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Do Any Notarial Acts Require A Person To Sign Twice?

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If someone has signed a document in the presence of witnesses before I arrive, must they sign a second time above their other signatures in order for me to continue notarizing?S.B., Houston, TX

The answer depends on the notarial act being performed. If the principal signer signed a document and requires acknowledgment wording, the signer does not have to sign in front of you. The signer can, for example, sign at home in the presence of witnesses, then bring the document to you to have the signature notarized. The client should acknowledge that he signed it of his own free will.

A jurat must be signed in front of the Notary. If a jurat is required, the signer would have to sign the document again in your presence, near their original signature.

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

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Jeffery Northrup

05 Aug 2015

If you bother to answer a question, it should be for every state, noting the differences, if any. It is lazy on your part not to do this, and misleads notaries into thinking they know the rules when they don't.

National Notary Association

07 Aug 2015

Hello. Please see the Editor's note above. We are happy to answer questions regarding other states in the comments section if the Notary provides us with the state they are commissioned in. Our Hotline team is also available to assist Notaries at the phone number and email listed above if they have questions regarding other states.


10 Aug 2015

Can a TN notary sign papers for MS or AR, the surrounding states?

National Notary Association

11 Aug 2015

Hello. TN Notaries can notarize signatures on documents prepared in other states provided the signer appears in person before you in Tennessee and all other requirements of TN law are met. However, it is the signer's responsibility to confirm whether an out-of-state notarization is acceptable to the agency that will receive the document.

Dale Hanson

11 Aug 2015

If I write in my name on a document in the wrong place can I draw a line through my name and write in the correct name in California?

National Notary Association

11 Aug 2015

Hello. California permits Notaries to correct a notarial certificate during the notarization process. However, if an error is discovered in the certificate wording after the notarial act is completed, the signature will have to be re-notarized with a new notarial act.

Anthony Holt

11 Aug 2015

Is the key to this the witnesses ? What if there are no witnesses . I've always refused, but can I notarize a document if the signer swears they signed it, but with no witnesses? I am speaking of acknowledgements only.

National Notary Association

11 Aug 2015

Hello. Just to clarify, acknowledgments do not require the signer to take an oath or affirmation. A signer does not require additional witnesses when requesting his or her signature to be acknowledged, but must personally appear before the Notary and provide proof of identity that meets state law requirements. Witnesses are not mandatory for notarization, but may be requested by a signer, attorney or document preparer for other reasons.

Linda Pettitt

11 Aug 2015

Can I notarize the sell of land and trailer on the property

National Notary Association

11 Aug 2015

Hello. I'm sorry, but without more details I'm afraid we don't have enough information to answer your question. If you're an NNA member you can contact one of our Hotline team for assistance at 1-888-876-0827 or

Sanam Kalhoro

17 Jun 2016

State: CA If one document is signed twice by the same signer does this require 2 separate notarizations?

National Notary Association

20 Jun 2016

Hello. Yes, if a signer asked for both signatures to be notarized, each signature would require a separate notarization.

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