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'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

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.

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.

Osama Beituni

07 Dec 2015

I live in orland hills illinois and need to know where to stamp my federal background check report with a federal notaryseal ?

National Notary Association

08 Dec 2015

Hello. You would need to contact the agency that issued the document for any instructions regarding what type of notarization they want for the document.


21 Jun 2016

Commissioned officers can act as notaries for purposes of military administration, per 10 USC 936 (Art 136, UCMJ). However, a more limited number of military personnel may perform any notarial service, per 10 USC 1044a.


15 Aug 2016

Can a military notary fix a mistake in the date of execution by a subsequent letter?

National Notary Association

18 Aug 2016

Hi Karen. We're sorry, but we would need to know more details about your situation before we could answer your question, such as what state you are located in, whether the mistake was in the notarial wording or the main body of the document, etc. If you can contact our Hotline team at and provide more details of your situation, they may be able to assist you further.

Jerry Gentry

20 Apr 2017

I am now located in Montana and have a federal suit going in Texas where I am permanent resident. Does a Texas Federal Court recognize a Montana notarized document? Thank you. Jerry

National Notary Association

20 Apr 2017

Hello Jerry. Your best course would be to contact the court where the document is being sent to ask them if they will accept the notarization, and if not, what alternatives they will accept instead.

Veronica M Gutierrez

25 Apr 2017

I'm a notary in the state of Texas. If a visa document ask for a federal notary...Can i notorize the document?

National Notary Association

25 Apr 2017

A Texas Notary is commissioned by the state, not by the federal government. The signer would have to contact the agency that issued the document or the receiving agency to ask if a Texas Notary may perform the notarization.


28 Oct 2017

I need a Federal Notary stamp for documents pertaining to the theft of Treasury bonds.Attempted to have service at Local Federal Court.Tbey did not have a notary.Tgree banks did not,either.They use automated stamp for cashing bonds . Please advise,where do I obtain.??

National Notary Association

30 Oct 2017

Hello. As mentioned in the article, military Notaries use federal seals. You may wish to contact the agency requesting the federal notarization and ask them what agencies they will accept a federal notarization from.


23 Mar 2018

Is there a federal list of military notaries with expired dates? I was able to verify a notary name and expiration date through several state directories, however, I'm having trouble verifying a military notary.

National Notary Association

23 Mar 2018

Hello. We're not aware of such a list, but you may be able to find some help through this page of U.S. military legal resources online:

Bernard King

18 May 2018

How do I become a federal or military notary. I have the info for the notary for my state,that’s no problem. I need info on the military and federal notary.

National Notary Association

18 May 2018

Hello. Federal or military Notary commissions are normally issued to military personnel such as commissioned officers, enlisted paralegals, judge advocates or to civilian lawyers working with the armed forces as legal assistance attorneys and licensed to practice law in the United States. These commissions are not normally issued to members of the general public by application.


31 Jul 2018

So my fianc� and i are trying to perform a proxy marriage and we need to notarize an affadavit of absence since he is in the Navy and lives in Italy. He had an affidavit notarized, and the US Navy officer used a notary number with no seal, but the supervisor at the court house wouldn’t accept it because it isn’t a raised seal... so my question is, SHOULD the supervisor had accepted the notarized document?

National Notary Association

01 Aug 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but we aren't able to answer this question since we don't have information on the specific courthouse's requirements for these documents. Our suggestion would be to contact the courthouse and ask if there is an alternative option you can submit to them.


30 Nov 2018

I am a military spouse. My husband is stationed in TN and I work in TN. However, we currently live right over the border in GA. TN has never been my residence. Is there an exemption or someway I can get a notary for TN?

National Notary Association

30 Nov 2018

Hello. If your principal place of business is in Tennessee, you are at least 18 years of age and either a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident of the U.S., you may apply for a TN Notary commission.


14 Feb 2019

Hello. I am an active duty military member but I am NOT working in the JAG/legal office. I am a Washington residence but currently reside overseas, am I able to become a notary public for Washington state? I am not sure if 10 U.S. Code � 1044a paragraph b section 5 applies to me.

National Notary Association

15 Feb 2019

Hello. Washington requires commission applicants to be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice within the state (RCW 42.45.200[2]). A Washington Notary commission would not permit you to notarize outside the state, so if you are residing overseas you would be unable to notarize unless you were physically located within Washington's borders.

Nikki Stresemann

28 Feb 2019

I work for Navitor Specialty Products and we produce stamps and embossers, can you clarify what the required information is on the seal? Also he is wanting the copy "Federal Notary", can I produce that copy without the "Public" included? (aka Federal Notary Public)

National Notary Association

01 Mar 2019

Hello. We're sorry, but this is not a question we can answer. Based on our knowledge, military Notaries with a federal commission are not required to use seals. The type of request you are describing is extremely rare and highly unusual, and not something that we specialize in. As you may know, people requesting Notary seals sometimes order a seal for fradulent purposes. As a result, you may wish to contact the U.S. Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps Office ( or your state's Notary-regulating agency for instructions how to proceed.


05 Mar 2019

Hello, I have a client who is currently deployed but is trying to buy a home with his wife here in the states. The husband who is deployed needs to sign a POA but does not believe he has access to any type of notary as he is not on a base, is this saying that any commanding officer has the rights to act as a notary for him?

National Notary Association

06 Mar 2019

Hello. No. While 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, commissioned military officers are not automatically Notaries.


10 Apr 2019

I am a military spouse. We are currently stations in GA, own property in GA, but I use MSRRA for residency in MI. My work needs me to become a Notary, but GA requires residency in GA or a border state. Will MSRRA allow me to get a Notary stamp for GA, or do I need to get one from MI and if so can I use it in GA?

National Notary Association

10 Apr 2019

Hello. You would not be able to use a Michigan commission in Georgia. We recommend you contact the state Notary Division at 1-404-327-6023 to ask if you qualify as a legal state resident for a Georgia Notary commission.

Angela Morgan

03 Feb 2020

Why do notaries under 10 U.S.C. 1044a have an expiration date of "indefinite"?.

National Notary Association

05 Feb 2020

Hello. As mentioned in the article, Federal or military Notary commissions are normally issued to military personnel such as commissioned officers, enlisted paralegals, judge advocates or to civilian lawyers working with the armed forces as legal assistance attorneys and licensed to practice law in the United States. These commissions are not normally issued to members of the general public by application, and differ from Notary commissions issued by state governments.

01 Jun 2020

Hello, I will be moving with my husband to a military base in Asia. What can I do to still provide notary services while living in Asia?

National Notary Association

02 Jun 2020

Hello. If you are commissioned through your state, you will not be able to perform Notary services while living abroad. If you have a federal or military commission, you would need to speak to the appropriate commissioning agency or legal department at your base to ask about offering notarial services.

Cindy Ballantyne

05 Jun 2020

My partner is serving in Syria at the moment and we need a POA signed. Who can we ask to do this, would his superior be in a position to sign it. Also what is the average cost to have a document signed by a Notary Public

National Notary Association

08 Jun 2020

Hello. If you require a notarization, there are a number of possible options you could look into, including the following: 1. Your partner could check if there is a military Notary available at the base where your partner is stationed. 2. Depending on the requirements of the document, your location and your partner's location, it may be possible to contact a Notary authorized to perform remote online notarization services and have the signature notarized remotely. However, before taking these steps, you should contact either the issuing or receiving agency or a qualified attorney to ask what the specific instructions and requirements for notarizing the document are.


13 Jun 2020

I am looking forward in becoming a notary in NYC. However, I am interested in being a military notary. How can I start the process?

National Notary Association

15 Jun 2020

Hello. Typically only serving members of the armed forces or civilian employees working at military bases can become military Notaries.


20 Oct 2020

Hello, I am an active duty military member and I love in Rhode Island. Can I become a notary in the state?

National Notary Association

21 Oct 2020

Hello. To qualify for a Rhode Island commission, you must be (a) 18 years of age; (b) a citizen or permanent resident of the United States; (c) a Rhode Island resident or have a place of employment or practice within the state; (d) able to read and write English; (e) not be disqualified for a commission under RIGL 42-30.1-16 and (f) demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the powers and duties of a Notary under RIGL Title 42, Chapter 30.1.


19 Feb 2022

Hi I’m a military spouse and my husband just got stationed in Virginia. Can I become a Virginia notary if I keep my Florida residency status?

National Notary Association

22 Mar 2022

To be a commissioned Notary in FL (and to maintain that commission) the law simply states that you must be a “legal resident” of Florida. It would be best to contact the Secretary of State's office to ask if you qualify as a “legal resident.”


14 Jun 2022

Hello, I am a Financial aid counselor for a school in Texas. I received a document that needed to be notarized from a military employee. The name on the document does not match the ID and I cannot read the stamp details of the notary public. Are the stamps issued by the federal government indefinite? They did not provide an expiration date on them.

National Notary Association

24 Jun 2022

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.


03 Jun 2023

Can any commissioned officer act as a notary? Or do they need to be specifically characterized as a military notary? And do they need to have a seal?

National Notary Association

05 Jun 2023

Hello. Please see here for more information:

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