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Notary Bulletin

Can I notarize a thumbprint signature?

Can a Notary Public in Massachusetts accept a thumbprint as signature for a power of attorney document?T.W., Massachusetts

Yes. The thumbprint would be considered a “signature by mark” which is allowed in Massachusetts  (G.L. Chapter 222, Section 15[f]).  A signature is simply any symbol that expresses an individual’s intent to be bound by what they are signing, whether that symbol is signed with a pen or made by affixing a thumbprint. To sign with a mark (thumbprint), the signer makes their mark on the document in the presence of the Notary Public and two witnesses which are unaffected by the document. Each witness must then sign their own names beside the mark.  The Notary then completes the notarization by completing an acknowledgment or jurat.

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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3 Comments

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Carole Pateman

28 Sep 2020

I realize the question came from Mass. but if would be helpful if you perhaps add the states where a thumbprint is not acceptable so we all know. thank you

National Notary Association

30 Sep 2020

Hello. Please see these two articles for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2018/06/hotine-notarize-thumbprint-signature https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2015/07/privacy-issues-collecting-signer-thumbprints

Susanne Dullack

28 Sep 2020

Interested

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