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Can I notarize a letter sent by mail from a jail?

I have a person asking me to notarize a letter from her spouse that is in jail, authorizing her to pick up his property. The spouse is sending her the letter by mail from jail. Can I perform this notarization?L. W., Florida

If the spouse’s signature must be notarized, you must go to the facility where they are incarcerated to perform the notarization.  You cannot notarize a signature without the signer in your 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, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.


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