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May I Notarize A Foreign Language Document?

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Can I notarize a document written in another language if I can't read that language?M.F. California

Yes, you may notarize a document in a foreign language. However, the Notary certificate on the document must be in English. 

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

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.



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11 Oct 2017

I have stamps with the notarial language on them, in English. If the document was 100% in a foreign language, could I add my English stamp with the notarial language and complete the notary that way?

National Notary Association

13 Oct 2017

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

Steve Finestone

11 Oct 2017

i also believe that the notary and client must be able to communicate with each other b

Randi Luscombe

12 Oct 2017

How do you legally document something that you really have no clue as to what it is or what it says without an unbiased interpreter to tell you what's in the document?

Magaly Vera

11 Jan 2020

If the commissioned is in Florida?

National Notary Association

14 Jan 2020

Hello. Florida does not allow a Notary to take an acknowledgment of a person who does not speak or understand the English language, unless the nature and effect of the document to be notarized is translated into a language which the person does understand.

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