Your Cookies are Disabled! sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

May A Notary Use A Signature Stamp To Sign Certificate Wording?

NNA Hotline Tip Logo

I am just wondering if a Notary can use a signature stamp or do they have to handwrite their signature for each transaction? C.H., California

California law does not allow you to use a signature stamp. Every time you complete a notarial certificate, you must sign it in your own hand (GC 8205[a][2] through [4]).

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.


View All: Hotline Tips


Add your comment

Leonard Simmons

11 Oct 2017

Thank you for the information


27 Oct 2017

Can I use an address stamp in my journal if I'm notarizing at them same place all the time (e.g. work) or do they have to be handwritten for each transaction?

National Notary Association

27 Oct 2017

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

Leslie Keeney

30 Oct 2017

I'd be interested in the answer to Rosita's as it applies to CA notaries.

National Notary Association

31 Oct 2017

Hello Leslie. California does not specify that journal entries to be handwritten, but the entry must include the following information: Date, time and type of each official act; Character (type or title) of every document sworn to, affirmed, acknowledged or proved before the Notary; Signature of each person whose signature is notarized, including the signature of any subscribing witness and the mark of a signer; Statement regarding the type of satisfactory evidence3 relied on to identify the signer; Fee charged for the notarial act or, if no fee was charged, “No Fee” or “0”; If document is a power of attorney, deed, quitclaim deed, deed of trust or other document affecting real property, the right thumbprint (or any other available print) of the signer. (GC 8206[a])


20 Mar 2021

This is good to know. I'm in California and when I went to take my oath and have it notarized, the notary used a signature stamp. She said it was because she notarizes so many documents, it saves her hand from signing her name so much. Also, she said one time she was questioned (I don't remember the particular situation) as to why her signature did not match the one on her application for commission (I think the 'A" in her first name was written differently). She said the stamp ensures her signature is the same every time. So, I ordered a signature stamp, not really thinking about if it was ok or not. I was asked to do a notarization, and I used the signature stamp. The form came back to the signer saying it had been rejected because a "wet signature" wasn't used. The signature stamp was not accepted, so I redid the notarization, physically signing my name. I had done about 3 other notarizations using the signature stamp and I asked those signers if those notarizations were rejected. None had been. But now I know not the use the signature stamp.


12 Jun 2021

So if I'm physically incapable of using my hand to sign something I'm out of luck?

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.