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September 24, 2016

Can a Washington Notary notarize in Idaho?

As a general rule, a Notary can notarize in any county of their state of commission. A few states have some bizarre exceptions to this rule for Deeds of properties that are in the Notary’s home state. Louisiana also has a weird rule that you can only notarize in Parishes that you are commissioned in or ones with reciprocal agreements unless you have statewide jurisdiction. What does it have to be so complicated? And why can’t they have counties like normal states?

A Washington State Notary Public may Notarize in any part of the state of Washington. However, it is allowed for a Washington Notary Public to get dual commissioned as an Oregon Notary Public or an Idaho Notary Public which is very practical if you live near a state border. Notaries in Vancouver, WA often get dual commission in Oregon so that they can service a larger area. Additionally, Notaries in Spokane, WA often become dual commissioned in Idaho as an Idaho Notary Public as well.

If you are in a pinch, and someone out of state needs your Notary services, you can meet them right at your state’s border (on your side of the border) and Notarize them there. It rarely matters what state a person is notarized in, but you could lose your commission if caught notarizing outside of your state’s borders!


August 30, 2013

Alabama Notary Acknowledgment Verbiage

To become an Alabama notary, you must be at least 18 years old and a state resident who can read, write, and understand English. Your record must be free of felony convictions unless you were pardoned and had your civil and political rights restored. The Alabama notary commission is valid for four years. A sample application to become an Alabama notary can be found here: http://jeffconline.jccal.org/probatecourt/docs/NotaryApplication.pdf An interesting fact is that, while notaries may administer oaths and take acknowledgments, they are not authorized to execute jurats or affidavits. [I do not understand this at all.]

Notary wording for an Acknowledgment in Alabama: (Alabama Acknowledgment Wording)

Acknowledgment for Individual


I, a Notary Public, hereby certify that _______________________________________ whose name is signed to the foregoing instrument or conveyance, and who is known to me, acknowledged before me on this day that, being informed of the contents of the conveyance, he/she/they executed the same voluntarily on the day the same bears date.

Given under my hand this _____________ day of _____________, A. D. 20____.

Notary Public
Print Name __________________________
My commission expires:


(Code 1852, §1279; Code 1867, §1548; Code 1876, §2158; Code 1886, §1802; Code 1896, §996; Code 1907, §3361; Code 1923, §6845; Code 1940, T. 47, §30; Acts 1951, No. 85, p. 301.)

Ala. Code § 35-4-23 (1975) Effect of Witness Compliance


December 7, 2012

Georgia Notary Information

Georgia notaries are appointed and regulated no longer by the Secretary of State but by the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority. This organization’s website offers excellent PDF forms such as a Georgia acknowledgment or a jurat, and also a Georgia notary online application.

Originally $15, the fee to become a Georgia notary, as of 2012, is now $37. The fee for a renewal of the Georgia notary’s commission was set at $162 in 2011, but, after an outcry, was reduced to $37 effective July 1, 2011 as the result of the enactment of HB 41. Your Georgia notary’s commission is good for four years. You may be appointed only in the county in which you reside.

As of 2012, to become a Georgia notary, you must be 18 years of age, read and speak English, take a notary education course and pass an exam, reside in the county of Georgia in which you are a notary, and be endorsed by two county residents who are not your relatives. To obtain a Georgia notary’s commission, you must have aseal that contains your name, the title Notary Public, the word Georgia, and the name of the county. A surety bond and record book are not required but recommended; in addition, errors and omissions insurance for $25,000 maycost you $90 or so in Georgia, but it is an excellent investment.

Becoming a Georgia notary means you will be able to charge $2 per notarial act such as a Georgia acknowledgment, and an additional $2 “for attendance to make proof as a notary public and certifying the same,” which means that you may provide a certificate from the Superior Court regarding the fact that the Georgia notary’s commission is in effect. Georgia notaries have also been known to work free of charge in certain circumstances, and are not required to take a fee.

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May 22, 2012

Maine Notary Public Application Information

To become a Maine notary public, there is a $50 application fee, and you must be at least 18 years of age and be able to read and write good English. Maine notaries must also pass a notary public exam; however, there is no education requirement or specific course that is required. A number of organizations offer online courses. One of the requirements to become a Maine notary is that a registered Maine voter must give you an “endorsement,” certify that you are able to perform your duties. A registered notary public in Maine will have a term of seven years, and can perform marriages; Maine is one of three states, including Florida and South Carolina, that allows this extra opportunity.

In addition to filing an application with the Maine Secretary of State, the notary must also swear an oath before a Dedimus Justice, an office that exists only in Maine. Appointed by the governor for life, a Maine Dedimus Justice has the sole duty of swearing in a variety of public officials. He or she generally does not charge a fee, but may charge between $1 and $50 by law. The oath must be sworn within 30 days of the date of the appointment as a Maine notary public and the Certificate of Application must be received by the Maine Secretary State. If this does not occur, the commission is suspended and the person applying to be a Maine notary public must apply for a new Certificate of Appointment.


April 11, 2012

New Hampshire Commissioner of Deeds Information

New Hampshire Commissioner of Deeds Information

The State of New Hampshire, a congenial state, still appoints Commissioners of Deeds for a fee of $75 for a 5-year commission.  The application can be done online and is submitted to the Governor and Executive Council.  In 4-6 weeks, you will recieve your appointment and will need to sign and take your oath before a judge, who will then sign your commission.  When your oath is returned and filed, you will be able to act as a Commissioner of Deeds.  In other words, you will have the right to:

  • administer oaths in New Hampshire and elsewhere for documents to be used in New Hampshire
  • take depositions and affidavits
  • take acknowledgments on deeds and instruments

It is recommended that you use an official seal, even though New Hampshire state law does not require it.   The Commisioner of Deeds may charge a fee of $10 for each witness, oath, or certifications, and may charge between $5 and $50 for depositions.  The general requirement is that you be a resident of the State of New Hampshire; no minimum age is given, but it is assumed to be at least 18, as for a notary.  The Secretary of State website information is clear and simple, and also includes an online handbook–at least for Notaries.

Please visit our New Hampshire Notary Public Search Results!

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December 6, 2011

Can I be a Maryland notary if I live in DC?

Can I be a Maryland Notary if I live in DC?

Notary Public DC
It is very common for Maryland residents to have a Washington DC Notary Public commission and be a Notary Public in DC. It is also common for Washington DC residents to become a Maryland notary publicVirginia notaries also commonly get dual commissioned in Washington DC.  Just contact the state notary division that you want to apply to and ask them what their conditions are for applying for a notary public commission.  It’s common for a state to require you to be working or doing some type of business in their state.  However, offering a mobile notary service to their state / territory / district is a type of business, so you should be acceptable.
Notary Public Maryland
Here is the contact information for the Maryland notary public division

Notary Public Virginia
Here is the contact information for the Virginia notary public division.
Find a mobile notary in DC! 
Just visit the advanced search page on www.123notary.com and you will have many notaries to choose from!


December 1, 2011

Can a Georgia notary notarize a Florida property document?

Can a Georgia notary notarize a Florida property document?

Loan signings are common across the United States.  Any notary in any state can notarize almost any document within the confines of their state, but the document can be from out of state, or out of the country.  Notaries should refrain from notarizing copies of vital records, and Wills are generally avoided in many states as well.  Just as long as a Georgia Notary has their two feet in Georgia, it is okay to notarize a Florida document, or a loan signing for a property in Florida. 
Non-attorney Georgia Notaries are prohibited from doing loan signings for properties in Georgia, but, I don’t know any restriction for them as far as notarizing loan documents (packages that generally include Deeds of Trust, Mortgages, Grant Deeds, Quit Claim Deeds, Notes, Notice of Right to Cancel, etc.) that are from Florida, or some other state.
A Florida notary can also notarize documents that are to be recorded out of state.
One critical piece of information is that the county recorder in the state that a document is going to be recorded — have standards.  They might insist on their state’s notary wording to be on the notary certificate.  They can reject a document if the notary wording is not up to their standards, or if there is a smudgy seal, etc.  That is the job of the person who prepares the documents, and not the responsibility of the notary. A Georgia notary public, or any notary for that matter is allowed to make legal decisions for their clients which includes what type of wording to use, document drafting, or choosing the type of notarization to do, i.e. acknowledgment, jurat, protest, etc.


February 13, 2011

Dilemmas of a Washington State Notary

Dilemmas of a Washington Notary
We have many notaries on board 123notary.com including over one hundred Washington Notary listings.  We have notaries all over the state of Washington in every part of the state.  But, Washington is an unusual state.  First of all it is a coastal state with many inlets and islands.  Part of Washington is only accessible by land to Canada, and not to the states!  Fortunately, there is such a thing as an express pass, so that Washington state residents can pass  quickly in and out of Canada.
One of the Washington notaries on our site lives near a cluster of islands which are part of Island County.  She told me that signing companies didn’t pay her enough to get on the ferry to go to the islands to notarize documents.  Its very time consuming and expensive to take the ferry.
I am not a Washington notary or Washington resident, but I took the ferry from Vancouver city to Vancouver Island in Canada in 2006 which is very near Washington, and using a similar ferry system.  It was fun for me since I was a tourist, but very time consuming.  For two hours there was nothing to do except indulge in a massage chair or overly expensive high fat buffet. Transportation is slow out there, so bring a book and allow some time.
Transportation in the mountains is hard for the Washington Notary providers we have on board.  Fifty miles as the crow flies can take three hours on the windy mountain roads near the Canadian border.  Additionally, near the Idaho and Oregon border, distances are vast, and Washington notaries really need to spend a lot of time getting around there.
Another fun area is the Western coast of Washington. Olympic State Park is a fun tourist destination with some of the rarest rain forests that are not located in the tropics not to mention huckleberry dark chocolate treats sold at gift stores. But, picture what a Washington notary public has to do to get around in those parts. It takes hours just to go from one county to the next, and the population of humans is very sparse although squirrels are plentiful. 
In short, we have many notaries in  Seattle and the Seattle area where the population is clustered closely. But, in remote areas of Washington State, it can take a notary hours to get around. Travel is hard, but its very scenic.  In my experience, the part of the United States that could be confused for Germany would easily be the Western parts of Washington state and parts of Oregon too. The trees and landscapes are very similar (not the language).  The foliage transforms abruptly upon reaching the Canadian border for some unknown reason though. Maple trees suddlenly appear in mass!  How odd.  Is metaphysics to blame for this?  I can’t figure this one out!


December 5, 2010

Arizona Notary Laws vs. Other States

Arizona notary law and laws that vary from state to state. 
It’s difficult to post about notary procedure on Twitter and Facebook.  No matter how universal a notary law seems, it can differ across state boundaries and the interpretation can differ among individuals too.
Credible witnesses
Arizona notary law specifies the term, “Credible person” , which is a way of saying credible identifying witness.  In Arizona, one credible witness who knows the notary as well as knowing the signer may be used to identify the signer.  Different states have different rules for credible witnesses. 90% of states allow them, but some states allow two witnesses who the notary doesn’t know, while others allow only one. California allows one CW if the notary knows them OR two if the notary doesn’t know them.
Foreign language signers
An Arizona notary must be able to communicate directly with the signer. Many other states have this same rule.  But, there are a few states where an interpreter may be used between the notary and the signer. 
There are a few states where notaries can get a special credential such as Justice of the Peace and perform marriages.  An Arizona notary public unfortunately can not perform a marriage — at least not one that would be legally binding. So, forever hold your peace!
Appear before?
In Arizona’s electronic notary rules for electric notaries (which is a separate office from a regular Arizona notary), there USED TO BE conditions where the  signer can be notarized without appearing before the notary for that particular signature.  Read our blog about Arizona electronic signatures for details.  This rule has been changed and signers must appear before the notary according to

Click here
Arizona Notary Bond?
Arizona notary bonds must only be for $5000.  Most other states require a larger bond than that.  In California, the bond must be $15,000 for example.
Seals and journals
An Arizona notary must use a seal and journal.  This seems fairly elementary, but many states do not require the use of both a seal and a journal. 
Marriage or adoption?
Arizona notary law prohibits notarizing for anyone who you are married to or related to by adoption.
Legal advice?
An Arizona notary public should not give legal advice and not prepare documents for clients.  Some states prohibit the preparation of legal documents only, while AZ prohibits the preparation of any document. The prohibition of notaries from giving legal advice is standard across the board though.
An Arizona notary commission’s term is four years.   A four year term is very common, although the number of years can really vary from state to state.

Please visit our Arizona Notary page!


November 3, 2010

Notary Public – Ohio odd rules

Ohio Notary odd rules and practices

If you are interested in oddities of notary laws in various states, rules for Ohio Notaries can sometimes be odd.  Here are some odd Ohio Notary rules / Ohio Notary Laws.

Here are a few examples.

(1) Signature by X
Many states allow signature by mark where the signer signs with an X. This is generally for very elderly signers who can’t sign their name properly. In California and many other states, two signing witnesses are required for this act. If you are an Ohio Notary, you can use a specially worded acknowledgment called a “Signature by mark acknowledgment”. I think this wording is helpful, because it helps to remind the notary what this odd procedure entails. Notaries do signatures by mark very infrequently and most don’t even know how to do it. The wording is:

State of Ohio
County of __________________

On the ____ day of ____, _______, before me, the undersigned notary public, personally appeared __________, personally known to me or proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person who made and acknowledged his/her mark on the within instrument in my presence, and in the presence of the two persons indicated below who have signed the within instrument as witnesses, one of whom, ________________________, also wrote the name of the signer by mark near the mark.

Witness my hand and official seal

_____________________ (Seal of Ohio Notary)

(2) Attorney in Fact Acknowledgment
An Ohio notary public can also use the form called an Attorney-in-fact acknowledgment individual. This particular form has he/she, his/her, etc., and is meant for an individual signer, not a duo, or multiple signers.

(3) Corporate Acknowledgment
There is also a corporate acknowledgment that Ohio notaries can use which documents the corporate position of the signer. I inserted the term (capacity), meaning the person’s job title. Here is the official Ohio notary verbiage  / Ohio notary wording:

State of Ohio
County of ____________

On__________, 20__, before me, the undersigned notary public, personally appeared _____________,
personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person who executed the instrument as the ___________________ (capacity) of _____________ (name of corporation), a corporation, and acknowledged to me that such a corporation executed the within instrument pursuant to its by-laws, or a resolution of its board of directors, and that the seal that is affixed to the within instrument is the corporate seal of the said corporation. Witness my hand and official seal.

_________________________ (Seal of Ohio Notary )

(4) The term of office
An Ohio Notary Term of Office is five years. This is roughly the national average for number of years of a notary commission.

(5) An Ohio notary can take depositions
— can transcribe a testimony in a law suit in court.

(6) Credible Witnesses in Ohio
A credible witness can identify a signer for an Ohio Notary. However, no oath is necessary for the credible witness. Many other states require the credible witness to raise their hand and swear under oath to the identity of the signer.

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Ohio Notary Stories from the Edge

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