When to Say No to Notarization

The job of notaries is extremely critical. Many times, a notary may be asked to perform improper or illegal notarizations by their co-workers, seniors, or even some customers. If you are an official in the notary business, it is very important that you know when you should notarize a document and when you need to refuse to do it.

Illegal notarizations can get you in severe trouble with the authorities. You may even get your licensed canceled, which can cost you a lifetime of misery, humiliation, and regret. To save yourself from all of this, go through the following list of situations where you should say no to notarization.

1. Signer Disqualifications

You should refuse notarization if the signer does not meet the qualifications for notarization. Signer disqualification conditions include:

  • You cannot identify the signer properly
  • The signer fails to present physically
  • The language that the signer speaks isn’t the same as the notary
  • The signer is either reluctant or unwilling to swear to the contents of a document that is to be notarized
  • The signer appears disoriented or confused or looks like he lacks the mental capacity to understand the document
  • You get an impression that the signer is being pressurized to sign the document

2. Document Disqualifications

You, as a notary, should refuse to notarize a document that does not qualify for the set requirements. These include:

  • The document has missing pages or blank spaces
  • There is no notarial certificate, and the signer fails to or is adamant on not telling the notary the type of certificate that is required
  • The signer requests you to certify a photocopy or duplicate of a vital record – a birth certificate, for example. Something that you aren’t permitted to do

3. Notary Disqualifications

Sometimes, a certain notarization may be associated with a conflict of interest. These are the times when you cannot perform the notarization.

  • You are one of the signers of the document
  • The signer of the document is your child, parent, or spouse
  • You have some sort of beneficial or financial interests in the transaction, or you are named as a party in the document

4. Other Disqualifications

Apart from the disqualifications listed above, there are some other disqualifying situations where you have to say no to notarization. These include:

  • You are aware of the fact that transaction is illegal, deceptive, or false
  • The notarization being requested isn’t an authorized notarial act
  • The request for notarization has been made outside the official working hours
  • The signer is not willing or is unable to pay the notarization fee
  • The request for notarization is a violation of workplace guidance


If you know when to say no to notarization, you will be within the safe boundaries of legal compliance. Not knowing when to say no can get in trouble, which is why you should know all the possible situations and requests that can result in you getting in trouble with the law.

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