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Notary Quiz: Test your witness knowledge


What does a credible identifying witness do?

A. Appears before a Notary on behalf of an absent signer
B. Vouches for the identity of a signer for a notarial act
C. Watches the signer sign the document in the Notary’s presence
D. Verifies the signer’s identity on behalf of an absent Notary

Answer: B. A credible identifying witness is used to identify a signer. Essentially, a credible witness serves as a “human ID card” for the signer. A credible identifying witness must personally know the signer and present ID to the Notary, but in some states must personally know the Notary as well.

What does a subscribing witness do?

A. Appears before a Notary on behalf of an absent signer
B. Vouches for the identity of a signer for a notarial act
C. Watches the signer sign the document in the Notary’s presence
D. Verifies the signer’s identity on behalf of an absent Notary

Answer: A. When signer is unable to personally appear before a Notary to acknowledge their signature on a document, some states permit a "subscribing witness" to watch the signer sign the document or take the signer's acknowledgment and appear in the principal signer's place during the notarization. This is often called a "proof of execution by subscribing witness."

Because of the high risk of possible fraud when using a subscribing witnesses, some states do not allow subscribing witnesses, and others have strict requirements or restrictions on the type of documents a subscribing witness may be used for.

True or False: A request for a Notary to sign a document as an individual witness and also notarize is a potential conflict of interest.

A. True
B. False

Answer: True. Requests for you to both notarize signatures and also sign as a document witness may be inappropriate because you are notarizing a document you have also signed in an individual capacity. In fact, some states, such as Georgia and Kansas, specifically prohibit Notaries from also acting as document witnesses. If you are unsure if a request to serve as a document witness would affect your impartiality, the safest choice is to act as a Notary or as a document witness — but not both.

Are witnesses to a signature by mark required by law? 

A. Yes
B. No
C. It depends on state law

Answer: C. If a signer is unable to write their name and wishes to sign using an “X” or other mark, some states, such as Arkansas, CaliforniaFlorida and Nebraska require one or more witnesses to be present when the signature by mark is made. In other states that follow the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, such as Indiana, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington, anyone with or without a physical impairment may sign a mark and a special procedure — including witnesses — is not required because a “mark” is considered the same as any other signature.

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor at the National Notary Association.


View All: Quizzes


Add your comment

30 Sep 2022

That was really helpful. I'm a new Notary so I'm looking for all of the help and information I can receive.

Micheline Jn Jacques

03 Oct 2022

Great job

martha barrientos

03 Oct 2022

very good

Sheryl D. Armstrong

04 Oct 2022

I enjoyed participating in the "Witness Knowledge" informational portal. It was an amazing experience to answer the quiz questions. Life is full of fonts of knowledge and discoveries. Thank You again.


04 Oct 2022

great help in learning

Russell Kingstrom

08 Oct 2022

Great tool to test what we thought we know. Refresher for sure. Thanks


08 Oct 2022

Overall great quality information, As I am a new Notary in Illinois and all valuable information is appreciated and needed always!


11 Oct 2022

Great and outstanding questions.

Theresa Thomas

13 Oct 2022

This was very helpful. Hey


17 Oct 2022

more like these please...

Ralon hardy

24 Oct 2022

keep me up with the policy .

Amy Bannerman Hooks

01 Feb 2023

The studying paid off! I love the quiz


18 Feb 2023

What is the status on the usage of the Integrity Notary Journal for California Notaries? I wrote this in the Notary Quiz section, but the program would not allow me to send it. Thank you!

National Notary Association

06 Mar 2023

Hello. Every California Notary must keep “one active sequential journal at a time, of all official acts performed as a notary public” (GC 8206[a][1]). California requires the following information in each journal entry: Date, time and type of each official act; Character (type or title) of every document sworn to, affirmed, acknowledged or proved before the Notary; Signature of each person whose signature is notarized, including the signature of any subscribing witness and the mark of a signer; Statement regarding the type of satisfactory evidence relied on to identify the signer; Fee charged for the notarial act or, if no fee was charged, “No Fee” or “0”; If document is a power of attorney, deed, quitclaim deed, deed of trust or other document affecting real property, the right thumbprint (or any other available print) of the signer. (GC 8206[a]; state Notary Public Handbook)

21 Feb 2023

Test was knowledgeable., help me stay up to date

Patty Taylor

23 Mar 2023

Very helpful information


14 Apr 2023

I am a new Nevada Notary. The quiz is very helpful information. Thank you!

Nancy L Greene

31 Jul 2023

I took a quiz test offered free online and question if the selected answers are incorrect. One example is: Which of the following lists are all Notary Actions. I picked the list of Proof of Execution, Jurat, Affidavit. The correct answer stated: Proof of Execution, Acknowledgment, Oath of Office. An Oath of Office is not same as Oaths or affirmations is why I question this answer to be correct.


05 Aug 2023

You definitely need to know your state laws because in Texas, a notary can serve as one of the witnesses on a deed and notarize the document.

Tammie Dubose

15 Aug 2023

This information was very helpful please continue to update with new questions.

Rosalie Esquibel

21 May 2024

Such a valuable tool for new Notaries such as myself! So important to simultaneously check the laws in the State you practice! Thank you for keeping us on our toes.

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