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May I Notarize A Document For One Of My Parents?

New Hotline Resized 3My father is going to apply for a handicap placard. Can I notarize his paperwork?C.O., Pennsylvania

Updated 1-16-18. Pennsylvania prohibits notarizing for a spouse, but does not address the issue of notarizing for parents. While notarizing for a parent is not prohibited, as suggested in Article II-B-5 of The Notary Public Code Of Professional Responsibility the NNA recommends that you not notarize for a parent, sibling or other family members related by heredity or marriage because the financial affairs of family members are often intertwined. Such a notarization could be considered a conflict of interest. Thus, it is always the safest practice to avoid even the appearance of a financial or beneficial interest and not notarize documents for immediate family. 57 Pa.C.S. 304 states a Notary Public may not notarize in any transaction in which he or she or the Notary's spouse has a financial interest.

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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17 Comments

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Tamara Sullenberger

15 Jan 2018

I'm confused with the NNA's response to the notarizing of a parent's paperwork for a handicap placard. There is nothing financial involved nor does it benefit the Notary. Can you please explain the NNA's reply?

National Notary Association

16 Jan 2018

Hello. In this situation, the state where the Notary was located (Pennsylvania) does not specifically prohibit notarizing for a family member unless the Notary has a financial interest. However, just to be safe the NNA suggests not to notarize for the parent to avoid even the appearance of a financial or beneficial interest.

Les Brock

15 Jan 2018

Great newsletter

Lisa Liang

17 Jun 2019

My mom is going to extend her medical membership. Can I notarize her paperwork? --San Francisco, California.

National Notary Association

19 Jun 2019

Hello. The following is from 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”

Alex Gonzalez

25 Oct 2021

My aunt ask me to notarize translated documents, in which I have not part it. Can I notarize these documents for my aunt? In the state of New York

National Notary Association

29 Oct 2021

Hello. In New York, Notaries may not notarize if the Notary is a party to or directly and pecuniarily interested in the transaction. However, attorneys admitted to practice in New York State may, at their discretion, notarize for clients (EL 135). Corporate stockholders, directors, officers and employees may notarize for other stockholders, directors, officers or employees if the notarizing officer is not a party to the transaction, either individually or as a representative of the corporation (EL 138).

Alex rodriguez

25 Oct 2021

My aunt needs me to notarize documents she translated. I am not name on these documents and I do not gain anything financially. Can I notarize these documents? New York State

National Notary Association

29 Oct 2021

Hello. In New York, Notaries may not perform a notarization if the Notary is a party to or directly and pecuniarily interested in the transaction. However, Attorneys admitted to practice in New York State may, at their discretion, notarize for clients (EL 135). Corporate stockholders, directors, officers and employees may notarize for other stockholders, directors, officers or employees if the notarizing officer is not a party to the transaction, either individually or as a representative of the corporation (EL 138).

Donnetta Jenkins

17 Dec 2021

My sister needs a document notarized. I live in Missouri. Can I do it?

National Notary Association

17 Dec 2021

Hello. No, Missouri prohibits notarizing for siblings: “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]).

Skye Moore

22 Apr 2022

Hello I live in Ohio. My elderly father is signing paperwork for a new apartment but he is currently in rehab. He is the only person on the lease agreement. Can I notarized the paperwork for his new apartment? Thank you

National Notary Association

22 Apr 2022

“Can I notarize for a spouse or family member? “• Ohio law does not expressly prohibit a notary public from notarizing for a spouse or family member, however, Ohio Revised Code section 147.141 states a notary public may not perform a notarial act if the notary has a conflict of interest with regard to the transaction. A conflict of interest means the notary has a direct financial or other interest in the transaction or the notary is named as a party in some capacity to the transaction” (state website, “Notary Information, Resources and FAQs”).

Kathy

13 Jun 2022

My granddaughter notarized her grandfather's will in Pa. Her father is beneficiary and notaries siblings benefited also from the will. Can she legally notarize the documents in Pa? Isn't this definitely a conflict of interest for other family members?

National Notary Association

24 Jun 2022

Hello. In Pennsylvania, “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]).

Benizene Jeffrey

24 Jul 2022

Can I notarized a document for my Uncle ? I have no financial interest in it. I LIVE IN PHILADELPHIA

National Notary Association

28 Jul 2022

Hello. Yes, as long as you or your spouse do not have an interest in the document.

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