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Can I Notarize For A Relative?

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Can a Notary in Alabama notarize a document for relatives?J.M., Alabama

Yes, you may notarize for relatives. There is no law that prohibits you from doing so, but the Alabama Attorney General has stated that the better practice would be for a Notary to refrain from notarizing the signature of his or her spouse or immediate family member (Ala. Atty. Gen. Opinion 95-00289; see page 6). The issue with notarizing for family members is that your impartiality can be questioned because of your relationship to the signer.

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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54 Comments

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Yvonne

08 Feb 2016

I didn't not get a chance to nail off my original application nor the fee that pertain with it, should I redo another application and submit it along with a foto and the readmittance fee or should I take the notary course again and fully do everything in a timely manner before the expiration date of the official filing status. (Basicly, I've let time lapse for me to be official notary, can I still turn in my paperwork and get materials to be an official notary.....)

National Notary Association

08 Feb 2016

Hello Yvonne. If you were unable to complete your application process in a timely fashion, it's likely you will have to submit a new commission application. You can contact your state Notary-regulating agency to ask what they would require of you to re-apply. If you applied for a commission through the NNA, please contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 and they can assist you with a new application.

Nancy Winks

08 Feb 2016

Can I notarize for a relative in Michigan?

National Notary Association

08 Feb 2016

Hello Nancy. Michigan Notaries may not perform notarizations for spouses, siblings, (including in-laws, step-relatives or half-relatives). They are also prohibited from notarizing for "lineal descendants" such as children or grandchildren, or "lineal anscestors" such as parents or grandparents. (MCL 55.291[8])

martha batista

08 Feb 2016

Can I notarize for a relative in New York or PA?

National Notary Association

09 Feb 2016

Hello. Neither NY or PA specifically disqualify Notaries from notarizing for relatives. However, both states prohibit Notaries from acting in any transaction where the Notary is named or that the Notary would gain a benefit from.

Karen Flores

08 Feb 2016

Can I notarize for a parent in California?

National Notary Association

09 Feb 2016

Hello. According to the state Notary Public Handbook: "A notary public may notarize for relatives …, unless doing so would provide a direct financial or beneficial interest to the notary public. Given California’s community property law, care should be exercised if notarizing for a spouse or a domestic partner."

Susie

08 Feb 2016

Can I notarize for a relative in California?

National Notary Association

09 Feb 2016

Hello. According to the state Notary Public Handbook: "A notary public may notarize for relatives …, unless doing so would provide a direct financial or beneficial interest to the notary public. Given California’s community property law, care should be exercised if notarizing for a spouse or a domestic partner."

Michelle

22 Aug 2016

Can I notarize something for my husbands business such as notarize customers signature?

National Notary Association

22 Aug 2016

Hello Michelle. That depends on where you are commissioned. What state are you commissioned in, please?

Lynnette Sargis

22 Aug 2016

Can I notarize an affidavit signed by another family member for my mother in Texas?

National Notary Association

23 Aug 2016

Hello. There is no specific prohibition against notarizing a relative's signature in Texas.However, if you are a party to the document, named in the document or would receive some financial or other benefit from the document, you should not notarize.

Jay

03 Sep 2016

Hello. I was wondering if I could notarize pension papers in PA for my father in-law?

National Notary Association

06 Sep 2016

Hello. Only if you do not receive any financial benefit or are otherwise not a party to the document and transaction in question.

Eileen

24 Sep 2016

Can I notarize something for a family member in Rhode Island?

National Notary Association

26 Sep 2016

Hello. Rhode Island Notaries may not notarize for spouses, domestic partners, parents, guardians, children or siblings, including step-, half- and in-law relatives. The only exception is when such persons witness a will or other legal document prepared by a Notary who is also an attorney licensed in Rhode Island. (EO Sec. 4[a][8]).

Kristen

05 Oct 2016

Can I notarize a document for a family member in Maryland?

National Notary Association

05 Oct 2016

Hello. The Maryland Handbook For Notaries Public states, "...notaries should refrain from performing official acts for members of their immediate families, even though not ordinarily under a legal duty to refrain."

Tirza Ward

16 Oct 2016

In the state of Texas, can I notarize for my husband's sister's husband (and/or his father)?

National Notary Association

17 Oct 2016

Hello. According to the TX Secretary of State's website, there is no specific prohibition in Texas against notarizing for a spouse's relatives. Texas prohibits notarizing if the Notary is a party to the instrument or would have financial or beneficial interest in the transaction.

Crystal Gordon

21 Nov 2016

Can I notarize for relatives in New Mexico?

National Notary Association

21 Nov 2016

Hello Crystal. The NM Secretary of State's website (http://www.sos.state.nm.us/Business_Services/Precautions.aspx) says Notaries should avoid notarizing for relatives: "Because of the notary’s need to be impartial, he should avoid notarizing for family members or in any other circumstances when his impartiality can be questioned or challenged."

Amy Cwick

27 Nov 2016

Can I notarize my grown (age 35) sons signature in Arizona?

National Notary Association

28 Nov 2016

Hello, Amy. State law says “A notary public is an impartial witness and shall not notarize the notary’s own signature or the signatures of any person who is related to the notary by marriage or adoption” (ARS 41-328[B]). The Arizona Notary Public Reference Manual recommends that you do not notarize for family members because the Notary's impartiality could be challenged in court at a later time. Quote: “Just because the law allows a notary public to notarize for blood relatives, it is not a recommended action." We suggest that your son contact an unrelated Notary instead.

Carol Wenzel

28 Nov 2016

Can I notarize a driver's license application for a co-workers daughter who is under the age of 18, if the mother is the co-signer and present, but the daughter is not present and the mother has her school identification.

National Notary Association

29 Nov 2016

Hello Carol. The daughter would have to physically appear in person before you in order for you to notarize the daughter's signature.

Charlotte Jones

13 Dec 2016

Can I notarize for a family member in Arkansas.

National Notary Association

13 Dec 2016

Hello Charlotte. Arkansas Notaries are permitted to notarize documents for relatives. However, they may not notarize their own signature, a document to which the Notary is a party, or a document from which the Notary would gain a direct or indirect financial benefit.

Julie Hodge

20 Mar 2017

I am a Notary Public in Florida. How can I also become a Notary Public in South Carolina?

National Notary Association

20 Mar 2017

Hello. Unfortunately, persons who do not live in South Carolina may not become Notaries in that state.

areferee43@rnuthouse.com

01 May 2017

I am a Notary in New Jersey. Am I able to notarize a SC business document in which my husband(also from NJ) and his business associate(from SC) will both need to sign?

National Notary Association

01 May 2017

Hello. New Jersey's Notary Public Manual states that Notaries should refrain from notarizing documents in which they have a personal interest. Since you have a personal tie to one of the document signers (your husband), we would recommend erring on the side of caution and having another Notary with no ties to the signers or the document notarize instead.

Evelyn Roldan

27 Jul 2017

Can I notarize for a family member in Illinois

National Notary Association

27 Jul 2017

Hello. The state Notary Public Handbook says an Illinois Notary may notarize the signature of his or her spouse, children and other relatives. However, you may not notarize if your name appears in the document as a party to the transaction.

djanderson_890@hotmail.com

28 Jul 2017

Is it alright to notarize my relatives signature in Oklahoma, ie husband mother in law or brother in law

National Notary Association

28 Jul 2017

Hello. The following is from the OK Secretary of State's website: “The law does not forbid notaries from notarizing the signatures of relatives. However, if the notarized document was ever the subject of a court suit, a judge might determine the notary was not an impartial witness."

Kelly

16 Aug 2017

Can I notarize an affidavit for a sister in law in NJ?

National Notary Association

16 Aug 2017

Hello. New Jersey has no restrictions regarding notarizing for family members. The state Notary Public Manual says, “Notaries should refrain from notarizing documents in which they have a personal interest, including documents they have prepared for a fee." If you are named in the document or would receive a benefit from the document, you should refer your sister-in-law to another Notary without interest in the document.

Kate

31 Aug 2017

Hi, can a notary in PA notarize certification of accuracy of translation performed by his spouse. Thank you.

National Notary Association

05 Sep 2017

Hello. If you are a party the the document or would receive a financial benefit from the document you may not notarize. (57 PS 165[e]).

Sam

25 Sep 2017

Can I notarize a document for an aunt in Massachusetts?

National Notary Association

26 Sep 2017

Hello. Yes, you may notarize for your aunt provided you are not named in the document, a party to the document and will not receive a benefit from the document beyond your statutory notarial fee. In Massachusetts, Notaries are prohibited from notarizing for the following family members: a spouse,domestic partner, parent, guardian, child or sibling, including in-law, step or half relatives.

Marie Shaya

05 Oct 2017

I just sent off my application to become a notary in South Carolina, and I was wondering if I'm allowed to notarize something for my brother and parents. I am now married and so we have different last names. Also I wanted to know if I can notarize for cousins, and aunts, grandparents. Please let me know so I can follow the proper guidelines.

National Notary Association

05 Oct 2017

Hello. South Carolina Notaries may not notarize if they are a party to or beneficiary of the document being notarized, or if the Notary would receive directly from a transaction connected with the notarial act any commission, fee, advantage, right, title, interest, cash, property, or other consideration exceeding in value the Notary fee.

Jon

06 Jul 2018

I too am in South Carolina and have read the hand book. as a simple yes/ no, when it states "party too" does that mean related to? I have a step child that needs some court papers notarized, who is currently serving time, so could I notarize his signature on these court papers?

National Notary Association

10 Jul 2018

Hello. "Party to" means the Notary is named in the document and has an interest in the transaction or has signed the document. Whether or not you actually has an interest, notarizing a document for a relative could be perceived as an interest and questioned by a receiving agency. If you are uncertain whether you have a disqualifying interest, the safest course is to have another Notary with no connection to the document notarize instead.

Angie Willcoxon

31 Jul 2018

Can I notarize for a family member? I am a notary in Mississippi.

National Notary Association

01 Aug 2018

Hi Angie. Mississippi Notaries are prohibited from notarizing if the Notary is a spouse, ancestor, descendant, or sibling of the signer, including in-law, step, or half relatives and other persons residing in the same household (1 MAC Pt. 5, R. 050.5.2).

DeelaGowdy

04 Aug 2018

I am a notary in Ohio. Can i notarize for my father?

National Notary Association

08 Aug 2018

Hello. According to "A Handbook and Notarial Journal for Notaries Public" published by the Franklin County Common Pleas Court and Columbus Bar Association, "A notary may take the acknowledgment of a relative, even a wife or husband, if the notary has no interest in the transaction."

Gigi Rusch

02 Feb 2019

I am a notary In Nevada. Can I notarize for a family member?

National Notary Association

06 Feb 2019

Hello. Nevada prohibits notarizing for relatives related by blood and marriage, including adopted children, half- and step-relatives as well as domestic partners.

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