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Notary Bulletin

Can I Notarize My Father’s Signature?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesMay I notarize my father’s signature as long as the document’s contents do not involve me? - M.B., North Kansas City, MO

Although not addressed in statute, the NNA and the Missouri Secretary of State recommend that a Notary not notarize for a spouse, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, child or grandchild because the financial affairs of family members are often intertwined. Such a notarization could be cause to challenge a document in court later on. Thus, it is always the safest practice to avoid even the appearance of a financial or beneficial interest and not notarize documents for immediate family (Missouri Notary Public Handbook, page 30).

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

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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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10 Dec 2014

I work for my brother, I have absolutely no financial interest or claim in the business. I have been notarizing his documents for years. I was told that as long as you don't have a financial interest you can notarize the documents. Was I advised correctly. Thank you in advance for your response!

National Notary Association

10 Dec 2014

Hello Kathy, Because state laws address this issue differently, in order to answer your question can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in? Thanks.

Susie Brown

29 Jul 2014


Mary Sellers

28 Jul 2014

So I need to set up a Business if I want to Notarize documents?

National Notary Association

28 Jul 2014

Hello Mary, thanks for your question! To notarize documents, a person must be commissioned as a Notary Public in your state or U.S. territory. More information about Notaries can be found here: Though many Notaries do offer services as self-employed business professionals, setting up a business is not a requirement to notarize documents. Many Notaries perform notarial services as part of other full-time employed positions or as part of volunteer or philanthropic work, for example. If you need any help or have questions about becoming a Notary, please visit and click "Become A Notary" or you can give our Customer Care team a call at 1-800-876-6827.

Maria D. Portugal

28 Jul 2014

I can notarize my daughter?

National Notary Association

28 Jul 2014

Hello Maria, Thanks for your question about whether you may notarize your daughter's signature. Please see our answer to Linda Cohen below for more information about notarizing for family members. If you need additional assistance, you can contact our Hotline counselors at or 888-876-0827. Have a great day!

Linda Cohen

28 Jul 2014

Can I notarize my husband's signature when he is a witness to a document that doesn't involve us...i.e..another person's will, not a relative in any way?

National Notary Association

28 Jul 2014

Hello Linda, thank you for your questions. Whether you can notarize your husband's signature depends on what state you are commissioned in-some states prohibit Notaries from notarizing for spouses or close relatives while others permit it. If you contact our Hotline counselors at or 888-876-0827 and let them know what state you're commissioned in, they can help answer your question.

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