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How Do I Notarize For A Deaf Signer?

New Hotline Resized 3How do you notarize a signature for someone who is deaf?  L.K., New Jersey

New Jersey law does not have specific provisions for notarizing for the deaf, but The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility helpfully states that a Notary Public must be able to communicate directly with the signer in order to notarize his/her signature. Standard III-C-3 says: “The Notary shall not notarize for any person with whom the Notary cannot directly communicate in the same language, regardless of the presence of a third-party interpreter or translator.”

Any form of direct communication is allowed. The Notary and signer may communicate in sign language. The Notary may communicate directly with the deaf person through writing notes on paper, or the Notary and signer type messages to each other on a computer or mobile device while in each other’s presence. 

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.

1 Comment

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Steven Ray Day

10 Dec 2018

I agree with this, that as long as you can communicate in the same language you should be able to to the notarization. It does depend on the laws of each state. Most people that I deal with whom are deaf are willing to write notes since my sign language isn't the greatest.

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