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Can I help a signer who needs assistance with documents?

Can I assist a client who needs help with a Retirement Hardship document form? — E.H., Florida

You may notarize the signature on a retirement hardship letter, but you cannot “help” the customer understand, prepare, or fill out the content of the form. That would be considered the unauthorized practice of law for which a Notary may have the Notary’s commission suspended (F.S. 117.01(4)(f)). If they have any questions, the signer must contact the agency they are working with.

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.

View All: Hotline Tips


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28 Feb 2022

Hello Can I help customers with verification of address form for schools?

National Notary Association

28 Feb 2022

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in and what type of help the customer is requesting?


28 Feb 2022

In Pennsylvania are we allowed to explain the loan documents to clients? Or are we just supposed to say “this is the ‘ _______ ‘ document, please sign here?”

National Notary Association

04 Mar 2022

Hello. Please see this article for more information:

Robert Maslac

24 Mar 2022

I've been asked to write some short paragraphs about notary practices for very limited distribution in a senior living community newsletter. May I copy some of the responses to Hotline queries and give the NNA credit for them in the newsletter?

National Notary Association

28 Mar 2022

Hello Robert. Please contact the Communications team by email at to request an article reprint permission form and instructions.

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