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Can a blind signer use a reading machine during a notarization?

Photo of woman with long dark hair on phone. She is looking at papers in her hand. Text on image reads NNA Hotline Tip.

I was just informed that a customer needing notarization is blind but has a machine that scans the document and then reads it back to her. Can that be used during a notarization?C. N., Florida

No. Florida laws says the Notary must read the entire document to the blind signer. Specifically, the law states: “A notary public may notarize the signature of a person who is blind after the notary public has read the entire instrument to that person” (FS 117.05[14][a]).

For guidelines about notarizing for visually impaired signers in other states, please see our article, “How to notarize for a visually impaired signer.”

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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Lupe Shanklin

14 Aug 2023

In Texas, can a blind signer use a reading machine during a notarization or does the notary have to read the document that is to be signed?

National Notary Association

21 Aug 2023

Hello. We're sorry, Texas does not provide guidelines for this issue. Please see this article for additional suggestions:

17 Aug 2023

What about in Indiana? I looked in the handbook and it says "Notaries should advise parties to obtain legal advice before affirming or authenticating important documents or transactions for persons who may have legal, physical or mental impairments, such as: Minor children. Persons who are blind or deaf. Persons who are mentally incapacitated or illiterate. Persons who are seriously ill or dying. It states that a notary may not take the acknowledgment of any person who is blind, without first reading the instrument to the blind person. So does that automatically mean the machine couldn't be used.

National Notary Association

21 Aug 2023

Hello. As you just stated, the Notary would be required to read the document to the visually impaired signer.

Victor Hardeman

21 Aug 2023

Thank you for the tip. It is very important for us to continue to be informed and refresh our memory from time to time!

Jerry Lucas

23 Aug 2023

Notary websites should be designed to accommodate people with disabilities. There are free tools available to scan your website and identify the problems areas that need fixing. Several years ago, I completed a free self-study course, updated my own website, and added a website accessibility statement. In June 2021, a California court ruled that Dominos Pizza violated the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) because a blind person could not use his screen reader software to place an order on their website, like everyone else. Dominos was ordered to pay damages and upgrade their website to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) guidelines. case: Robles v. Domino’s Pizza LLC

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