Can you notarize your own documents?


There are a lot of types of documents that require notarization. Many individuals and businesses can find themselves put out by having to constantly schedule a time and place to meet with a notary to get a signature. But wouldn’t it be convenient if you were already close with a commissioned notary, or better yet, were a notary yourself? 

While this sounds like it should be no problem at all, the answer is more complicated. So, can you notarize your own documents? Let’s take a look. 

Can you notarize your own document?

No, a notary cannot notarize their own documents.

In all 50 states, notaries are explicitly prohibited from notarizing their own documents or documents in which they are named as a party within the transaction. 

Why notaries cannot notarize their own documents?

There are several serious reasons why a notary cannot in good faith notarize their own documents, including the following.

  1. Notaries cannot notarize their own documents because notaries are required by law to serve as independent and impartial witnesses to a signing. If the notary has any connection to the document they are signing, it is impossible for them to remain an objective third party witnessing the signing.
  2. Notarizing one’s own documents raises a serious conflict of interest as it essentially allows a notary to skip over many essential steps such as the identity verification process, administration of oaths, and taking verifications. 
  3. This poses issues similar to the potential conflict of interest when notarizing for one’s own family members. This is precisely why some states have banned family notarization on some level, and the ones that do allow it generally advise against it.

Even though there are restrictions against self-notarization, there are still plenty of options out there that have made notarization significantly easier in recent years. When it comes to capturing signatures at your own convenience while ensuring your documents are secure, there’s simply no better option than Remote Online Notarization. 

Remote Online Notarization (RON) makes getting notarization easier than ever 

Remote Online Notarization (RON) has made it easier than ever to notarize important documents whenever and wherever it is convenient for you.

In the past, when one would need a document notarized, they would need to account for the extra time it would take to coordinate a time and place for the notary and signers to meet. Today, notarization can be carried out online within minutes. Not only do you not have to travel or schedule a time to meet with a notary, but you also don’t have to wait to get business done.

Rules for notarizing your own documents

Notarizing your own documents is prohibited in all 50 states. This means that a notary cannot legally notarize their own documents.

If a notary needs to have a document notarized, they will need to contact a commissioned, third-party notary public to carry out the transaction. While in the past, this meant spending time, money, and extra effort trying to track down a traditional notary, RON offers a simpler and more secure solution.

Get started with online notarization

Can you notarize your own documents? In all 50 states, the answer is a clear and definite no. There are simply too many glaring conflicts of interest involved with self-notarization for it to be considered valid or legal.Despite this, if you are a notary (and even if you aren’t) who finds yourself in need of fast and easy notarization services, PandaDoc Notary makes it as easy as eSign.

PandaDoc Notary provides an easy-to-use and secure Remote Online Notarization platform that helps you create, edit, eSign, and notarize documents at your own convenience, from wherever you are. What could be more simple than that?

To learn more about how PandaDoc Notary can help you, request a demo.


Why notaries cannot notarize their own documents?

Notaries cannot notarize their own documents because of the laws and regulations around notarization, which require a neutral, third-party observer to serve as a notary. It is impossible for a notary to remain neutral when it comes to their own documents, as the information therein pertains directly to them.

This ultimately presents a conflict of interest that threatens the validity of the notarization and is, therefore, not permitted in any state.

Can a notary notarize for family members?

In most instances, a notary cannot and should not notarize documents for direct family members as this will present some kind of conflict of interest. Any document where the notary benefits or is affected by the content of the document presents a conflict of interest for the notary and is, therefore, not legal.

Some states allow notaries to provide certain kinds of notary services to certain types of family members, depending on the situation, though the practice is generally advised against regardless. 

Can a notary notarize their own signature?

No, all 50 states prohibit a notary from notarizing their own signature due to the clear conflict of interest that it poses. 

Online notarization is legal in a growing number of states and provides a fast, convenient, and affordable alternative to walk-in and mobile notaries. You should double-check that your state allows RON, however, any document that is notarized online within compliance of local state RON law will be legally permissible in all 50 states.