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A Successful Notarization

Notarization Requirements

Please read the information below, it will help you have a successful signing and may prevent you from losing money.

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Before You Schedule An Appointment:

Read any instructions that came with your document(s).

Read the document(s) so that you understand what you are signing.

If Your Document(s) Require(s) Witnesses:

Tell us when you first contact us.

NOTE: If the Signer is in a medical/care facility, don’t assume that an employee can act as a Witness, some facilities have policies against it. Also, it is our experience that facility employees are not well suited to act as Witnesses, because they are often impatient, and anxious to return to their duties. We therefore do not recommend using facility employees as Witnesses.

Before The Appointment: If you are the Signer -

Make sure you understand what you’re signing, and are ready to sign at the appointment.

Before The Appointment: If you are scheduling for another Signer -

Make sure the Signer reads the document(s). If they are unable, read them to the Signer. Ask the Signer if they understand what they are signing, and are ready to sign at the appointment.

NOTE: The appointment is for signing documents. It should not be the first time the Signer reads the documents.

NOTE: The Notary will ask the Signer if they understand what they are signing, and if they are signing of their own free will and without coercion by others. If the Signer indicates they do not understand what they are signing, or that they are being coerced into signing, the Notary will end the appointment.

NOTE: The Notary is not a lawyer. The Notary cannot and will not explain documents, and is not qualified to give legal advice, or to determine whether a particular document meets the needs of the parties involved.

The Signing Table

If you have more than two (2) documents to be signed, and there will be Witnesses present, please arrange for a table or countertop with adequate space for the signing.

Appointment Duration

When you set an appointment, you will be given an expected duration for the appointment. If the appointment must continue past the allotted time, you may be charged an additional fee.

Everyone must be on time for the appointment and have proper ID (see ID below).

Information contained on this page has been gathered from sources that we believe to be reputable, and is intended to help Customers avoid problems pertaining to the signing/execution of documents. The information is not legal advice and should not be taken as such. Notaries are not permitted or qualified to give legal advice.

Please check your document(s) to make sure they contain an Oath/Affirmation, or Acknowledgement. Examples can be found HERE.

Physical Presence

Signer(s) must be in the presence of Notary at the time the signature is notarized. There are no exceptions.

ID

Signer(s) of documents must present a valid form of identification to the Notary, and the Notary must be able to determine — with reasonable certainty — that the person(s) match the presented identification. If this condition cannot be met,  the Notary will not notarize document(s). More on Identification

Documents and Their Completeness (documents must contain the proper Oath/Affirmation, or Acknowledgement)

All documents to be notarized must be complete with no blank lines or spaces for data to be entered at a later date. Any blank lines or spaces will need to be filled in prior to notarization. If this condition cannot be met, the Notary will be unable to notarize the document.

Exception:

Spaces reserved for use by government officials. Some documents include a boxed-off section or separate area of blank spaces marked with a title such as “For Official Use Only,” “Reserved For Recorder Use Only” or some other label indicating it may only be completed by an authorized official.

Witnesses

If any of the documents to be notarized require a witness be present at the time of signing, it is the Signer’s responsibility to facilitate the presence of the witness.

Witnesses must have proper identification with them.

Note: Many hospitals and care facilities do not allow their employees to act as witnesses. If your document needs to be signed/executed in a similar environment and you’re thinking of having a facility employee act as a witness, be sure to check with the facility’s management prior to booking a notarization.

Wills

Florida requires that at least two (2) Witnesses be present at the signing of a will, and that they be present when the Testator signs the will, and that they sign the will as Witnesses. While Florida allows beneficiaries to be Witnesses, it is generally preferable for individuals with no interest in the Will to act as Witnesses, avoiding any claims that a witness exerted influence over the Testator. In general a witness is an additional person who is not a party to the transaction and is present to witness the signing of the specific document.

Two (2) witnesses

 

NOTE: The Notary cannot act as a Witness on a Self-proving Affidavit for a will, as it is improper for a Notary to notarize his / her own signature. Please check, or have your Attorney check your Will for this type of language:

STATE OF FLORIDA

COUNTY OF  ________________________

I, __________________, declare to the officer taking my acknowledgment of this instrument, and to the subscribing witnesses, that I signed this instrument as my will.

Testator

We, _______________ and ________________, have been sworn by the officer signing below, and declare to that officer on our oaths that the testator declared the instrument to be the testator’s will and signed it in our presence and that we each signed the instrument as a witness in the presence of the testator and of each other.

Witness

Witness

Acknowledged and subscribed before me by the testator, (type or print testator’s name), who is personally known to me or who has produced (state type of identification—see s. 117.05(5)(b)2.) as identification, and sworn to and subscribed before me by the witnesses, (type or print name of first witness) who is personally known to me or who has produced (state type of identification—see s. 117.05(5)(b)2.) as identification and (type or print name of second witness) who is personally known to me or who has produced (state type of identification—see s. 117.05(5)(b)2.) as identification, and subscribed by me in the presence of the testator and the subscribing witnesses, all on (date).

(Signature of Officer)

(Print, type, or stamp commissioned name and affix official seal)

 

Quit Claim Deeds

Florida requires that two (2) disinterested Witnesses be present at the signing of Quit Claim Deed. The Notary can act as a Witness as well as notarize the signature.

Two (2) witnesses

 

Power Of Attorney

Florida requires that two (2) disinterested Witnesses be present at the signing of a Power Of Attorney. The Notary can act as a Witness as well as notarize the signature.

Two (2) witnesses

Signer's Mental Health

If you are contacting the Notary on behalf of a Signer with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or a mental health problem, inform the Notary upon making contact.

Signer Competency and Comprehension

Florida prohibits a Notary from performing a notarization if a Signer appears unable to understand the nature of the document at the time of notarization. In accordance, the Notary will refuse to notarize if a Signer appears disoriented or under the influence of drugs or medication.

Signer's Understanding of a Document

The Notary will ask the signer if they understand the document they are about to sign. If the Signer indicates they understand, then the signing may proceed. If the Signer indicates they don’t understand the document, the Notary may terminate the signing.

Signer Coercion/Pressuring

A Notary will not notarize a document if they feel that a person is not signing the document of their own free will. If we suspect that a person is being coerced or pressured into signing any document, we will question the signer, in private, regarding this issue and/or not proceed with a notarization of the document.

Foreign Language

If the Signer does not speak English and there is no one available to translate a document into a language the signer understands, the Notary is not allowed to notarize the Signer’s signature on a document.

What Qualifies as a Signature?

A Signer who has a physical disability or for any reason is unable to make a typical signature may sign a document using their “mark”. The Notary will prepare the signature line before the Signer places their mark.

Documents and Printing Documents

Triple check the information on your documents before having them printed.

Have your documents printed at least 2 hours before the notarization is scheduled to avoid delays in the notarization process.