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Hotline Tip: How To Notarize A Signature By Mark

Occasionally you may encounter an individual who is physically unable to write a signature. In these instances, it still may be possible to perform a notarization as long as the signer can make an ‘X’ or similar mark. This procedure is called signature by mark.

With two witnesses present, have the signer make the ‘X’ or similar mark on the document in place of a signature. The witnesses should not be relatives, or have any connection to the transaction. The witnesses then sign their names on the document, and one witness writes the signer’s name next to the mark.

Normal certificate wording is still used for the notarization. Only the signer’s name should be included in the certificate. The witnesses’ names and signatures should be included in your journal entry. You also should check your state law for any additional requirements.

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sherry teachnor

07 May 2015

thank you

Lourdes Gomez

24 Aug 2017

Can a Notary Pubic in Maryland notarize a signature of a person from another Country who is not present and another person presents the document to the Notary Public to have that absent person's signature notarized?

National Notary Association

25 Aug 2017

Hello. No, Maryland Notaries are not authorized to do this.

Philip Tumbaga

07 Feb 2019

Hello is a notary allowed to sign by proxy in New York for a person physically unable to sign or make a mark? And if so do you know under what statutory or similar authority they can do so?

National Notary Association

07 Feb 2019

Hello. No, New York does not authorize its Notaries to sign by proxy for a physically impaired signer.


16 Feb 2019

I am looking high and low for the safe method to notarize a document for someone who is too ill to write. What is the Virginia law on notarizing the "X"?

National Notary Association

20 Feb 2019

Hello. To the best of our knowledge, Virginia does not provide guidelines for notarizing a signature by mark.


05 Nov 2021

A person cannot write his name but will use a Mark, "X" and a fingerprint before a notary public. Does still need two witnesses? Does Arizona has special guidelines for these situations?

National Notary Association

08 Nov 2021

Hello. “‘Signature’ or ‘subscription’ includes a mark, if a person cannot write, with the person’s name written near it and witnessed by a person who writes the person’s own name as witness” (ARS 1-215.36). “A notary can notarize a thumb print or an ‘X’ mark as a ‘signature’ or ‘subscription’, even when the signer is able to write and is not disabled” (Notary Reference Manual).

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