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Notary Bulletin

A Guide To Notarizing For Family Members

Updated 12-7-20. A Notary is an impartial witness to the signing of important documents. Spouses, parents, siblings and children often need documents notarized — but can you serve as a family member's Notary without bias? Here are helpful tips for handling notarization requests from family members.

Not All States Permit Notarizing For Relatives

If asked to notarize for a family member, the first thing to do is check your state’s laws. A few states prohibit Notaries from notarizing for most family members. Others prohibit notarizing for specific family members. For example, Florida and Massachusetts do not allow notarizing the signatures of a Notary’s spouse, parents or children, and Massachusetts extends this prohibition to domestic partners, half- and step-relatives. North Dakota, Oregon and West Virginia prohibit notarizing for spouses only, though West Virginia also recommends against notarizing for other family members if the Notary will receive money or property interest from the transaction. A Pennsylvania Notary may not notarize signatures on documents that the Notary's spouse has a direct or pecuniary interest in.

On the other hand, many states, such as Texas, do not restrict Notaries from notarizing for relatives at all. Some states, including Alabama, California and Montana, caution Notaries against notarizing documents for relatives even though the law doesn’t specifically ban it. 

If You’ll Benefit, Don’t Notarize It

Even if your state doesn’t restrict you from notarizing for a family member, you shouldn’t do it if you will benefit from the transaction in any way. If you are in a community property state, any transaction involving your spouse could potentially benefit you as well — even if your name isn’t on the document. Some states, such as California, don’t specifically ban notarizing for relatives, but do prohibit it if the Notary has some kind of involvement in the notarized document. For example, California prohibits its Notaries from notarizing a document if the Notary has a direct financial or beneficial interest such as being named in the document or receiving a gift or benefit from a transaction detailed in the document apart from the Notary's statutory fee.

If you’re not sure whether you’d stand to benefit from notarizing a document for a relative, it’s better to be safe and refer the relative to another Notary who’s not related or involved in the transaction.

The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility offers helpful guidance on this thorny subject. It urges the Notary to decline to notarize for close and step-relatives. It also calls for Notaries to avoid even the appearance of partiality, which can happen in many cases involving family members.

Always Follow The Rules

If your state allows notarizing for a relative, remember that you still have to follow all the normal rules for identifying the signer and completing the notarization. Just because the signer is your spouse, child or other family member, it doesn’t give you the right to ignore Notary laws. Your relative will still need to appear in person before you, be identified according to state law and sign your journal entry if a journal record is required in your state.

If You Have Questions, Ask

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about notarizing for a family member. Your state Notary agency may be able to help you, and NNA members can contact the Notary Hotline for assistance.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

View All: Best Practices

229 Comments

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KRISTY CHINN

19 Dec 2016

CA law state law specifies you can do it if it is an indirect benefit to you, but not if it DIRECTLY benefits you. This being said, I feel that an employee definitely indirectly benefits from their employers notaries when they are large billings. Wouldn't they benefit from their company receiving large payments?

National Notary Association

20 Dec 2016

Hello. CA Government Code 8224 states that a Notary who has a direct financial or beneficial interest in a transaction shall not perform a notarial act in connection with that transaction, but makes an exception for Notaries acting as employees of persons having a direct interest in the transaction.

Nellie Sharp-Neal

20 Dec 2016

I viewed my state's rules regarding notarizing for relatives (in state of Virginia) and I did not see where it states either prohibited or not. Where else could I confirm the answer?

National Notary Association

20 Dec 2016

Hello. Code of Virginia 47.1-30 states that Notaries may not perform notarial acts for documents in which the Notary or the Notary's spouse is a party, named, a signature or has a direct beneficial interest.

durleen

20 May 2017

Can I notarize a residency application for my granddaughter in NYS

National Notary Association

22 May 2017

Hello. New York does not disqualify Notaries from notarizing documents on the basis of family relationship. However, if you are a party to or directly and pecuniarily interested in the transaction in some way, you cannot notarize.

Everette

19 Jul 2017

In NC can I notarize a document for my brother-in-law? I have no interest in or gain anything from the document.

National Notary Association

24 Jul 2017

Hello. Yes, if you are not a named party on the title or do not directly benefit from the transaction. State officials strongly recommend, however, that Notaries not perform notarial acts for relatives.

Hannah

23 Sep 2017

Can u notarize paperwork for my grandfather? In ga

National Notary Association

25 Sep 2017

“Notary News,” published by the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority, states: “Although the statutes do not forbid notarizing the signature of relatives, it is not a good idea. If the notarized document is ever challenged in court, it might be determined that you were not acting as an impartial witness when the document was notarized.”

victor@gonzaleznotary.com

19 Oct 2017

I'm in CA. Can I notarize a statement for my wife, who's also in CA, to be added to a bank account in another state (AL) ? Her parents passed away and the siblings are sorting out the estate.

National Notary Association

20 Oct 2017

Hello. California prohibits Notaries from notarizing if they have a direct beneficial or financial interest in the document. (GC 8224) If you would receive a financial or other benefit from your wife being added to this bank account, you should not perform the notarization.

Susan M Miller

04 Dec 2017

Can I notarize documents for my mom if I am here health care proxy and she is not able to sign.

National Notary Association

04 Dec 2017

Hello Susan. If you are signing documents on behalf of your mother, you may not notarize those documents because Notaries are not permitted to notarize their own signatures. You would need to find another Notary to notarize your signature.

Luz Santiago

04 Dec 2017

Is it legal for the State of Arizona to notarize for family? I have always turned down family because I'm unsure. Thank you.

National Notary Association

04 Dec 2017

Hello. Arizona Notaries may not notarize the signatures of any person who is related to the notary by marriage or adoption. While it is permitted to notarize for other family members not related by marriage or adoption, state officials have recommended against notarizing for close relatives due to possible appearance of bias by the Notary.

Ken Dobos

05 Dec 2017

What is the Ohio Law on notarizing for relatives? Thank you.

National Notary Association

05 Dec 2017

Hello. The following is from "A Handbook And Notarial Journal For Notaries Public" published by the Franklin County Common Pleas Court and Columbus Bar Association: “A notary cannot take the acknowledgment to an instrument in which the notary has an interest, for example, a deed of real estate either to or from the notary. A notary may take the acknowledgment of a relative, even a wife or husband, if the notary has no interest in the transaction” (p. 13).

Christina Thompson

05 Dec 2017

So... I am in CA. The wife of my brother-in-law has a son just died... banks will require a notarized statement from her because she is the next of kin. He has very little money ($2,500 Or less)..no job, no inheritance, etc, etc. Can I notarize that statement from her?

National Notary Association

08 Dec 2017

Hello. Yes, you may notarize the document provided that you have no direct financial or beneficial interest in the transaction (for example, being named as a party in the document being notarized.)

patricia moppin

07 Dec 2017

can I notarize papers for immediate family members in Missouri.

National Notary Association

08 Dec 2017

Hello. Missouri does not prohibit notarizing for family members, but state officials advise against doing so. From the Missouri Notary Public Handbook: “Missouri 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 to the signing of the document. The Office of Secretary of State suggests that a notary not notarize documents for a spouse, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, child or grandchild."

Theresa

11 Dec 2017

As long as you don't benefit from notarizing their papers you should be good. My state MS only say that.

Wanda M Lemke

28 Jan 2018

What yr did the Texas law that notorizing for a family member is legal come into effect.

National Notary Association

30 Jan 2018

Hello. Information about notarizing for relatives in Texas comes from the TX Secretary of State's website here: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/faqs2300.shtml#np11

Donna Draper

29 Jan 2018

I am a notary I have lost my rule book, I need to know if I can marry my grandson and his girlfriend what are the rules in Maine

National Notary Association

30 Jan 2018

Hello. Maine Notaries are authorized to perform weddings. You can find information on pages 15-18 of the Maine Notary Public Handbook and Resource Guide online at: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/notary/notaryguide.pdf

Jocelyn

01 Feb 2018

May i notarize proof of residency for my daughter who is moving with us?

Jocelyn

01 Feb 2018

Hello Jocelyn. To help us answer your question can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Amanda Eisenschenk

05 Feb 2018

if me husband's name is in the document but he isn't the one signing, is that against ND state law for me to notarize this paperwork? thanks

National Notary Association

07 Feb 2018

Hello. A North Dakota Notary may not notarize if the name of the Notary's spouse appears on the document.

Denise Rogers

14 Feb 2018

Hello, I am a real estate agent in PA and am needing to get together a deed package for my 89 year old client who is unable to attend settlement. Can his step-daughter notarize the necessary signatures? I assume there would be a benefit in the will at some point with the sale of his home, but should I be sure of that? It would make it so much easier for him for her to come to his place! Thank you for your time.

National Notary Association

14 Feb 2018

Hello. No, the signer must be physically present before the Notary. A relative cannot appear in place of the absent signer.

HWhite@duanemorris.com

19 Mar 2018

Can I notarize my mother in law's name change in PA

National Notary Association

19 Mar 2018

Hello. Yes, as long as you do not have a direct or pecuniary interest in the document.

Rebecca

02 Apr 2018

Hello. My father-in-law is a realtor in Florida. Could he use me as a mobile notary for his clients, if I didn't benefit other than typical fees paid by his clients for the service?

National Notary Association

03 Apr 2018

Hello. Florida Notaries may not notarize the signatures of their own spouses, sons, daughters, mothers or fathers (FS 117.107[11]).

Dolores

20 Apr 2018

I live in NY can I notarize for my mother in law ? I do not benefit from what I am notarizing

National Notary Association

23 Apr 2018

Hello. New York does not prohibit Notaries notarizing for relatives. As long as you do not have a direct financial or beneficial interest in the document, you may notarize it.

Bobbi

13 May 2018

I live in Indiana and my child is in school in Tennessee, she is getting a part time job there and needs a document signed and notarized claiming declaration of citizenship. She has her Indiana address but document comes from the state of Tennessee. Can I notarizes this for her? She didn't change her license to Tennessee. Or does she need a Tennessee notary? She is in school there.

National Notary Association

15 May 2018

Hello. While not prohibited by law, the state of Indiana strongly discourages Notaries from notarizing documents for family members due to the risk of the Notary's impartiality being compromised.

Lisa

13 Jun 2018

Is it legal in Texas for a son to notarized a statement for his father?

National Notary Association

18 Jun 2018

Hello. Texas does not disqualify you from notarizing if the signer is a relative. However, if the statement would benefit you in some way, or if you are named in the document, another Notary should perform the notarization instead.

Greg

15 Jun 2018

I'm a Virginia notary. I'd like to notarize a document for my spouse. The document is a parent's permission/acknowledgement form for my 2 kids to go to summer camp. Obviously, there is not direct/indirect benefit to me...it is simply notarized to ensure the actual parent has given permission. VA notary law talks about notaries can't notarize a relative's document...but in the same sentence it seems to expound upon the spirit/intent of not notarizing relatives documents is to ensure there's no conflict of interest. If I don't benefit from notarizing a camp permission form, it seems to me that I am meeting the intent of the 'relative' rule if I notarize under that interpretation. Am I wrong?

National Notary Association

18 Jun 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but Virginia Notary law explicitly prohibits Notaries from notarizing any document to which the Notary or the Notary's spouse is a party to. The only exception that a Notary is not disqualfied solely for being named in a document for the purpose of receiving notices, or named in a document as executor, trustee, or other fiduciary. Virginia law says that a Notary who violates this provision is guilty of official misconduct (COV 47.1-30).

Kristi

18 Jun 2018

Hello! I'm in Colorado. Wondering if it is okay to notarize my brother's divorce settlement papers. His ex-wife requested I do it. I have no gain in the matter, obviously. It's amicable. Just curious. I know we are permitted to notarize for relatives here, but figured I'd ask! Thanks!

National Notary Association

18 Jun 2018

Hi Kristi. You are correct that Colorado does not prohibit notarizing for relatives. However, the Secretary of State's website does caution that if the document is questioned in the future, it may be looked at more closely since you are a relative of the signer. The Secretary of State's office suggests on its website in order to avoid questions about your impartiality as a notary as well as possible accusations of undue influence, it is always safest for a signer to find a notary that he or she is not related to instead.

Ray

01 Jul 2018

My ex wife divorced. And she got her sister to notarize everything my house and belongings. Is this legal. In texas

National Notary Association

02 Jul 2018

Hello. Any legal questions regarding a divorce would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

LaShawn

11 Jul 2018

Is it legal in California to notarize my mother's health care directive? I would be the one carrying out her wishes.

National Notary Association

11 Jul 2018

Hello. California Notaries are not permitted to notarize if the Notary has a direct financial or beneficial interest in a transaction (GC 8224). Since you would receive the authority to make decisions for your mother's healthcare, you would have an interest in the transaction and should not be the one to notarize your mother's signature.

LT Corrigan

12 Jul 2018

Can a mother who is a notary, notarize a Minor power of attorney for her own child? There is no benefit from it other than giving another family guardian ship during the parents travel.

National Notary Association

13 Jul 2018

Hello. Since different states have different rules regarding notarizing for family members, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Sally

13 Jul 2018

Can I notarize a document for my son? It’s related to his purchasing property. I am a West Virginia notary.

National Notary Association

16 Jul 2018

Hello. The West Virginia Notary Handbook says that Notaries may not notarize papers for members of immediate family if you could receive money or property interest from the transaction. In order to avoid possible conflict of interest, you should find another unrelated Notary for the transaction.

Janice

16 Aug 2018

My husband and I will take temporary Guardianship of my grandson and move him from NY to North Carolina to live with us. can I sign my husband’s name and get it notarized in NY to take to NC? Or does he have to sign and notarize his signature in NC where he is now?

National Notary Association

16 Aug 2018

Hello. Notaries may not notarize a signature if the signer does not personally appear and present proof of identity. If your husband wishes to have his signature notarized on a document, he would need to appear in person before a Notary in the state he is located in.

Rhonda

26 Sep 2018

My husband died can I sign his name on a motorized document in his name I’m a beneficiary

National Notary Association

28 Sep 2018

Hello. No, it is not permissible for someone else to sign a deceased person's name on a document after their death.

David

07 Oct 2018

Can I notarize my wife’s signature in New Jersey. No financial benefit. This just allows her to get senior citizen status.

National Notary Association

08 Oct 2018

Hello. Unfortunately, New Jersey does not provide specific guidelines regarding notarizing for spouses. The New Jersey Notary Public Manual states, "Notaries should refrain from notarizing documents in which they have a personal interest, including documents they have prepared for a fee." If you are unsure whether or not you may be considered to have a disqualifying interest, our recommendation is to err on the side of caution and have another Notary with no connection to the signer or document perform the notarization instead just to be safe.

David

09 Oct 2018

Can I notarize my wife’s signature in New Jersey. No financial benefit. This just allows her to get senior citizen status.

National Notary Association

10 Oct 2018

Hello. New Jersey does not specifically prohibit Notaries from notarizing for a spouse. The New Jersey 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.”

Michelle McIntyre

10 Oct 2018

Can I notarize my daughter’s signature if she was acting in the capacity of a process server in MI?

National Notary Association

10 Oct 2018

Hello. No, Michigan Notaries may not notarize for their children: “A notary public shall not perform a notarial act for a spouse, lineal ancestor, lineal descendant, or sibling including in-laws, steps, or half-relatives” (MCL 55.291[8]).

Al

11 Oct 2018

Can my spouse notarize a Dept Motor Vehicle request for a duplicate title for a motorcycle I own. We both live in Pennsylvania. I am not selling it.

National Notary Association

11 Oct 2018

Hello. No, your spouse cannot notarize your document: "A notarial officer may not perform a notarial act with respect to a record in which the notarial officer or the notarial officer’s spouse has a direct or pecuniary interest” (57 Pa.C.S. 304[b][1]).

Dave

19 Oct 2018

I am a Notary in the state of Maine. My brother owns his business and needs to have a lien waiver for a client notarized. Can I notarized this? I have no stake or ownership in the company.

National Notary Association

19 Oct 2018

Hello. No, Maine Notaries are not permitted to notarize documents for their siblings.though they may solemnize marriages for family members (4 MRSA 954-A).

Karen K

25 Oct 2018

Ohio I looked up my state laws. Can I notarize for Husband, parents, children? ie car titles, advanced directives, mortgage, deeds, etc. As long as I do not benefit from it.

National Notary Association

25 Oct 2018

“A notary cannot take the acknowledgment to an instrument in which the notary has an interest, for example, a deed of real estate either to or from the notary. A notary may take the acknowledgment of a relative, even a wife or husband, if the notary has no interest in the transaction” ("A Handbook for Notaries Public" published by the Franklin County Common Pleas Court and Columbus Bar Association, p. 13).

Legrand T

27 Oct 2018

In SC can a notary public sign a marriage certificate for a step child?

National Notary Association

31 Oct 2018

Hello. There is no prohibition in South Carolina against officiating a wedding or performing a notarization for a stepchild. However, a South Carolina Notary may not notarize if the Notary is named in the document, signs the document or would benefit from the document. Also, South Carolina Notaries may not certify copies of marriage certificates.

Dustin lorow

13 Nov 2018

Can my notery noterize her husband fore my concealed carry permit in ny

National Notary Association

14 Nov 2018

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.

Katee

15 Nov 2018

Can I notarize a passport application for my niece. She is 14 so I am really notarizing my brother and SIL signature. I am in WA state. I do not see that it is against WA state law and it has no financial benefit to me.

National Notary Association

16 Nov 2018

Hello. Washington Notaries may not notarize for the Notary's spouse or domestic partner and may not notarize if their spouse/domestic partner has an interest in the transaction. They may notarize for family members outside of their spouse or domestic partner, so long as the Notary or the Notary's spouse/domestic partner do not have a direct beneficial interest in the notarization.

Katie L

28 Nov 2018

Hello, I live in PA and work for my mother-in-law, my husband also works for the business (he is the president). Can I notarize business paperwork for them? Most are waiver of liens and AIA applications. I am the bookkeeper for the business. Thanks

National Notary Association

29 Nov 2018

Hello. A Pennsylvania Notary may not perform a notarial act with respect to a record in which the notarial officer or the notarial officer’s spouse has a direct or pecuniary interest (57 Pa.C.S. 304[b][1]).

Uriah

01 Dec 2018

I live in Washington state and my grandma is in poor health and would like to sign a DNR, and would like to sign over any medical decisions to my mother, can I notarized those documents?

National Notary Association

03 Dec 2018

Hello. Washington Notaries are prohibited from notarizing for the Notary's spouse or domestic partner. (RCW 42.45.020[2]) They may notarize for other relatives provided the Notary and/or the Notary's spouse or domestic partner do not have a direct beneficial interest in the notarization. If you are unsure whether or not the document may be questioned if you notarize in this situation, the safest course is to have an uninvolved Notary who is not related to the signers perform the notarization instead.

Toni

03 Dec 2018

Does the state of Tennessee prohibit notarizing for relatives

National Notary Association

03 Dec 2018

Hello. An opinion issued by the TN Attorney General's office (Opinion 10-97, issued September 13, 2010), says: “It is the opinion of this Office that a notary public is prohibited from notarizing his or her spouse’s signature because of the requirement that notaries discharge the duties of office ‘without favor or partiality.’ Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 8-16-105. The spousal relationship prevents the notary public from being impartial in the matter. The notarization of a spouse’s signature would not, however, be void per se, but it would be voidable upon evidence of undue advantage, fraud, or oppression arising out of the fact of such relationship.”

Cristina Poo

03 Dec 2018

I'm in Florida. Can I notarize for my Brother and Sister?

National Notary Association

03 Dec 2018

Hello. A Florida Notary may not notarize a signature on a document if the person whose signature is to be notarized is the spouse, son, daughter, mother, or father of the Notary (FS 117.107[11]). However, Florida Notaries may perform wedding ceremonies for relatives.

Brenda McAllister

03 Dec 2018

Can I notarize the document my daughter signs to take my grandson out of state?

National Notary Association

03 Dec 2018

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Renee Barker

04 Dec 2018

I am a CA notary. My daughter and son in law did IVF in clinic A and there is 1 fertilized egg left. They have changed to clinic B to start IVF because of failure in clinic A. In order to transfer fertilized egg from clinic A to clinic B a release must be notarized by both of them. Can I do the notary as their mother.?

National Notary Association

05 Dec 2018

Hello. The CA Secretary of State's Office provides the following guidelines for notarizing for relatives in its 2018 Notary Public Handbook: "A notary public may notarize documents for relatives or others, 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. A notary public would have a direct financial or beneficial interest to a transaction in the following situations (Government Code section 8224): • If a notary public is named, individually, as a principal to a financial transaction. • If a notary public is named, individually, as any of the following to a real property transaction: beneficiary, grantor, grantee, mortgagor, mortgagee, trustor, trustee, vendor, vendee, lessor, or lessee. A notary public would not have a direct financial or beneficial interest in a transaction if a notary public is acting in the capacity of an agent, employee, insurer, attorney, escrow holder, or lender for a person having a direct financial or beneficial interest in the transaction. If in doubt as to whether or not to notarize, the notary public should seek the advice of an attorney."

Tiffiane

12 Dec 2018

Can I notarized my sister in laws revised divorce papers?

Tiffiane

13 Dec 2018

Hello. To help us answer your question can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Susan

22 Dec 2018

In the state of OK can I notarize for my niece?

National Notary Association

27 Dec 2018

Hi Susan. The Oklahoma Secretary of State's website says the following about notarizing for relatives: “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.”

Christina

07 Jan 2019

Hi, I have a son who’s 6 years old. I and my sisters have raised my son. My sister do have the right to signature, taking him to school, doctor or anywhere. Also my sister is my liability for me and my child. Is there possibly I can get notarizing for my sister and my son or my sister can notarizing us? Also will this help if my son father trying to take him back too? He haven’t seen him two years. Thanks.

National Notary Association

07 Jan 2019

Hello. We're sorry, but we can't answer any questions about legal issues relating to custody of a child. You would need to speak with a qualified attorney for advice with any legal matters.

Chris S

07 Jan 2019

Hello, question about a quit claim deed for state of Mass. If I signed a quit claim deed for the property my husband and I owned during our divorce.( he lives on the property, I moved) can his sister notarize the deed? Or would this be invalid in Mass? Thanks

National Notary Association

07 Jan 2019

Hello. In Massachusetts, a Notary is disqualified from notarizing the signatures of a sibling or sibling-in-law of the signer. The only exception is if the signer is witnessing a will or other legal document prepared by a Notary public who also an attorney licensed in Massachusetts (GL 222 Sec. 16[a][vii]).

Helen T

14 Jan 2019

Can I notarize for my husband in Maryland?

National Notary Association

14 Jan 2019

Hello. The Handbook for Maryland Notaries Public Notaries says, "... to minimize personal involvement, notaries should refrain from performing official acts for members of their immediate families, even though not ordinarily under a legal duty to refrain” (HNP).

Elisha

16 Jan 2019

Can my sister notarize my divorce forms in the state of Florida? We are half sisters and she has no relation to this case at all.

National Notary Association

16 Jan 2019

Hello. While Florida Notaries may not notarize for their spouses, sons, daughters, mothers, or fathers, notarizing for siblings is permitted as long as the Notary has no financial interest in the transaction and is not a party to the transaction. (FS 117.107[12] and FS 117.107[11])

Laura

20 Jan 2019

In PA, can I notarize for my father who is receiving a government appointed position? I would be notarizing the oath.

National Notary Association

22 Jan 2019

Hello. As long as you do not have a direct or pecuniary interest in the transaction, you may perform the notarization.

Elizabeth Rodriguez

30 Jan 2019

Hi, I'm In CA, And my mothers' Identification Documents were lost/Stolen. She needs a notarized letter can I notarize it for her to continue the process of getting all her Docs again?, or shall I find another notary for her? I won't be a witness but my stepfather would be her witness.

National Notary Association

30 Jan 2019

Hello. A California Notary may notarize for relatives unless doing so would provide a direct financial or beneficial interest to the Notary. If you are unsure whether or not you would have an interest in the document, the safest course would be to have a Notary who is not related to your mother perform the notarization.

John

19 Feb 2019

My dad and I signed a document can his wife be the notary for that document? Minnesota

National Notary Association

20 Feb 2019

Hello. Not if the wife is named in the document or would receive a direct beneficial interest from the document.

Barbara Collazo

07 Mar 2019

Can I notarized for my ex son in law for paperwork to authorized my granddaughter to get a passport

National Notary Association

07 Mar 2019

Hello Barbara. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Taini Torres

18 Mar 2019

Can I notarize my boyfriends paperwork that allows the mother to travel out of the country with her since there is no benefit for either one of us? We are located in Florida.

National Notary Association

20 Mar 2019

Hello. You may notarize as long as you do not have a financial interest in the document and are not a party to the underlying transaction. However, you may not notarize for any signer who is related to you as your spouse, son, daughter, mother, or father.

Charlotte Barbo

10 Apr 2019

I am a notary. My husband is a church pastor. We are in Ohio. He needs to sign a document along with one of the church elders and have their signatures notarized. It is a document for the youth of our church who are going on a mission trip. Can I notarize this?

National Notary Association

11 Apr 2019

Hello. Yes, provided that you are not named in the document and have no interest or benefit in the document. “A notary cannot take the acknowledgment to an instrument in which the notary has an interest, for example, a deed of real estate either to or from the notary. A notary may take the acknowledgment of a relative, even a wife or husband, if the notary has no interest in the transaction” (HNP, p. 13).

Kristen Zdanavage

28 May 2019

In Pa, can I notarize my daughters form to allow her husband to apply for a passport for their child?

National Notary Association

30 May 2019

Hello. Yes, as long as you do not have a direct interest (such as being named in the document) or financial interest in the document.

Elizabeth Mel

09 Jul 2019

can I notarize my boyfriend police application I gain nothing from this, state in Florida

National Notary Association

22 Jul 2019

Hello. Yes, provided you do not have a a financial interest in the document and are not a party to the underlying transaction.

Melissa H.

29 Jul 2019

As a Florida notary; can I sign for my Father’s ex-wife?

National Notary Association

30 Jul 2019

Hello. You may notarize the signature of your father's ex-wife as long as you are not named in or have a beneficial interest in the document.

Keith Evans

30 Jul 2019

I live in Nort Carolina and was told i can notorize a car title for my wife but its not the best thing to do

AMANDA WENSEL

04 Sep 2019

I am in Pennsylvania. My father wants to have a family meeting to discuss his wishes after he passes. I wish to receive nothing after his passing, but hoping to notarize paperwork on his behalf to lower the chance of arguments between other siblings. Am I able to notarize for him?

National Notary Association

06 Sep 2019

Hello. “A notarial officer may not perform a notarial act with respect to a record in which the notarial officer or the notarial officer’s spouse has a direct or pecuniary interest” (57 Pa.C.S. 304[b][1]). As this involves your father's estate, we recommend that you find an uninvolved Notary to perform notarizations for your father in order to prevent possible future claims of improper bias on your part.

Matthew

06 Sep 2019

In CA. My mother in law wants to make my wife power of attorney solely to sign her loan documents on a refi. Can I notarize the document for my mother in law. Neither my wife or my self have interest in the property

National Notary Association

10 Sep 2019

Hello. California prohibits notarizing if the Notary has a direct financial or beneficial interest in the transaction. Since your spouse would be receiving the benefit of this power of attorney and it is not 100 percent clear from your description whether or not you could also benefit from this, we would strongly recommend finding an unrelated Notary instead to avoid any possible questions of improper bias.

Sharise

12 Sep 2019

I'm in NC, would I be able to notarize my sister's name change documents for the DMV?

National Notary Association

12 Sep 2019

Hello. Yes, provided you are not named in the documents and will not receive a financial benefit or other benefit from the document.

Jane

07 Oct 2019

My Grandmother wants me to notarize her testament where she wants to have my father and his siblings in her will. I am not a beneficiary but seeing how it's my father and my grandmother I don't know if it's OK for me to accept or it would seem as if I have an interest in this even though I wouldn't be in my Grandmother's will. I am a Notary Public in California.

National Notary Association

08 Oct 2019

Hello. In situations where you are not 100 percent clear whether you have a disqualifying interest or not, we strongly recommend finding an uninvolved Notary to perform the notarization instead.

Pamela Plimpton

08 Oct 2019

I'm in the state of South Dakota. Can I notarize a bill of sale for my mother-in-law? I have checked in the handbook & don't see anything specific to say it is not allowed, but want to be sure we are not breaking any rules.

National Notary Association

08 Oct 2019

From the South Dakota Notary Public Handbook: "While it is not illegal for a notary to take a relative’s affidavit, it is not advisable to do so. If the subject matter is something that would benefit the notary or a relative, it is not considered a good business practice. Still (it) is not illegal for a notary to witness the signatures of close friends and relatives. There are, however, federal and state courts which do have special rules governing the taking of depositions for use in court."

Tiffany

09 Oct 2019

I’m in the state of Florida. Can I notarize a document for my cousin

National Notary Association

10 Oct 2019

Hello. Florida Notaries are not prohibited from notarization for cousins, though the Notary may not notarize for the Notary's own spouse, son, daughter, mother, or father. You also may not notarize if you have a financial interest or are a party to the transaction.

Judah Guerrero

12 Oct 2019

I'm currently living in Texas, and have filed a small estate affidavit, my question is: I have family in California that can't be here presently to sign notery here in Texas. What I do have to do in order to get their signatures? Do they have to contact their notary office located in California? Would it matter if the papers they bring to be notarized says "Notary Public, State of Texas"? Do we need to make new forms in order to get it signed in California? Or does the Notary in the jurisdiction of Texas can be applied in California if it's the same party involved? I'm so confused.

National Notary Association

14 Oct 2019

Hello. You would need to speak to an attorney to request instructions for how your family needs to complete the form.

Andreea BORUTA

03 Nov 2019

For NYS, Can I notarize my father in law form stating that he is still alive? (For retirement porposes) I get no benefit. Thank you!

National Notary Association

04 Nov 2019

Hello. Can you tell us more about what type of notarization you are being asked to perform? For example, are you being asked to notarize your father's signature, or do you have to directly certify he is alive in your capacity as a Notary Public?

sydney

24 Nov 2019

hello, my aunt wants me to notarize documents that make her the power of attorney for my great grandmother. I am in California and I will receive no benefit, am I able to notarize the document?

National Notary Association

26 Nov 2019

Hello. You may notarize as long as you have no direct financial or beneficial interest. However, if you are concerned the document may be later be challenged because of your family relationship with the signer, the safest recommended course is to have the signature notarized by a Notary who is not related to the signer and has no interest in the transaction.

Elisabeth

25 Nov 2019

Hi! Can I notarize something for my sister-in-law in Florida? Thank you!

National Notary Association

26 Nov 2019

Hello. Yes, provided that you are not a party to the document or will receive a benefit from the document.

Sai Ping Bajinting

04 Feb 2020

Hello, I’m a Notary Public in Hawaii. Can I notarize something for my mom who’s a Canadian? Please advise. Tks!!

National Notary Association

06 Feb 2020

Hello. If you have an interest or are named in the document, have signed the document or the document would otherwise affect your personal affairs, then you may not notarize.

Lisa King

10 Feb 2020

As a notary I can perform Marriage ceremony's can I perform My Son's

National Notary Association

12 Feb 2020

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Sharyn Snyder

12 Feb 2020

In the State of FL, can I notarize something for my ex-Husband?

National Notary Association

14 Feb 2020

Hello. Florida prohibits notarizing signatures of spouses, sons, daughters, mothers or fathers, but allows Notaries to conduct weddings for relatives.

Day

29 Feb 2020

I am a US citizen who resides in Italy. I am selling a property in Illinois. The real estate agent needs me to sign the deed to the property and have my signature notarized. US Consulates abroad provide this service but by appointment only. The first appointment available at the US Consulate in Milan is March 18. The fist appointment available in Rome (360 miles from me!) is March 12. The closing date for the sale is March 15. Is it possible to do remote notarisation by webcam? Is this recognised in the state of Illinois?

National Notary Association

04 Mar 2020

Hello. Notaries in Illinois are not authorized to perform remote online notarizations.

Tyler Sides

14 Apr 2020

My grandfather passed away and my mother wishes for me to notarize a document pertaining to him. I have no direct or indirect benefit from notarizing, but am I legally allowed to notarize documents associated with my deceased grandfather who shares my last name? I live in Maryland

National Notary Association

15 Apr 2020

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

Laya

15 Apr 2020

My husband and I are submitting a birth certificate request for our newborn here in CA. The form requires a notarizafion plus stamp. Am I allowed to notarize this? I don’t have any financial benefit from this. Thank you!!

National Notary Association

15 Apr 2020

Hello. If you are a party to the document, (for example, are named in the document or signing it) then you should not notarize any signatures on it.

Laya

15 Apr 2020

My husband and I are submitting a birth certificate request for our newborn here in CA. The form requires a notarizafion plus stamp. Am I allowed to notarize this? I don’t have any financial benefit from this. Thank you!!

National Notary Association

17 Apr 2020

Hello. If you are named in or signing the document, you should not perform the notarization. If you have any questions about possible disqualifying interest, it is always better to ask an uninvolved Notary to perform the notarization instead.

Pam Wiley Hollingsworth

24 May 2020

Can one notarize a legal document for her ex-brother in law?

National Notary Association

27 May 2020

Hello. To help us answer your question can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Vicki Hughes

25 May 2020

I'm a NJ notary. May I notarize a power of attorney for my EX husband. He is naming our daughter as agent and I have no financial interest.

National Notary Association

27 May 2020

Hello. New Jersey Notaries are not specifically prohibited from notarizing for relatives or ex-relatives. However, New Jersey Notaries may not notarize if the Notary has a personal interest in the document. If there is uncertainty whether or not you may have a personal interest, the safest course is to have an uninvolved Notary perform the notarization instead.

Teresa Pimentel

26 May 2020

As a Washington State Notary, can I notarize a Marriage License for my son and future Daughter In Law?

National Notary Association

27 May 2020

Hello. While Washington Notaries are not allowed to notarize the signature of their spouses or domestic partners, you may notarize the signatures of other family members as long as you and your spouse/domestic partner do not have a beneficial interest in the document. However, please note that Washington state does not authorize its Notaries to officiate weddings in their official capacity as a Notary Public.

Leah

27 May 2020

Hello, may I notarize a document for my husband’s boss? My husband is mentioned in the document but he is not the signer on the document. This is in Florida. Thank you.

National Notary Association

27 May 2020

Hello. While Florida Notary law does not prohibit you from notarizing for your spouse's boss, if there are any concerns that your impartiality could be challenged due to your spouse being named in the document, the safest course would be to have a different Notary with no ties to parties named in the document notarize the signature instead.

Nicole Ducat

06 Jun 2020

If I wrote a statement regarding a ongoing case I am currently dealing with on regular notebook paper and have it notarized would it be an accepted document?

National Notary Association

08 Jun 2020

Hello. That is a legal question that would require a qualified attorney to answer.

Nicole

02 Jul 2020

For CT Laws, could my grandmother notarize something for me? It's hard to find this specific info online. thanks

National Notary Association

02 Jul 2020

Hello. The following is from the state Notary Public Manual: "A notary can notarize documents for family members. However, a notary should refrain from performing a notarial act for a family member if the notary cannot perform his/her duties impartially, as this would constitute a conflict of interest. Additionally, a notary is disqualified from performing a notarial act for family members if s/he is also a signatory of the document or has a direct material, financial, personal interest in the document to be signed."

Tyler

30 Jul 2020

Hi there, can I notarize a bill of sale/purchase agreement for my brother who is selling a vehicle?

National Notary Association

31 Jul 2020

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Jackie

01 Aug 2020

My boyfriend wants to sign a contract handing over the rights or a logo with the creator. Can I notarize the document I live in Pennsylvania

National Notary Association

03 Aug 2020

“A notarial officer may not perform a notarial act with respect to a record in which the notarial officer or the notarial officer’s spouse has a direct or pecuniary interest” (57 Pa.C.S. 304[a][1]).

Hari Iyer

14 Aug 2020

I live in California. I have life insurance, I am the husband. The insurance policy is under my name only. I want my wife to be added as a beneficiary. The insurance company sent me a form for a notary to sign. Can I notarize that document since I am also a notary. Just to add, I will have no financial interest, since if I passed away, then the benefits accrue to my wife. I saw your explanations on various situations. Wanted to ask.

National Notary Association

17 Aug 2020

Hello. No, since you are a party to the transaction, you may not notarize the document. “A notary public who has a direct financial or beneficial interest in a transaction shall not perform any notarial act in connection with such transaction. For purposes of this section, a notary public has a direct financial or beneficial interest in a transaction if the notary public: (a) With respect to a financial transaction, is named, individually, as a principal to the transaction." (California GC 8224)

Lonna Hildreth

23 Aug 2020

Can I notarize my granddaughter's divorce complaint in TN if I am also her attorney for her divorce?

National Notary Association

24 Aug 2020

Opinion No. 10-97 (September 13, 2010) of the Tennessee Attorney General states with respect to Notaries taking acknowledgments: “The Tennessee Supreme Court has recognized that it is unwise and contrary to public policy for any officer to take an acknowledgment to any instrument to which he is a party, or in which he is interested directly or indirectly. In either event the officer should be disinterested and entirely impartial, as between the parties…. Acknowledgments before parties related or interested are voidable, but not ipso facto void; and, while such acknowledgments will not per se be declared void, still they are open to attack, and the court will lend a ready ear to evidence of undue advantage, fraud, or oppression arising out of the fact of such relationship or interest in the officer taking the acknowledgment.”

Zack Marco

22 Sep 2020

Michigan notary, may I notarize a document for my mother-in-law?

National Notary Association

22 Sep 2020

Hello. In Michigan, “A notary public shall not perform a notarial act for a spouse, lineal ancestor, lineal descendent, or sibling including in-laws, steps, or half-relatives” (MCL 55.291[8]). A “lineal ancestor” is an individual in the direct line of ascent, including but not limited to a parent or grandparent; a “lineal descendant” is an individual who is in the direct line of descent, including but not limited to a child or grandchild (MCL 55.265).

Dale Hall

10 Oct 2020

Under Illinois law, can a notary sign a stock transfer if she is one of two beneficiaries? If not and was done already, does that make the stock transfer invalid? Thank You

National Notary Association

12 Oct 2020

“A notary public shall not acknowledge [sic] any instrument in which the notary’s name appears as a party to the transaction” (5 ILCS 312/6-104[b]). “A notary public may not notarize his or her own signature and may not notarize any document in which the notary’s name appears as a party to the transaction” (NPH). “You may never notarize your own signature, whether you are signing for yourself or for a corporation” (NPH).

Thomas Bates

06 Nov 2020

I live in Oregon. Can my girlfriend notarize power of attorney forms for my car dealership?

National Notary Association

10 Nov 2020

“A notarial officer may not perform a notarial act with respect to a record to which the officer or the officer’s spouse is a party, or in which either the officer or the officer’s spouse has a direct beneficial interest. A notarial act performed in violation of this subsection is voidable” (ORS 194.225). “A notary public cannot notarize his or her own signature or the signature of their spouse. A notary public must be an impartial witness. The law doesn’t forbid notaries from notarizing the signatures of relatives, yet doing so isn’t a good practice. If the document were ever taken to court, a judge might determine that the notary public was not impartial or had influenced a relative in the signing of the document – ORS 194.225” (NPG).

Shelly Nieman

03 Dec 2020

I am a notary in Minnesota can I sign a affidavit for certificate of exemption for my son?

National Notary Association

04 Dec 2020

Hello. The MN Secretary of State's website (https://www.sos.state.mn.us/notary-apostille/notary-help/notary-faq/) provides the following guidelines: Can I notarize for a family member? Minnesota Statutes 358.54, Subd. 2 states a notarial officer may not perform a notarial act with respect to a record to which the officer's spouse is a party, in which either of them has a direct interest. A notarial act performed in violation of this sub division is voidable. Notaries who do so in many instances will violate this statute prohibiting a direct beneficial interest. For instance, if a Notary is asked to witness her husband's signature on a loan document for the purchase of a home they will share, she will directly benefit from the transaction and should disqualify herself. The likelihood of a direct beneficial interest is usually greater with immediate family members - spouse, mother, father, son, daughter, sister or brother - than with non-immediate, such as in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. The matter of interest in an inheritance is more often a consideration with lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) and ascendants (parent, grandparents, etc.) than with nonlinear relatives. A Notary that will have no beneficial interest in notarizing for a relative and will not be prevented by law from doing so. However, to avoid later questioning of the Notary's impartiality, as well as accusations of undue influence, it is always safest for a signer to find a Notary who is not related.

Tre

14 Dec 2020

Im from Washington DC, my uncle is older and experiencing mental issues my mother needs power of attorney to put him in an assisted living home. Should I notarize the POA application??

National Notary Association

15 Dec 2020

Hello. “A notarial officer shall not perform a notarial act if: … “(2) The notarial officer or the officer’s spouse is a party to the record; or “(3) The notarial officer or the officer’s spouse has a direct beneficial interest in the record” (CDC 1-1231.3[b]). A notarial act that violates these provisions is voidable (CDC 1-1231.3[c]). “It is also recommended that a notary not perform a notarial act for any members of the immediate family as this can be construed as a conflict of interest” (District of Columbia's Notary Public Handbook).

RANDI WARBASSE

14 Dec 2020

I'm in AZ and didn't get very far with the agency here other than what was stated in your article of personal gain. I am divorced from my ex husband for 25 years now and his parents are in their late 80's sand need a few forms notarized for unclaimed property. I would for obvious reasons not benefit from any of this money if they can prove their claim, but my sons may by a very small chance. Can I notarize for them or should I call for a mobile notary? Thank you for any assistance on this.

National Notary Association

15 Dec 2020

Hello. In situations where state Notary law does not address the issue of notarizing for a relative, The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility Article II-B-5 recommends, "The Notary shall not perform a notarial act on a document in which a known family member related by blood, marriage, or adoption in any degree of lineage is an interested party."

Greg

06 Jan 2021

Can a relative who is a Notary Public (New York State) notarize a signature to allow direct deposit through the applicants employer? The Notary Public’s name does not appear on the direct deposit authorization and the account that the funds will be deposited into is solely owned by the employee. The notary type requested is an acknowledgement.

National Notary Association

08 Jan 2021

Hello. New York does not address disqualifying interest for notarizing for relatives. The state's Notary Public License Law publication says the following: “If the notary is a party to or directly and pecuniarily interested in the transaction, the person is not capable of acting in that case. For example, a notary who is a grantee or mortgagee in a conveyance or mortgage is disqualified to take the acknowledgment of the grantor or mortgagor; likewise a notary who is a trustee in a deed of trust; and, of course, a notary who is the grantor could not take his own acknowledgment. A notary beneficially interested in the conveyance by way of being secured thereby is not competent to take the acknowledgment of the instrument. In New York the courts have held an acknowledgment taken by a person financially or beneficially interested in and a party to a conveyance or instrument of which it is a part to be a nullity; and that the acknowledgment of an assignment of a mortgage before one of the assignees is a nullity; and that an acknowledgment by one of the incorporators of the other incorporators who signed a certificate was of no legal effect” In situations where state law does not address the issue, Article II-B-5 of the Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility recommends that Notaries do not notarize documents for relatives.

Kay

08 Jan 2021

Can I notarize court documents for child visitation legal documents for a significant other? We are not married, so not a spouse. I am in MO, he is in AR and child is in LA. If he brings documents to MO can I notarize them? I am not included in any of court documents, no financial benefits to me etc. He just needs a notary to sign and I didn't know if I could or not.

National Notary Association

08 Jan 2021

Hello. Missouri Notary law states, “A notary shall be disqualified from performing a notarial act if the notary… [is] a spouse, domestic partner, ancestor, descendant, or sibling of the principal, including in-law, step, and half relatives” (RSMo 486.645.3[3]). Given your relationship to the signer, you should not perform the notarization.

LMT

08 Jan 2021

What are the rules in IL for notarizing for family members?

National Notary Association

08 Jan 2021

Hello. “A notary public shall not acknowledge [sic] any instrument in which the notary’s name appears as a party to the transaction” (5 ILCS 312/6-104[b]). According to the Illinois Notary Public Handbook issued by the Secretary of State, “A notary public may not notarize his or her own signature and may not notarize any document in which the notaryʼs name appears as a party to the transaction. A notary may notarize the signature of his or her spouse, children and other relatives.”

Justin Harris

06 Feb 2021

Hi, we’re currently refinancing our home in Michigan. My grandmother recently had a stroke and she’s not all there anymore. A year ago she created a letter basically stating that her son can sign any documents on her behalf, signed it and had it notarized. Is my uncle able to sign the refinance and title documents on her behalf?

National Notary Association

08 Feb 2021

Hello. We're sorry, but that is a legal question that would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Elsie

15 Feb 2021

Hi from NY. Can I notarize lien waivers for my ex husband who is also my boss?

National Notary Association

26 Feb 2021

Hello. New York prohibits Notaries from notarizing documents if the Notary has a direct interest or is a party to the document. If you are unsure if you have an interest in the document, the safest course is to have a different uninvolved Notary perform the notarization instead.

Ian

22 Feb 2021

Hello, I am a notary, and I need to get my daughter a passport. Can I apply my signature and seal for that?

National Notary Association

25 Feb 2021

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Ian

25 Feb 2021

Texas

National Notary Association

26 Feb 2021

Hello. There is no specific prohibition against notarizing a spouse’s or relative’s signature in Texas. However, if you are named in the document or are required to sign the document in a non-Notary capacity, you should not perform the notarization.

Nick Durant

03 Mar 2021

My girlfriend and I are buying a farm on a land contract in Upstate New York, can my mother notarize our signatures on the documents for us ?

National Notary Association

05 Mar 2021

Hello. If a New York Notary is a party to or directly and pecuniarily interested in the transaction, the Notary is not permitted to notarize. If you are uncertain if the Notary has an interest in the transaction, the safest course is to have a different, uninvolved Notary perform the notarization.

Margaret

04 Mar 2021

Can I notarize a divorce petition for my son's father the divorce is between him and another woman? I am notarized in New Jersey the document is from Ohio. I do not gain anything financially from notarizing it.

National Notary Association

05 Mar 2021

Hello. New Jersey does not have a specific prohibition against notarizing for family members or relatives. However, the state advises Notaries to refrain from notarizing documents in which they have a personal interest, including documents they have prepared for a fee. If you are uncertain, the safest course is to have another, uninvolved Notary perform the notarization instead.

Porsche Brown

09 Mar 2021

Can I notarize a quit claim deed for my spouse business in the state of Georgia? The quit claim deed will be placed in her company name.

National Notary Association

10 Mar 2021

Hello. Georgia Notaries may not notarize if the Notary is a signer of the document, party to the document or party to the transaction related to the notarized document (OCGA 45-17-8[c]). While notarizing for relatives is not specifically prohibited in Georgia, the state recommends against it due to the risk of potential problems if the document is challenged in court.

Laurie

16 Mar 2021

This is a PA question. Am I able to notarize my parents POA, Living Will and Medical POA forms for them? Two of my siblings are named as POA’s. Thank you

National Notary Association

16 Mar 2021

Hello. “A notarial officer may not perform a notarial act with respect to a record in which the notarial officer or the notarial officer’s spouse has a direct or pecuniary interest” (57 Pa.C.S. 304[a][1]). Effective January 1, 2015, Pennsylvania Notaries may not take the acknowledgment of a power of attorney if they are named as an agent in or are a witness to the signing of that power of attorney (20 Pa.C.S. 5601[b][3]). Even if not specifically prohibited by state law, Article II-B-5 of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility recommends against notarizing for relatives to avoid possible questions of bias if the document is later questioned or challenged.

Elisabeth

27 Mar 2021

Can I notarize the letter my sister and BIL signs so that my sister can take their children out of country in vacation? We live in Illinois.

National Notary Association

01 Apr 2021

Hello. Illinois does not prohibit Notaries from notarizing for family members. However, “A notary public shall not acknowledge [sic] any instrument in which the notary’s name appears as a party to the transaction” (5 ILCS 312/6-104[b]).

Lynne Mays

29 Apr 2021

South Carolina: May I notarize divorce papers for my son and daughter-in-law?

National Notary Association

05 May 2021

Hello. While South Carolina does not have a specific prohibition against notarizing for relatives, you may not notarize if you are a signer of, party to, or beneficiary of the record that is to be notarized (SCC 26-1-90[C][3]). Also, you may not notarize if you will will receive directly from a transaction connected with the notarial act any commission, fee, advantage, right, title, interest, cash, property, or other consideration other than your Notary fee (SCC 26-1-90[C][4]).

Jerry Lucas

14 May 2021

Colorado has prohibited notarizing for family members since RULONA became effective on July 1, 2018. See CRS 24-21-504(2) regarding disqualifying interest.

Janine J Isom

02 Jun 2021

Hello can i noterize for my mother & father in laws business in Alabama i am an employee but i do not gain anything from them only my weekly paycheck & i do not benefit from there business but a regular paycheck

National Notary Association

07 Jun 2021

Hello. A 1994 Alabama Attorney General opinion states the following: “(R)esearch does not reveal any law that prohibits a notary public from notarizing a relative’s or spouse’s signature. However, the better practice would be for a notary public to refrain from notarization of the signature of his or her spouse or immediate family member so the impartiality of the notary public would not be an issue should the authentication of the document be questioned” (Ala. Atty. Gen. Opinion 95-00289 of August 16, 1995).

Helen Santos

24 Jun 2021

I am in CA, can I notarize escrow documents for a brother-in-law? He sold a piece of property that’s under his name alone. I don’t have any financial gain with this transaction.

National Notary Association

01 Jul 2021

Hello. The California state Notary Public Handbook says, “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.” However, if you have concerns that your relationship to the signer could potentially cause an issue, the safest course is always to find another Notary who is unrelated to the signer and has no interest in the transaction.

Cookie1443

03 Aug 2021

My sister in law is applying for her sons passport . Her husband can’t go with her . Is it ok if I notarize his document stating he is who he is . I have his passport . My issue is my sister in law is mentioned in the document . And we have the same last name . Will this be in issue ? I’m in NY.

National Notary Association

12 Aug 2021

Hello. You cannot notarize the husband's signature unless the husband appears in person before you during the notarization. New York does not automatically disqualify Notaries from notarizing for relatives. However, according to the state's "Notary Public License Law" publication, a Notary may not notarize if the Notary is a party to or directly and pecuniarily interested in the transaction.

Elizabeth Maya

04 Sep 2021

Can I notarize a document for my Ex husband? I live in South Jersey & he lives in Philadelphia.

National Notary Association

10 Sep 2021

Hello. Just to clarify, do you hold a Notary commission issued in New Jersey, or issued in Pennsylvania?

Diane N.

08 Sep 2021

Can I notorize a motor vehicle renewal for my daughter? It is a duplicate for the one she lost. I live in NJ.

National Notary Association

10 Sep 2021

Hello. New Jersey does not have a specific prohibition against notarizing for relatives. The New Jersey 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 unsure whether or not you have a personal interest in this document (for example, you would have a personal interest if you were named in the document or have some kind of benefit or involvement from the document), the safest course is to have another uninvolved Notary perform the notarization.

Wendy

29 Sep 2021

Hello, Can I notarize a form for my stepdad in the state of Florida? Thank you.

National Notary Association

29 Sep 2021

Hello. In Florida, "A notary public may not notarize a signature on a document if the person whose signature is to be notarized is the spouse, son, daughter, mother, or father of the notary public” (FS 117.107[11]).

Chantelle

07 Oct 2021

Hi, I live in Hawaii. I was wondering, am I allowed to notarize items for my immediate family? Mom, Dad, brother, etc.

National Notary Association

08 Oct 2021

Hello. No, Hawaii prohibits notarizing for family members: “A notary public shall not perform a notarial act with respect to a document to which the notary public or the notary public's spouse or civil partner is a party or in which either of them has a direct beneficial interest. A notarial act performed in violation of this section is voidable” (HRS 456-14[b]). “The Notary shall not perform a notarial act on a document in which a known family member related by blood, marriage, or adoption in any degree of lineage is an interested party” (CPR II-B-5).

Cheroke Hart

11 Oct 2021

Can I notarize something for my husband if it doesnt directly benifit me and we dont share the same last name in PA?

National Notary Association

12 Oct 2021

Hello. No, you may not. “A notarial officer may not perform a notarial act with respect to a record in which the notarial officer or the notarial officer’s spouse has a direct or pecuniary interest” (57 Pa.C.S. 304[a][1]).

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