What Documents Can A Notary Notarize? (And What They Can’t)

To notarize, or not? Getting a document notarized can go a long way in preventing fraud which is why some documents are required to be notarized in order to prove authenticity. But you might also want to notarize documents that may not legally require notarization if one of the parties involved requires it.

So this leaves the question, “What documents can a notary notarize?”

Some of the most commonly notarized documents include:

  • Property deeds (real estate)
  • Mortgage loan documents
  • Employment contracts
  • Court documents
  • Power of attorney
  • Financial statements

On the flip side, there are other documents that cannot be notarized by a notary. Keep reading to learn more about these nuances.

What Documents Cannot Be Notarized?

While it is true that most documents can technically be notarized, there are a few that cannot legally be notarized. The following documents cannot be notarized in any state:

  • Birth certificate*
  • Marriage certificate
  • Death certificate*
  • Articles of incorporation for a business

If you need copies of any of the above documents, you must request them from the original source that produced them.

*Note: while a notary cannot officially notarize these documents, some notaries, such as us here at Sonrise TagsAndTax, may offer to assist in the application process to get original copies of original birth or death certificates. Check with your local notary to find out.

Does A Bill Of Sale Need To Be Notarized?

In most situations, a bill of sale is fairly straightforward and does not require notarization.

However, for larger purchases such as a vehicle or a boat, the buyer in particular may opt to have the bill of sale notarized to protect them. While it is not common, sometimes after the sale is comlplete, the buyer may try to cause trouble, in which case having a notarized bill of sale can greatly help in proving your ownership of the new item purchased.

Does A Power Of Attorney Need To Be Notarized?

Some states do not require that a power of attorney be notarized, although it is still recommended in most situations such as if you own real estate. Consult with your attorney and check with your state’s local requirements before signing or notarizing a power of attorney.

Does A Will Need To Be Notarized?

Technically, no, in most situations you do not need to get your will notarized. However, to prove the validity of the will, you may want to involve a notary for the purposes of verifying that you and any witnesses signed the will. This could help speed up the process for your loved ones and for the court when you die. Consult your attorney if you are unsure.

Note: at the time of this writing, the state of Louisiana does require that a will be notarized. We are not aware of any other states that have this same requirement.

Where Can I Get My Documents Notarized?

There are many independent notary publics throughout the United States, so finding a local notary near you should not be difficult. If you are in South Central Pennsylvania, we would be happy to serve you here at Sonrise TagsAndTax. We have been serving as PA’s trusted local notary for more than 20 years.

Get directions to our notary office today! We look forward to serving you soon.

Disclaimer: The information on the website is intended for educational purposes only. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. We recommend consulting your legal advisor before making any legally binding agreements.