Notaries cannot notarize their own documents
Consider a scenario where you are a notary public and you have a bunch of documents that require notarization at the earliest. You cannot find a notary and all the mobile notaries are booked. Amidst all this struggle, one obvious doubt will pop up in your mind- Can I notarize my own documents? It seems logical to do so in case of emergencies. Sadly, the answer is no. While it would have been convenient for you, there are many reasons why you can’t notarize your own documents. Can I write my own will and have it notarized?
We’ll discuss all the reasons and the exceptions to give you as much clarity as possible.
It is illegal to notarize your own documents. Can I write my own will and have it notarized?
That’s probably all you need to remember. Every state has categorically denied notaries to stay away from notarizing their own documents. The law in the US does not allow you to notarize your own documents. You are also not allowed to notarize documents if you have a financial interest in the transaction. This is also the reason why notary publics are not allowed to notarize documents for family members. Notarizing your own documents can lead to a conflict of interest and is therefore prohibited by the law.
A notary public will be biased while notarizing their own documents
The reason why notary publics cannot notarize their own documents is that they will always be biased towards themselves. One of the fundamental requirements of a notary in any transaction is that they're should be impartial towards all the parties involved in the transaction. The idea of notarizing your own documents breaks that fundamental requirement. A notary is required to take the signer’s acknowledgment during the notarization process. It helps in verifying the signer and preventing fraud. However, a notary will skip such steps while notarizing their own documents and it will eventually defeat the very purpose of notarization.
There are two specific cases where the notary is allowed to notarize their own documents.
Some states require notary publics to keep a notary journal compulsorily. In such states, the notary can certify an entry from their own journal as a true and fair copy. The notary has to send a request for the same before self-certifying the entry.
Some states in the US allow certification of copies of nonrecordable documents. In such states, the notary public can self-certify the copy of the original document given by the customer.
As a notary, it is very important for you to be thorough about your state’s laws on notarization. Any illegal activity from your end intentionally or unintentionally can end your notary business. Any unlawful act from the notary’s end can open him to criminal and/or civil liability. The notary may even be suspended and their notary public commission may also get revoked for the same. Therefore, any decision you take must be made after carefully considering all aspects. No matter what the situation is, never notarize your own documents.