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Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize For Non-U.S. Citizens?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesAre Notaries required to only serve signers who are U.S. citizens, or are we allowed to notarize for foreign signers?

As a Notary, your role is to serve the public, including any member of the general public or foreign-born individual who requests a lawful notarization be performed. In other words, you mustn’t turn away a client based upon his or her nationality.

Notaries exist in every country, and are, in fact, trusted by foreign visitors to help process paperwork that is often critically important in their lives. Only when an illegal or unauthorized notarial act is requested – as when a signer is unable to produce identification that satisfies the Notary laws – is a Notary justified in refusing to serve a non-native.

 

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) 876-0827Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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Alicia Khoo

11 Sep 2014

What do you do when the parents of a child ask you to notarize signatures for documents for travel stating they are the parents of a 3 year old, but they do not have a birth certificate?

National Notary Association

24 Sep 2014

Hello Alicia, thanks for contacting us. We forwarded your question to our Hotline Team and here's their response: "Yes, the parents can have their signatures notarized for documents for travel. A Notary Public has the duty to screen signers for their true identity, their willingness to sign without duress and act as an impartial witness. It is not the Notary's duty to verify that they are the parents."

Nora

10 Sep 2014

I'm Los Angeles, California notary and i have a lot a client from mexico, latin america can I accept like identification Mexican Consular card or mexican passport?

National Notary Association

18 Sep 2014

Hello Nora, Thank you for your question. Matricula Consular or Mexican consular ID cards are not acceptable forms of signer identification for notarizations in California. A foreign passport may be accepted as signer ID provided that the passport has been stamped by US Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Civil Code, Section 1185)

Betty Swammy

10 Sep 2014

I am a notary in the Nation's Capital and there are many foreigners or non US citizens that reside here in Washington DC. As long as that person before me provides me with the proper identification that satisfies the DC Laws I will perform the notarial act for them.

Deborah Bethley

09 Sep 2014

I do enjoy the question and answer email. Just wondering how to get started in being a notary in the state of Florida

National Notary Association

10 Sep 2014

Hello Deborah, we're glad you find our Hotline Tips helpful. Here's a link from the Florida governor's website with information on becoming a Florida Notary Public: http://www.flgov.com/notary_how_to. If you'd like additional assistance with becoming a Florida Notary, you can also purchase your Notary tools and apply for your commission through an NNA package. If you'd like more information, please contact our Customer service department at 1-800-876-6827 or CustomerService@NationalNotary.org, or visit us online at http://www.nationalnotary.org/florida/become-a-notary.

Irma

09 Sep 2014

My state requires a USA ID. How can I satisfy the ID REQUIREMENT for a foreign signor

National Notary Association

10 Sep 2014

Hello Irma. Regardless of the signer's country of origin, the signer would need to provide you with proof of identity that satisfies the requirements in your state. Since every state's rules are different, if you'd like, please contact our Hotline team at hotline@nationalnotary.org or our Communications team at social@nationalnotary.org and let us know what state you're commissioned in, and we'll be happy to answer your question in more detail. Have a great day.

Florenta Caprer

09 Sep 2014

This question should be clarified. When you say non-US citizens do you mean immigrants not US citizens yet, tourists, illegal immigrants, etc that are in US at the time of notarization? Is the document in English? can anyone clarify the questions above?

National Notary Association

10 Sep 2014

Hello Florenta, thank you for your question. As stated in the answer above, the signer's status as citizen or non-citizen doesn't matter, provided the signer's request is lawful in your state or territory and all other requirements for notarization-such as proof of identity-are met. Regarding your question about foreign language documents, we will be posting an article addressing this topic very soon; please keep watching the Bulletin for updates.

Wayne Brunelle

09 Sep 2014

what if the document is in a foreign language that the notary cannot read?

National Notary Association

10 Sep 2014

Hello Wayne, thanks for your question. We will be posting an article addressing the topic of documents in a language the Notary cannot read very soon; please keep watching the Bulletin for updates.

Jessica Barrett

09 Sep 2014

Don't you have to have a valid drivers license from the country they are from?

National Notary Association

10 Sep 2014

Hello Jessica, thanks for your question. Any signer-regardless of nationality-would need to provide satisfactory proof of identity that meets the statutory requirements of the state or territory you're commissioned in.

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