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Can I notarize for my half-siblings?

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Can I notarize for my half-siblings?J. S., Florida

Yes, you may, but we would caution you before you do. Florida law says: “A notary public may not notarize a signature on a document if the person whose signature is to be notarized is the spouse, son, daughter, mother, or father of the notary public” (FS 117.107[11]). Notice the statute does not prohibit the Notary from notarizing for siblings or half-siblings.

That said, the caution is that you will need to clarify if you have a financial interest in or are a party to the underlying transaction. This often can be the case when notarizing documents for family members. If this is the case, you may not notarize for the half-sibling (FS 117.107[12]). If you’re not sure, it’s better to be safe and refer the relative to another Notary who’s not related or involved in the transaction.

For information and guidelines on notarizing for relatives in other states, please see our article and video “A guide to notarizing for family members.”

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 consultants 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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Fernnelia Payne

25 Sep 2023

I am a Notary, and my boyfriend needed a document notarized. But I refused because we both have the same last name. I did not want anyone to think we are related in any way, because of the law regarding notarizing for a family members. Was I keeping myself safe by not notarizing? If the company/person see that our last names are the same, would that raise a concern?

National Notary Association

28 Sep 2023

Hello. If you encounter situations where you believe your connection to a signer may cause a document recipient to question your impartiality, the safest course is always to find a different, Notary with no connection to the signer to perform the notarization instead.

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