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Notary Bulletin

Is black ink required to sign for notarizations?

I am a New York State Notary Public, and I am getting some resistance from people when I ask them to sign in black ink. It is my understanding that each person is required to sign in black ink.  Is signing in black ink required in New York? — L.W., New York

No, there is no statute in New York that requires signers to sign in a certain color.

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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Stefanie Wiggins

03 Aug 2020

The attorney that I worked under for 8 years actually preferred blue. With blue ink, it is easier to tell originals from copies.

Lori Wellborn

03 Aug 2020

"Photographically reproducible" is what I was told in CA. Most Notaries here prefer blue, but you may use hot pink, as long as it shows up when you make a copy of it!

Stacy Cooley

03 Aug 2020

That's been true for my personal and professional experiences as well - blue is typically preferred as it's easier to tell an original from a photocopy.

Lorane FONG

03 Aug 2020

Totally agreed to the above RE: using blue ink for the same reason commented. It sure stands out as original as the prints of all documents are in black...


04 Aug 2020

When I was issued my certification a few years ago at the state office, they requested/recommended always signing in blue.

James D

17 Aug 2020

Dafault for GA Residential Real Estate closings is Blue, but a Lender/Title company may request the signing be done in Black. Other colors are usually not allowed by Lender/Title companies.

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