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Hotline Tip: Notarizing Motor Vehicle Titles

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesIf I am notarizing a motor vehicle title, do both the seller and the buyer have to be physically present at the same time in order for me to notarize their signatures, or just the seller? – H.W., Scranton, PA 

You not need both parties to be physically present at the time of notarization, but you can only notarize for the person who is appearing before you. The other person can have their signature notarized at another time.

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

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.


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) 876-0827Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST


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24 May 2015

My boyfriend and I bought a car in pa. Not knowing it had to be notarized. We have try to get in touch with last owner and they went back to Michagon state. Need help to get notarized asap .

National Notary Association

28 May 2015

Hello Ashely. We apologize, but we're not clear what your question is relating to notarization. Can you please provide us with additional clarification? Thank you.


30 Mar 2016

I am a notary and my husband is buying a vehicle. We are in NC. I know that i should not notarize his signature, but can I notarize the Seller's signature on the title (if he properly appears before me) and have my husband go to an unrelated notary to have his Buyer's signature notarized at a different time?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2016

Hello. North Carolina prohibits notarization if the Notary will "receive directly from a transaction" a benefit or other consideration exceeding the statutory Notary fee, or if the Notary is a "beneficiary of the record that is to be notarized." (GS 10B-20[c][5] and [6]) In this situation, we recommend erring on the side of caution and having a different Notary with no involvement in the transaction notarize the signatures.


25 Jul 2016

Hi, I just got a car from my boyfriend in PA. I am living in NY. But I did't know the title of the car has to be notarized. But now he is out of country for a vacation. The registration of the car will invalided soon. So is there any way I can get the car notarized by myself?? Or we can do this online???

National Notary Association

25 Jul 2016

Hello. Pennsylvania does not authorize Notaries to conduct a notarization remotely with a signer remotely using a webcam or other audio/visual remote technology.

Catharine Dubois

06 Jan 2017

Bought a car from a guy who had his daughter notarized the title in front of me. Upon his depart I observed that the title that was just notarized was not even in his name. It was in a female's name. When questioned, He explanation was that he buys cars from people, let then owner sign the title and resell it and just have his daughter notarized the title. Is this a legal transaction since he never transfer the title in his name and I don't know or met the owner that is listed on the title?

National Notary Association

09 Jan 2017

Hi Catherine. We can't answer whether this transaction was legitimate or not, but if you have concerns about possible fraud you may wish to contact an attorney or your state attorney general's office or consumer protection bureau to see if they can assist you.

Michael Canfield

04 Feb 2017

I am buying a vehicle from a relative who lives in Chicago and I live in North Carolina. He has already sent me the title and everything else all signed but it doesn't appear to be notarized. The original title is from Florida . Do I have to send the title back to him to get him to notarize it there first and then again down here in NC when I receive it?

National Notary Association

06 Feb 2017

Hello Michael. You would need to contact the agency that you will be submitting the title to and ask them for instructions regarding notarizing any signatures.


05 Mar 2017

If the title is signed and notarized, would I be able to take the title and transfer it to my name at a notary without the other party present?

National Notary Association

06 Mar 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but that's a question you'd need to ask an attorney familiar with real estate law.

Mishonda P White

07 May 2017

Seller signed off on a title; buyer signed before getting it notarized. Can they still get it notarized?

National Notary Association

09 May 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but you would need to contact a qualified attorney or the agency receiving the document to ask this question.

Sherry Kivin

09 May 2017

Hi, if I have an AZ title am I able to have my signature notarized in NC even if it's being sold to someone in AZ? (Long story...but I'm in NC for a while)

National Notary Association

10 May 2017

Hello. While there is nothing preventing you from having your signature notarized in another state, you should contact the receiving agency first to ask if they will accept the out-of-state notarization.

Yvonne Smith

10 May 2017

I baught a car we signed in wrong places he wrote a letter saying he gives all ownership to me he does not want nothing to do with the car but he left to go back home to his country and it has to be notarized what ca I do

National Notary Association

11 May 2017

Hello. We're sorry but you will need to consult with an attorney to find out what your options are at this stage.

Matthew Walker

24 May 2017

Bought a bike in PA, I live in WV. Here we don't require notarized title, but since it's a PA title can't register the motorcycle until the title has been notarized. Now I can't get in touch with the previous owner, how do I get this notarized? I tried taking it to several notaries and all need this gentleman to be present but he won't answer my calls or call back.

National Notary Association

24 May 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but the Notaries you spoke to are correct. If the signer isn't present they can't notarize the signature. We suggest you contact the agency where the vehicle title is to be filed and ask if there are any alternatives they can accept.

Matthew Walker

25 May 2017

I tried taking to the dmv. They say the titles must be notarized since the state they're from require it. I think all of this is a load s... This whole profession is a joke. Thanks for your time though.

Jocelyn Ramos

16 Jun 2017

I have a friend who bought a car cash in Charlotte, NC from the owner. The owner signed the title, but did not sign it before a notary. The License Plate Agency will not notarized my friend's signature because the seller did not notarize his signature. He lives 2 hours away. Is there anything my friend or the seller could do to fix this?

National Notary Association

19 Jun 2017

Hello. Your friend would have to contact the license plate agency to ask what alternative options they will accept regarding notarization of the signatures.

Bryan Bourne

07 Jul 2017

Hi, I am getting a title notarized in North Carolina. Here's the problem...The owner signed the title over to me, I got it notarized, and I paid the notary fee ($5). When I arrived at the DMV, the person I talked to said that I have to claim ownership of the vehicle (Didn't I already claim ownership if the title was signed over to me?), then she said I have to pay $10 for the notary fee. Why?

National Notary Association

10 Jul 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but you would have to contact the agency and ask them why they are making this request.


22 Jul 2017

I am living in Louisiana and bought a car from new york. Do i need to get the bill of sale and title of the car notarized for both myself and the seller?

National Notary Association

24 Jul 2017

Hello. Please contact the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles for instructions:


14 Aug 2017

I am in and from NC my cousin brought a mustang gt and the guy he brought it from didn't actually own the car his brother did and he's in Washington and I got in touch with him and he said he can't come down for a while so he's aware that his brother sold his car and he's cool with it ! the actual owners name is signed by the owner himself in the sellers section but his name isnt notorized so how do we go about getting it notorized ? His name and my cousins name both legally

National Notary Association

16 Aug 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but you would need to contact the North Carolina DMV for instructions on how to transfer ownership and register the car properly. Their website is:


11 Sep 2017

We have the title. The seller signed it and filled out their part. So when we take it to get it notarized she doesn't have to be there right? Can it just be me and my husband?

National Notary Association

13 Sep 2017

Hello. It depends on whose signatures need to be notarized on the document. In order for a signature on a document to be notarized, the person who made the signature must appear in person before the Notary.

Maria Lopez

18 Oct 2017

Hello, I am a new notary in NC. I have a car title that is under a company name. When notarizing it does buyer( which is the corporation ) do they need to sign as the corporate name or their name as well? In the seller signature and hand printed name.

National Notary Association

18 Oct 2017

Hello. The Notary cannot advise the seller how the document needs to be signed. The signer would need to contact the agency that is receiving the document for instructions.

Robert Becker

23 Oct 2017

Howdy I live in Missouri and bought a truck from someone but When I got to the DMV I noticed that my little boys wrote on it and the DMV said I need to get bill of sell notarized but I can't get a hold of the guy I bought the truck from. How do I get it notarized? I need the truck for taking my boys to their doctor appointments. Please help me and thank you for you time.

National Notary Association

24 Oct 2017

Hello. Unfortunately, if you need the seller's signature notarized, the seller must appear in person before a Notary Public. If you are unable to locate the seller, you will need to speak to the DMV or the attorney to ask if there are any alternatives available.


30 Oct 2017

We bought an old car 1967 with a very old title my son just got it partially restored and wants to sell it I noticed the seller signed it but in those days you had to notarize now you don’t on titles what can we do?

Naitional Notary Association

31 Oct 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but we can't provide advice on selling an automobile. We would recommend you contact your state motor vehicle department for assistance.


08 Dec 2017

So I have a question. Me and my fianc� did a notary deal. It doesn’t state much other than the basics,payment date, payment amount, and full responsibility of the car. The thing is the guy is always late on the payments, it’s effect our credit, he has not gave us the full amounts that he tells us and it’s always such a hassle to get to him. My question here is even though we have a notary deal are we still able to take the car away because of the irresponsiblity?

National Notary Association

11 Dec 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but these are legal questions that would need to be answered by an attorney.


23 Dec 2017

Hi, I recently purchased a car in PA and I live in New York. The seller is a family friend of mine and she is 90 years old, I didn't realize that I needed it to be notarized. If the woman who lives in PA signs off and gets her portion notarized and if I sign off on the document here and get my portion notarized would that work as she is ill.

National Notary Association

26 Dec 2017

Hello. You would have to contact your state motor vehicle department to find out if they will accept this alternative.


09 Jan 2018

Does a person have to be present if they are filing for a lost car title

National Notary Association

10 Jan 2018

Hello. You would need to contact your state motor vehicle department for assistance answering this question.


12 Jan 2018

In Texas, do both, buyer and seller (both are relatives) need to notarize vehicle title?

National Notary Association

16 Jan 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but that's not a notarization question. You would need to contact your state motor vehicle department or other agency that handles car titles for instructions..


05 Feb 2018

Can you please tell me all the US states that need a notary to transfer a vehicles title.

National Notary Association

05 Feb 2018

Hello Kathryn. We're sorry, but we do not have that information. We would recommend you contact your state motor vehicle department if you need instructions on transferring a vehicle title.


06 Feb 2018

My mom's name is on the title of my car. The car is currently with my in DC and my mom lives in WV. In order for her to change the title over to me, can she get her signature notarized, mail me the title then I have mine notarized?

National Notary Association

07 Feb 2018

Hello. Your mother would need to contact the motor vehicle department or other official agency that processes vehicle titles to find out if the option you describe would be acceptable to them.

Linda Thompson

18 Feb 2018

My husband had a car notarized and both names on title but his daughter changed her mind. We are giving my son the car so my question is what do we do since her name is on title under his.

National Notary Association

20 Feb 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but changing names on a car title is not a notarial act and we do not have information available on this topic. We would suggest contacting an attorney or your state motor vehicle department for assistance.

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