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Do I need to sign my full name when notarizing?

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

Can you tell me if I need to sign my full name including my middle name?J.H., Texas

According to Government Code 406.016(b), a Notary must sign their name exactly as it appears on the Notary commission. Your official Notary seal typically will contain your commission name, so if your Notary commission isn’t handy you should use sign the name as it is on your seal.

For more information, please see our article, “How to notarize a document in 5 steps.”

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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24 Comments

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TB

29 Jan 2024

When I complete my application at the county clerk office, can I put my first initial & full last name for my “notary name” signature, that will be on my seal?

National Notary Association

30 Jan 2024

Hello. To help us assist you, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Jennifer Ball

08 Feb 2024

My commission paperwork signature has my full first name and full last name. I always sign everything with my first initial and full last name. Am I able to notarize like that or do I have to sign full first and last name?

National Notary Association

04 Mar 2024

You should always sign exactly as your name appears on your commission.

Kimberly Cruz

09 Feb 2024

When I completed my notary application (for Texas), I signed my first initial & full last name, is that ok?

National Notary Association

29 Feb 2024

Hi Kimberly. Your application is reviewed prior to submission to the state to ensure it meets the state guidelines. We will contact you if changes are needed.

mjgumapal@hotmail.com

15 Feb 2024

I am a notary public in California. When i took my oath at the county clerk's office, i asked the clerk if i could sign the way i usually sign my documents or id like driver's license and i don't sign how my name is written on the seal. She said it is ok. just want to make sure when i notarized the document, i have to sign the way i sign when i took the oath at the county clerk's office?

National Notary Association

23 Feb 2024

You should always sign exactly as your name appears on your commission.

Cheyenne Hornburg

08 Mar 2024

My name is 4 names long and I go by my 2nd and last name. In Texas, may I use just those 2 names on my notary commission application or do I need to use my full legal name?

National Notary Association

09 Apr 2024

Yes, you can use your two names on the Notary commission application if that’s how you want it to appear.

Rose Perez

14 Mar 2024

When I print my name in the line on the certificate do I have to write Notary Public after it? Rose Perez Notary Public for example.

National Notary Association

18 Mar 2024

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Rose Perez

18 Mar 2024

California

National Notary Association

21 Mar 2024

Thank you. For an acknowledgment, the prescribed acknowledgment wording in CC 1189[a][3] states that the Notary should fill in the Notary's name and title in the appropriate space when completing the acknowledgment certificate.

Justine Nichols

20 Mar 2024

I left my middle initial out of my signature. It’s shows “M” on my seal but when I signed I left out the “M”. Does that invalidate the document?

National Notary Association

21 Mar 2024

Hello. We're sorry, but that's a legal question that would need to be determined by a qualified attorney.

Shannon

26 Mar 2024

My legal name is hyphenated. I typically now go my my husbands last name. Do I have to use my legal name?

National Notary Association

29 Mar 2024

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are located in?

Darcy Nielsen

06 May 2024

On a commission clip, it has the legal signature of Notary and customary signature used to sign all notarial acts. Which one should be on the stamp?

National Notary Association

10 May 2024

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Jessica

07 May 2024

In Tennessee if my first and last name are on my notary seal, can I sign with my first initial?

National Notary Association

10 May 2024

Hello. Your signature should match the name that is on file with your commissioning official.

rachelregnell@icloud.com

08 May 2024

Hi there, When I signed my Oath of Office/application paperwork, I signed with only my first and last name. My commission license and seal have my first, middle, and last name. Should I be signing how I signed my Oath of Office/application paperwork with first and last name or should I be signing with first, middle and last? I am in Washington State. Thanks!

National Notary Association

13 May 2024

Hello. You should sign your name exactly as it appears on your Notary commission.

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