Florida is at the forefront of a new pilot program aimed at protecting residents from property fraud.
The new program went into effect on July 1, 2023 after unanimously passing both Florida legislative chambers and Governor Ron DeSantis signing into law, HB 1419.
The new prevention program requires anyone recording a deed in their county clerk’s office to show a government-issued photo ID. The law gives the clerk in each county the ability to reject deeds that are not vetted with a government-issued ID. This is the first prong of a two-pronged approach to prevent criminals from filing a deed or other document and to steal your property.
The other new program is a requirement for all county clerks in Florida to implement a free recording notification service (“RNS”) program in their county no later than July 1, 2024. This initiative aims to provide residents and businesses with fraud protection for their property and official records documents, addressing the growing concern and incidences of fraudulent transactions.
Property owners can sign up for these RNS services on their respective clerk’s websites once they are officially rolled out. During registration, owners must provide their name, date of birth, property parcel number or address, and an active email address. For those unaware of their parcel number, this information can be found on the property appraiser’s website for their county.
Once registered, property owners can rely on the RNS service to continuously monitor their property for any changes, including alterations to the owner’s name, mailing address, exemption or agricultural classification status, and parcel splits or combinations. The clerk’s office will send automated email notifications only if any changes are detected in these areas. If the changes are legitimate and initiated by the owner, no further action is needed. However, if the owner did not authorize these changes, they are encouraged to contact the office immediately for verification.
The RNS service is not a replacement for a title search. Ownership records are updated based on deeds recorded with the county clerk in their respective county. Property owners who sign up for the RNS service will continue to receive notifications until they decide to unsubscribe or sell the property they have registered for monitoring.
For more information on whether your county offers this service yet you can reach out to the clerk’s office or property appraiser’s office in the county where your property is located and request that information.
Broward County and Palm Beach County’s notification service are located here:
Below is a link to a list of counties in Florida that provide Property Alert Services, the type of alert, and a direct link to sign up.