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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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.)

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