Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Can A Notary Act As Both Wedding Officiant And Witness?

What exactly is the responsibility of the Notary Public when it comes to performing a wedding, and what information should we supply on the certificate? Can the Notary who officiates the ceremony also act as one of the required witnesses? – S.M., Ormond Beach, FL

Florida is one of three states in which Notaries are authorized to officiate marriages — the other two states being Maine and South Carolina. The following information from the Florida Governor’s Handbook offers an overview of the role of the Notary Public in Florida wedding ceremonies. It also states that witnesses are not required; therefore, a Notary would not have to fulfill both roles.

“Certificate of Marriage [spaces 21-25]. The required information in this section must be completed in black ink by the person performing the ceremony - the Notary Public. You will certify the date and location of the marriage, and add your signature, name, title, and address as the person performing the ceremony. Your notary seal must also be affixed in space 23b. Witnesses are optional, and if included, they should sign in black ink in spaces 24-25.”

Check out the Notary information page on the Florida Secretary of State’s website for more information.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. — The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

(888) 876-0827

Monday through Friday:
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST

Saturdays: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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