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Frequently asked questions

What type of ID must I have?

The signer(s) must have photo ID that covers the names shown on the document (for example, if your middle name is spelled out on the document, it must be spelled out on your photo ID). The ID can have more than the document, just not less.

What documents cannot be notarized?

  • Just the signature page of a document without the rest of the document present.
  • Documents that have incomplete sections, blank spaces or blank lines anywhere above your signature area that are not marked as a separate “Office Use Only” section, crossed out or filled in with N/A. We are notarizing you signing a statement of some kind, so the statement cannot be incomplete (even though someone has assured you that they can “fill it in later” and “we’ve done it this way for years.”)
  • NOTE: Please note that whoever is being notarized must be present with a valid photo ID and, in most cases, needs to sign in front of the notary as well. Some types of NYC notarizations allow the signer(s) to sign in advance, but they still need to be present.

Do I need to be physically there to notarize?

Yes. The signer(s) being notarized must be present at the time of the NY notarization.

Do I need to have documents printed prior to our appointment?

Yes. You must have the document in your possession, reviewed by the signer and printed before an appointment can be made. We have seen too many instances where a document expected to be completed by a certain time is then not ready by the scheduled appointment time. We also cannot draft documents for you. We can print the document for you that you email to us (see Pricing and Payment section) if we are given enough notice and are near a printing facility when on the road already. We don’t recommend printing your document 2-sided as that can sometimes be an issue with your receiving party. It is typically best to print 1-sided unless provided that way by your attorney and he or she knows the receiving authority will be okay with it.

What if the name of the document and the name of ID do not match?

Make sure the name on the document is spelled correctly, has your name in the right order and was checked against the signer’s ID. The photo ID can have more of the signer’s names than what is on the document, but not less. For example, if the document to be notarized includes the signer’s middle initial and the ID has the middle name spelled out, that is acceptable. However it is not acceptable for the document to have the middle name spelled out but the ID only has the middle initial. Also, it is okay to use a commonly known nickname on your documents, like Tom for Thomas (where “Thomas” is on the ID, but document says “Tom”).

Can you notarize a document that has blanks?

No. We cannot notarize incomplete documents with incomplete blank lines (that you don’t have the information for) in the text above your signature line or just the last “signature page” without the rest of the document present.

What if the signer is not conscious or incompetent?

All signers need to be competent to sign and be fully alert and be able to prove to the notary that they understand the contents being signed. Nodding or shaking one’s head or saying “yes” or “no” is not sufficient. If the signer cannot speak, then he or she will need to be able to write out complete sentences to questions such as: “Please explain what a Power of Attorney is or does?” We cannot notarize someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia or someone on medication that makes the signer extremely drowsy. You may need to go to court to be able to take over the signing responsibilities. They also have to have the strength to sign something that resembles a signature and is not just a mark on the page (unless a mark is the type of signature on signer’s photo ID).

What if I need a translator?

Each signer needs to be able to explain what he or she is signing in English directly to the notary, without a translator. It is not a problem if the document is in a foreign language, but the notary wording that we sign has to be in English or we can provide the notary wording on a stamp or separate piece of paper. Also, the signer’s name must be printed in English somewhere on the document. If it is only in the foreign language, and in a language with a different alphabet such as in Russian or Korean, the English name would also need to be typed or written near the signature line or so it can be matched with the name we write in the notary section. We don’t know how to write Russian or Korean letters when writing your name in our section.

What if the signer's signature doesn't look the same?

The signer needs to be able to sign in a way that resembles a signature, even if no longer looks like the original signature on an ID. If the signer can only make some kind of small mark or “x” on the signature line, then that is considered “signature by mark” and it adds additional layers of complexity that we are, unfortunately, not set up to handle.