Why is the use of biometrics growing in popularity amongst online notaries?

May 24, 2023

To understand why Florida Online Notaries are using biometrics to conduct their remote notarization over KBA (“Knowledge Based Authentication”), we first need to understand the difference between them.

As a reminder, there are up to three (3) acceptable screening processes used for the identification of individuals seeking a remote notarization by a Florida Notary Public pursuant to Chapter 117 Section 265 – 2022 Florida Statutes – The Florida Senate (flsenate.gov). The acceptable identity screening processes are (1) Personal knowledge; (2) KBA; (3) Another method that meets the standards of the Florida Statutes. Under Chapter 117 Section 201 – 2022 Florida Statutes – The Florida Senate (flsenate.gov), “another method” can also mean biometric verification.

Biometrics can be the use of fingerprints, facial patterns, voice or typing cadence to digitally identify a person to grant access to systems for security purposes.  The most common form of Biometrics utilized by RON platforms is facial recognition to match the signers face to their identification photo.

KBA is a verification method that contains four (4) main components as follows:

Credential analysis of the signer’s photo identification;

The Social Security Number of the signer;

A series of questions going as far back as thirty (30) years and must be answered within two (2) minutes; and

Adoption of an electronic signature.

Biometrics is perceived as an easier method than KBA because signers only have a two-step process, which is taking a photo of themselves and their identification, which seems simple. 

Another reason for the acceptance of biometrics is the ability to conduct an online verification that does not require a social security number. Therefore, non-U.S. Citizens can undergo a screening and be notarized remotely.

In conclusion, the growing popularity for biometrics is driven by signer need and notary demand.  Notaries want a screening process that is easy for their signers to complete and the ability to do as many signers as possible. Notaries can enlarge their client base using biometrics by providing an easier, more user-friendly identity verification process.

Written by: Genna Rubolino, FRP, General Manager

Florida Notary Public and Florida Online Notary

Guardian Ad Litem: 15th Judicial Circuit

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.