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Notary Bulletin

'Federal' Seals Often Acceptable

State Notary regulating officials and some Notaries report coming across documents bearing “Federal Notary” seals. While these notarizations may appear dubious, they may well be perfectly legal — if they are performed by military Notaries.

Federal law and most states authorize certain individuals serving with or working for the U.S. Armed Forces to perform notarizations for military personnel and their dependents anywhere in the world. Military Notaries can include commissioned officers, enlisted paralegals, judge advocates or civilian lawyers working as legal assistance attorneys and licensed to practice law in the United States.

Federal law does not require military Notaries to use a seal. Their signature and title alone is sufficient. However the military recommends use of a seal because it enhances the acceptability of a notarized document. If a seal is used, it should contain a reference to the federal statute regarding military Notaries: Title 10 U.S.C. 1044a.

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Jennifer Fried

08 Oct 2014

I work for a insurance defense law firm in New York City and our paralegal has no affiliation with any U.S. Military branch, was never in the U.S. military or affiliated with any U.S. embassy or consulate.

National Notary Association

09 Oct 2014

Hello Jennifer, We're not familiar with a U.S. government-issued Notary commission in the state of New York that matches the "federal Notary" commission described by the paralegal. Notary Public commissions in New York are issued by the state and have statewide jurisdiction only. However, if the paralegal can provide what section of U.S. Code or federal regulations he is commissioned under we would be happy to look into it.

Jennifer Fried

07 Oct 2014

Is there such a thing as a Federal Notary?? Please advise in that my office para just informed me that he is a Federal Notary and he just notarized my sign.

National Notary Association

07 Oct 2014

Hello Jennifer, To help us answer your question, can you please tell us where your office is located? Also, do you work on a U.S. military base or at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and is the paralegal a serving member of the U.S. military or consular or embassy employee? Thanks-please let us know and we will try to assist you.

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