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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize The Signature Of My Spouse?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesCan a Florida Notary notarize his or her spouse's signature if the spouse is acting as a Trustee but the Notary is not a party to the transaction? Furthermore, can a real estate agent notarize loan documents for the buyer(s) when he or she is the real estate agent in the transaction? – P.L., Tallahassee, FL

A Florida Notary may not notarize for a spouse, son, daughter, mother or father (FS 117.107[11]). The capacity in which the spouse is acting has no relevance.

A Notary should not perform any notarization related to a transaction in which that Notary has a direct financial or beneficial interest (FS 117.107[12]). A financial or beneficial interest exists when the Notary is individually named as a principal or beneficiary in a financial transaction or when the Notary receives an advantage, right, privilege, property or fee valued in excess of the lawfully prescribed notarial fee. Since real estate agents receive a fee for their professional services, they may not notarize any documents related to the real estate transaction in question.

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

 

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

23 Comments

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Brenda J Barefield

15 Jul 2014

A clerk at the Alachua County Courthouse told my daughter that I could notarize her self divorce filing. If I am not mentioned in the divorce would that be legal for me to notarize her signature? I felt she is getting bad info. and they charge $3.00 per signature to notarize for her.

National Notary Association

16 Jul 2014

Hello Brenda, thank you for your question. Florida state law prohibits a Notary from notarizing signatures for a spouse, son, mother, daughter or father (F.S. 117.107[11]). Your daughter would need to find another Notary to notarize her signature on the documents in this situation.

Evelyn

26 Aug 2015

My husband is a contractor and owns his own business. As a Notary, am I allowed to notarize docs such as permits, notices of commencement, etc.?

National Notary Association

27 Aug 2015

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Tiffani

15 May 2016

Am I able to notarize a document that my husband has signed as a witness for?

Reuben Asher-Perez

03 Sep 2016

I am commission in Florida, My question is: 'Can I notarize a signature of a son power of Attorney given to his mother (my wife)? to handle his child school registration?

National Notary Association

06 Sep 2016

Hello. No, Florida Notaries may not notarize the signatures of their own spouses, sons, daughters, mothers or fathers (FS 117.107[11]).

Paula

03 Nov 2016

Can I notarize for my ex-husband? I'm in Illinois. It's paperwork for him to acknowledge paternity to his child with his girlfriend.

National Notary Association

03 Nov 2016

Hello Paula. The Illinois Notary Public Handbook states that a Notary may notarize the signature of his or her spouse, children and other relatives. However, if you have concerns that your connection to the signer may cause the document to be questioned or rejected at a later date, we recommend having a Notary with no connection to the signer notarized the document instead, just as a precaution.

Dianna

19 Nov 2016

Can I notarize my spouse's signature relating to an easement from the power company on property he owns in NY?

National Notary Association

21 Nov 2016

Hello. The New York Notary Public License law states If the notary is a party to or directly and pecuniarily interested in the transaction, the person is not capable of acting in that case. Even if you have no interest in the document, the NNA recommends that you do not notarize your spouse's signature to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

Elizabeth Suarez Freeman

08 May 2017

May I notarize my ex husbands signature if he is already remarried ?

National Notary Association

09 May 2017

Hello Elizabeth. Each state's rules regarding disqualifying interest for notarizations is different, so we would need to know what state you are commissioned in to answer.

Sherie Barber

01 Jun 2017

I am a notary in Florida. Can I notarize a document for my ex-husband, we have been divorced for many years and I have nothing to gain from notarizing the document.

National Notary Association

02 Jun 2017

Hello. Florida prohibits Notaries from notarizing the signatures of their own spouses, sons, daughters, mothers or fathers (FS 117.107[11]). However, the law does not specify whether a Notary may notarize for a former spouse.

Penny

24 Mar 2018

My husband is a Drywall contractor and owns his own business in the state of Florida. I am the office manger for the company. I am in the process of becoming a Notary. One I become a notary am I allowed to notarize docs such as permits, notices of commencement, etc.?

National Notary Association

27 Mar 2018

Hello. Florida Notaries are not permitted to notarize the signatures of their own spouses. (FS 117.107[11])

Matt

11 Apr 2018

Florida. My daughter is going on an international church trip. A release form is required. My ex-wife (and daughter's mother) designated the youth leader as the adult in charge in case of emergency. Only the parent had to sign the release. The youth leader's wife notarized the form. Though the youth leader did not have to sign the form, isn't he party to the transaction since he is name as recipient of certain rights? Should not someone other than his wife be notarizing so as to ensure the validity of the form in the event the form is actually needed? Thanks.

National Notary Association

11 Apr 2018

Hello. Florida Notaries may not notarize the signatures of their own spouses, sons, daughters, mothers or fathers (FS 117.107[11]). A Notary is also considered to have a disqualifying interest if the Notary has a financial interest in the document, or is a party to the transaction. (FS 117.107[12])

Matt

11 Apr 2018

Unfortunately, that doesn't answer the question asked. John is not signing the form, so John's wife is not notarizing John's signature. However, John is named as recipient of certain rights granted by the signer, so John is still a party to the transaction. Should John's wife be notarizing this document? Certain states (Maryland for example) have more specific verbiage such as notarizing is prohibited for spouse if spouse is signer, named, grantee, designee or party to the transaction. Florida verbiage is not so clear, so this ok?

National Notary Association

11 Apr 2018

Hello. If you need further assistance beyond what's published in Florida's Notary laws, please contact our Hotline Team at hotline@nationalnotary.org or at 1-888-0827 to speak with one of our Hotline Counselors.

Peter limberis

28 Jul 2018

Can I, as a practicing Florida attorney and notary, use my paralegal, who is also my wife, as a witness to a self approved will that I would notarize

National Notary Association

30 Jul 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but we can't answer whether or not your wife can serve as a witness to a self-proving will, as that would be a legal question that is outside our area of expertise. We can tell you that Florida Notaries may not notarize the signatures of their own spouses, sons, daughters, mothers or fathers (FS 117.107[11]).

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