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Notarizing for minors: Special considerations

Parents signing legal documents with a notary present.

Updated 9-26-23. It's important to know what's required before notarizing for a minor, including whether your state allows it at all. Consulting your state's Notary law handbook or calling the NNA Hotline for answers beforehand is recommended.

What if the minor has no valid form of identification, which is often the case? In addition, how do you evaluate a minor’s competence to sign the document?

While it’s rare that you will be asked to notarize a minor’s signature, it does happen. Regardless of the circumstances, understanding how to proceed starts with determining if your state’s Notary laws or guidelines allow you to notarize a minor’s signature.

Can you notarize a minor’s signature?

It depends on where you’re commissioned. Nebraska requires a minor to have identification but permit Notaries to refuse the notarization if the Notary has a reasonable belief a minor signer does not understand what they are signing.

In jurisdictions that allow you to notarize for minors, make sure you check for any limitations, restrictions or recommended procedures.

Illinois, for example, requires that the minor have identification and a parent or guardian be present for the notarization. In fact, this is a good general rule for most signing situations involving minors.

Indiana's state Notary Public Guide recommends Notaries to advise minors to obtain legal advice before proceeding with the notarial act.

Oregon’s guidelines say minors must be competent in order to sign a document, that the Notary should ask the minor questions such as, "Do you want to sign this document?" and have minors put their age next to their signature so the receiving parties realize they are dealing with a minor. Notaries also should note the minor’s age in their Notary journal.

These recommendations, which often are found in Notary handbooks or posted on your commissioning official’s website, are designed to protect you, the signers and any other party relying on the document.

In states that do not provide specific guidelines for notarizing for minors, such as California, Florida or Texas, you would follow all the normal state rules for performing the type of notarization requested. The minor would need to present proof of identity following the same identification requirements as an adult signer. 

How do you identify a minor?

In some cases, identifying a minor can be as easy as looking at a current passport, or, if they are 16 or over, a valid driver’s license. However, many minors will not have an ID.

You may be able to use one or two credible identifying witnesses in lieu of an ID, provided your state allows you to use them. 

Must you determine a minor’s awareness and willingness?

Identifying the minor is not the only issue. Many jurisdictions also require a Notary to determine that a signer — adult or minor — understands or consents to what they are signing, or allow the Notary to refuse the notarization if they do not. If you are in one of these jurisdictions, here are a few questions you might ask the minor signer:

  • What kind of document are you signing?
  • What will the document do?
  • Do you want to sign the document?

If you have any questions or are unsure how to handle a minor’s request, you can always contact the NNA Hotline.

Related Articles:

3 ways Notaries can properly identify signers

Identifying signers using personal knowledge

3 tips for notarizing travel documents for minors

Additional Resources:

Notary Essentials

View All: Notary News


Add your comment


19 Oct 2015

So in a state like New Jersey where credible witnesses must be mutually known between the Notary and signer, how do we identify the signer if no credible witness is available and if the minor has no ID?

National Notary Association

20 Oct 2015

Hello. If the minor signer had no ID or credible witnesses, but was personally known to the Notary, then the notarization could proceed. However, if the signer wasn't personally known, and had no appropriate ID or credible witness that meets state requirements, you would be unable to proceed with the notarization.

Jon W. Baker

19 Oct 2015

Never even crossed my mind about Notarizing an Instrument for a Minor. Good article, as it gives me one more bit of knowledge to draw upon should the incident occur. Thank you.


23 Oct 2015

This is a very excellent article. I have not had to notarize for a minor, but if it did happen; I definitely would have contacted the NNA Hotline for the answer. I will print this article and keep it with my records.

Michelle R.

26 Oct 2015

I looked through my state's guidelines (Iowa) for notarizing a minor's signature but either I overlooked it or there is no reference to it. If there is no reference to it, am I to understand that this type of notary act is not allowed? I've not yet come across this type of scenario but it would be nice to know for sure. Thanks!

National Notary Association

27 Oct 2015

Hello. Iowa does not prohibit Notaries from notarizing a minor's signature. In such a case, you would follow all the normal state rules for performing the type of notarial act requested. As a Notary, you have discretion under Iowa law ask for additional identifying information to that defined under “personal knowledge” and “satisfactory evidence”: “A notarial officer may require an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the officer of the identity of the individual” (IC 9B.7).

Sue Mlynski

29 Oct 2015

With the schools no longer teaching cursive I am confused as to how a "printed" signature is acceptable from someone who is a minor and is not known to me. How is this going to affect notarizing when these minors become adults and you have nothing but block lettering as a signature? Just wondering for the future.


17 May 2016

Hello, i am a minor, 17 years old, I need a document notarized for a prom Permission and Health Proxy form. Am I allowed to have it notarized myself or does my parent have to go with me?

National Notary Association

18 May 2016

Hello Miriam. We would suggest contacting the agency you are submitting the permission form to and asking them if your parent's presence is required. You will need to present proof of your identity in order to have your signature notarized.

Lawson vance

21 Feb 2017

My daughter was taken to right and sign a document against me without her guardian present how do I go about legal acton and what can be done I live in West virginia


02 Apr 2017

If I'm 18 & don't have no id do I need one of my parents to be with me to get my birth certificate notarized?

National Notary Association

03 Apr 2017

Hello Tamera. In most cases, Notaries cannot notarize vital records such as birth certificates, because normally only the recording office that holds the original certificate may issue certified copies. If you need a certified copy of your birth certificate, you may want to contact the recording office where it was issued to request a certified copy.


21 Apr 2018

What about notarized documents for adoption. My child is 16 and I need to have her signature notarized so my wife can adopt her. Does she need to be present or can I notarize her signature since I’m her guardian

National Notary Association

23 Apr 2018

Hello. Because of the complexity of adoption documents, any questions regarding who must sign the documents should be directed to an attorney familiar with adoption law.


23 Jul 2018

In Arizona, notarizing a 16-year-old signature, and the minor only has their school identification, how is their signature notarized?

National Notary Association

24 Jul 2018

Hello. A minor signer in Arizona would have to present proof of identity using the same requirements as an adult signer. You could only accept the school identification if it was issued by the United States government or a state or tribal government and contains the minor's photograph, signature and physical description and that contains the individual’s height, weight, color of hair and color of eyes. However, other options for identifying the signer would be if the minor has an unexpired passport issued by the U.S. Department of State, or the oath or affirmation of a credible witness who personally knows the signer and can present ID that meets state requirements.

Kevin Shockley

27 Mar 2019

In Tennessee can a notary notarize a minors signature? The situation is the minor witnessed their grandmothers signature on her will and the court is asking for an affidavit verify the signature on the will.

National Notary Association

29 Mar 2019

Hello. Tennessee does not have specific rules regarding notarizing a minor's signature. A minor's signature would have to be notarized following the same steps as for an adult. The minor signer would have to personally appear before you, provide satisfactory evidence of identity and follow any other steps required by law for the requested notarization. Please see this article for more information:


25 Sep 2019

Minors should be allowed to use their school issued IDs . Since schools are run by the states they are in they are state issued ID’s correct?

National Notary Association

25 Sep 2019

Hello. Each state's ID requirements for signers are different, so it would depend whether or not the school ID met the requirements of state Notary law.


27 Sep 2019

In Va what is the state requirement for notorization fo minors?

National Notary Association

02 Oct 2019

Hello. Virginia does not have specific rules for notarizing for minor signers. You would need to follow the same guidelines as for adult signers.


27 Sep 2019

What is the procedure for a printed signature vs a signature in cursive?

National Notary Association

30 Sep 2019

Hello. There are no specific requirements for a cursive signature. A signer could choose to use either if desired.

K. Chrisman

11 Nov 2019

Can you notarize a minor's signature in AZ given they provide a government issued ID?

National Notary Association

12 Nov 2019

Hello. A minor signer would have to be identified in the same way as an adult signer through personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence as described in ARS 41-311.

Lorraine short

17 May 2021

Please one form or one letter per child! If 3 minors are traveling don’t put all their names on one form or letter! Each minor must have their own form or letter! Example: if one child ends up in the hospital the others can’t leave the country without him or her!

Jerry Lucas

24 Sep 2021

I could not find any mention that Guam prohibits notarizing a minor's signature in their notary laws.


27 Apr 2022

If I get my form notarized will I need my moms permission to get the piercing that my local tattoo shop gave me the slip to get signed

National Notary Association

28 Apr 2022

Hello. We're sorry, but we don't have information on the tattoo's shop's policies regarding parental permission. You would need to contact the shop to ask what their permission requirements are.

Eileen Roe

25 Oct 2022

A minor under 18 cannot sign contracts unless they are emancipated. It seems like the same rule would apply to having their signature notarized. If the minor needs a document notarized, it would have to be done by the parent or guardian.

R. Gonzales

12 Jan 2023

I have researched the civil code but cannot find any specific information pertaining to notarizing an affidavit for a minor. They are making a personal statement and are being required to provide a notarized copy of their statement but I am unable to locate any substantial guidance.

Joe Bass

08 Jun 2023

What document is out there requires minor's signature since in most cases it is their parents who sign on behalf of a minor regarding their matters. It is a conflict for a minor to sign a document because a minor is deemed someone who lacks judgment so regardless what they sign, it does not mean they have an understanding.

National Notary Association

09 Jun 2023

Hello. There are situations that sometimes arise where a minor may need to sign a document. One example is an emancipation document, where a minor requests some of the legal rights of an adult before the age of 18.


28 Jul 2023

Can a minor in Alabama sign an "oath"? Can a notary in Alabama notarize a minor's signature?

National Notary Association

31 Jul 2023

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.


10 Jan 2024

In Indiana, we are prohibited from notarizing for a minor. Would that apply even if the minor is emancipated? Would I just direct them to an attorney in either case?

National Notary Association

19 Jan 2024

Hello. We are not aware of a prohibition against notarizing for minors in Indiana. The state’s “Notary Public Guide” recommends Notaries to advise minors, and persons who are blind or deaf, mentally incapacitated or illiterate, seriously ill or dying to obtain legal advice before proceeding with the notarial act.

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