must undergo a mandatory online identity screening process, which can be time consuming for the notary assisting the signer with that process.
    • Lastly, each notary is required to ensure the recording of the RON includes specific language, which takes more time than a signer simply clicking a button to sign.
  • Liability.  Most firms do not consider the consequences of a RON being improperly completed online or not stored in accordance with the RON laws.
  • Storage.  When documents are notarized online, the original document is electronic in accordance with Florida Law.  Therefore, there needs to be a storage method for these electronic originals online and back up method.
  • Costs. RON requires a RON third party service provider, which typically charges annually per notary and then per notarization fees also apply. 

In conclusion, it may be more cost efficient and practical for firms to consider outsourcing RON for their clients needs. Especially when places like us provide monthly packages for firms and/or businesses.

Written by: Genna Rubolino, CP, FRP, General Manager

Certified Paralegal, Florida Registered Paralegal

Florida Notary Public and Florida Online Notary

Palm Beach County Florida Guardian Ad Litem Volunteer

Please note that I, as the author of this article, am not a licensed attorney and as such cannot offer legal advice. No content of this article/blog post is intended as, nor should it be construed as legal advice.