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Can I notarize automobile-related documents?

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 I notarize automobile-related documents such as tags and title? — C.V., Pennsylvania

Yes, as a Pennsylvania Notary Public, you may notarize vehicle titles. However, in order to issue temporary registration cards in conjunction with applications for transfer of registration plates, you must be a Card Agent certified by PennDOT directly. Visit the following link for information on becoming a card agent with PennDOT

Please note that becoming a Card Agent with PennDOT is a program specific to the state of Pennsylvania. 

Notaries in other states with questions about notarizing automobile-related documents such as vehicle titles should contact their state motor vehicle department to request instructions.

The National Notary Association cannot answer questions about how to transfer ownership of a vehicle title. Any such questions must be directed to the appropriate state motor vehicle department.

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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Mark Goodman

25 Mar 2024

According to the linked fact sheet dated 2017, "A notary public from another state may also serve as a card agent and may issue a temporary registration card to a commonwealth registrant who has purchased a vehicle in the state and who wishes to apply for transfer of a commonwealth registration plate. The notary shall be commissioned or licensed as a notary by a governmental agency of the state." Is this no longer true?

National Notary Association

27 Mar 2024

Hello. We're sorry, we meant to say that the card agent program is specific to the state of Pennsylvania. We've reworded the sentence to clarify this and apologize for any confusion.


01 Apr 2024

I work for a car dealership in PA. We have customers who want to sell their car and get the title notarized before they bring it in to sell. If we can compare signatures, we'll accept it. But i can't be dated since we need to record the miles at the time of sale. If the person who signed the title isn't present, we won't purchase it even with the notarization. Then they have to get a new clean title and start over. We also need to record the miles on the title at the time of sale. We can use POAs but having a seller not present who signed and notarized the title won't be accepted. We also get POAs where the VIN number has been overwritten or there are cross outs. We can't accept those either since we don't know if it was done after the fact. The name on the POA has to match the exact name on the title. Smaller dealership unfortunately seem to be more lax about these things, but we are very strict. Vehicle titles are an entirely different animal than notarizing other things. A notary should call the state DMV before notarizing a title if they are not in a dealership. They could be wasting everyone's time and costing the customer more money in the long run. Just say no to a customer who wants you to notarize a vehicle title. PA title used to have better wording making in clear the notarization had to be done at time of sale. Now it's less clear.

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