- February 11, 1992
- All Florida Stewart Offices and Agents
- Notaries and Acknowledgments
In the short period of time that the new Florida notary law has been in effect, that is, since January 1, 1992, we have already seen some glaring examples of poorly completed acknowledgments.
Please review my bulletin of December 31, 1991, and be sure that everyone in your office is familiar with all of the requirements of the new notary law and that they are complying with the law. I wish to bring some bad examples to your attention.
I recently saw an acknowledgment which said that the person whose signature was being acknowledged was"... personally known to me, or who has produced a Florida drivers license as identification..." This may actually technically comply with the requirements of the stature but it certainly is unacceptable to Stewart Title Guaranty Company. It does not tell us the basis of the notarization. If you know the individual, say so. If you rely on identification, tell us what identification you relied upon and be specific about it. If you rely on a Florida drivers license, recite the number right in the notarization and a photocopy of the drivers license must be found in your file on the occasion of an audit.
Another example was a notarization in which on the line indicating the kind of identification which was accepted the notary inserted a number "0277764". A number is not a form of identification. This may have been a drivers license but we really do not know. This notarization is not acceptable.
Stewart Title Guaranty Company policy is:
If you know the party that is signing and that is the basis of the acknowledgment, say so.
If the basis of the notarization is the acceptance of identification, state so and state the specific identification relied upon.
If rely on identification, it is an absolute must that a clear copy of the identification be maintained in your file.
In the case of a mailaway, require that the out-of-state notary attach to the document notarized, a copy of the identification used.
In all other ways the 1992 notary law is to be complied with in every particular.
THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.