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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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25 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

08 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

11 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.

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