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Can A Notary Witness A Safe Deposit Box Opening?

New Hotline Resized 3I've been asked to witness a bank safe deposit opening. What forms are needed or required? Do I take ID’s? Who inventories the contents?N.C., New York

Witnessing the opening of a safe deposit box is a notarial act performed almost exclusively by Notaries employed by banks and other financial institutions, but any Notary may do it.

The bank may open and inventory the contents of a safe deposit box in the presence of a Notary Public if the rental fee on the safe deposit box has not been paid and at least 30 days have transpired since the bank gave proper notice to the lessee and received no response. So, to answer your question, the bank opens and inventories the contents, but the Notary is present and creates and signs a certificate stating the lessee’s name, the date the box was opened, and lists the items removed from the box and any other relevant facts (Banking Law Section 335). New York law does not provide specific wording for the certificate. The law doesn’t require you to identify the officers of the bank who are present when the safe deposit box is opened and inventoried.

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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1 Comment

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Mary Maarouf

16 Jul 2018

Great article.

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