Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com Control Panel

April 10, 2012

Can a notary sign on a different day?

Can a notary sign on a different day? 

This is a tricky question and a bit vague if you ask me.  The date of a notarization corresponds to the date that the signer signs the notary journal (according to me).  Some signers will sign for an acknowledged signature a minute, day, week, month, year, or decade before the notarization, and that is legal according to California notary law, and probably in most if not all other states.  For Jurats, the signature must be made while personally appearing before a notary public.  Oaths should ideally have an accompanying journal entry, however, there is no signature on a purely oral Oath (BTW… jurats are used with written statements that have an accompanying oath).
So, in all types of notary acts, the signer should ideally sign the notary journal, and the date and time when they sign the journal establishes the notarization date.  Please keep in mind that a signing where the signer signs the document at 11:59pm and signs the notary journal at 12:01am the following day could be dated either day, but I prefer my golden rule of dating the notarization when the journal is signed.
The document date can be the date of the notarization or before, but is generally not after.
The signing date for an acknowledged signature can be the date of the acknowledgment or before, but never after
So, there are three dates that might concern the notary.  It is a crime to backdate a notary certificate, but putting a previous date in the certificate wording. It is also a crime to post date the date in the certificate wording.
So, what does it really mean to ask, “Can a notary sign on a different day?”
If the notarization takes place on Monday, where the signer signs the document by Monday, and signs the journal on Monday, can the notary seal and stamp the certificate wording on Tuesday if the notary has possession of the document?  This is not recommended, and is neglegence. However, if the signing was a late night signing on Monday, and you sign and affix your stamp to the document in your possession early Tuesday morning, that is still unacceptable, but sounds less unreasonable than letting it slide 24 or 48 hours!
So, the official answer to the above question is — NO!  Sign the certificate within a minute or two of when the journal is signed if humanly possible.

You might also like:

Can you notarize a Birth Certificate?

Can a notary perform a wedding?

The John and Sally question revisited

Document dates, signature dates, rescission dates and transaction dates



  1. Can you self Notorize your own signature any where other than Texas Howard E Teichelman III did that on April 26th 2006. The Sec of State for Texas ia OK with it. Guess they are just getting ready to be a State of Mexico agaon Anybody can comment tobe Directly Joeinbost@aol.com

    Comment by Joe Downey — April 12, 2012 @ 12:29 am

  2. If documents are signed improprerly, not logged etc….is this FRAUD ?
    Can I sue the notary and other parties to the scam ???

    Comment by dondon — April 15, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

  3. If documents are signed improperly, or not logged properly or signed off site, or FRAUD.
    Can I sue all parties ….and is document a FRAUD ??

    Comment by dondon — April 15, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  4. This might happen when signing papers near midnight.

    Comment by Joshua — May 14, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

  5. Can an attorney notarize documents for an individual in a locked medical facility.
    The individual wants to mail the document to the attorney to notarize. Is this legal?

    Thank you,

    Comment by Sue Kramer — January 19, 2014 @ 10:06 pm

  6. This answer is a bit confusing…So, the real question I need to ask, is If a Deed of Trust, is signed on one day, and notarized the next day–what effect does that have on the validity of the Deed of Trust, in California?

    Comment by Susan Mason — March 28, 2016 @ 4:52 am

  7. Makes you think twice about very late signings! What if the signers NEED TO READ all of the documents and the clock passes midnight? Do you watch the clock, push for the signatures, affix your OWN signature and then stamp on the next day? Seriously, I take it seriously when the lender or title company wants it signed/notarized on that day. If I miss one signature in my journal and have to track down the signer later I am not concerned. Their journal signatures means that on THAT DAY I witnessed them signing for THAT notarized document. I have run this past the two attorneys that I work with, and they both see no problem with that. Correct dating comes from establishing a good habit, like being thorough.

    Comment by betty — April 1, 2019 @ 5:10 pm

  8. can i get a document notarized if it is past the due date.

    Comment by Amanda — June 5, 2022 @ 10:17 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *