Florida law provides that a financial institution may open a safe-deposit box if the rental fee is past due, providing that proper notice has been made and that certain other conditions are met. A notary public is authorized and required to be present for the opening of the safe-deposit box, to inventory the contents of the vault, and to make an appropriate certificate of the opening. The notary is not required to estimate the value of the contents of the safe-deposit box.
As with other notarial acts, the maximum fee a notary may charge for performing the authorized duties at the opening of a safe-deposit box is $10.
The law authorizing notaries to perform this function became effective on July 3, 1992, and is found in section 655.94(1), Florida Statutes.
The notary must be present at the time the safe-deposit box is opened and may not be a director, officer, employee, or stockholder of the financial institution.
An officer of the institution must also be present with the notary at the opening of the safe-deposit box.