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Can I Notarize For A Signer Who Is Out Of The Country?

New Hotline Resized 3I need to notarize a document for someone who's out of the country. There is no one available who watched the absent person sign and can act as a subscribing witness. Can I complete this or should he get the document notarized in the country he's currently in? — B.S., California

No, under California law you cannot notarize a person’s signature unless that person (or in limited cases, a subscribing witness who saw the document signed) personally appears before you. The individual could find a Notary in their country or perhaps take the document to the nearest U.S. Consulate and ask a consular officer to notarize their signature.

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.