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'Specially Designated Nationals' On Federal Watch List

Notaries must be aware that the U.S. Department of Treasury prohibits certain foreign nationals from doing business with the U.S., and if one of them requests a notarization it must be refused.

These “Specially Designated Nationals” (SDNs) are flagged due to their suspected involvement in illegal, terrorist or other activities that threaten national security. Performing a notarization or other business service for one of them could result in fines or other civil penalties.

While state laws do not specifically require Notaries to check whether a signer is on the government’s SDN list, you should consult the list as a precaution. This is especially relevant for noncustomers who request a notarization, or signers who seek the services of mobile Notaries outside of a bank or business to avoid detection. The Treasury Department’s list of SDNs can be found online.

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