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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.

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