Physical PresenceThe signer(s) being notarized must be present at the time of the notarization. With remote online notarizations, a video conference meeting is held between the notary and signer(s).
Checking and verifying the signer’s identify is a critical step in performing a notarial service. Some people may view it as a nuisance, but it’s performed to safeguard against fraud.
The Document and the Name on the Document
You must have the document that is being notarized. A notary is not permitted to draft documents or provide legal documents.
The ID can have more of the name than what is on the document, but not less. It is okay to use a commonly known nickname on your documents, like Jim for James (where “James” is on the ID, but document says “Jim”).
We cannot notarize incomplete documents with incomplete blank lines (that you don’t have the information for) in the text above your signature line. We can not accept just the last “signature page” without the rest of the document present.
You must give us the complete document.
Compentency and Comprehension
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 is not sufficient. If the signer cannot speak, then (s)he will need to be able to write out complete sentences to questions like: “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.
Every signer must demonstrate a willingness to sign the documents without coercion. (S)he must also be aware of what they are signing and understand the significance of the transaction. Documents cannot be notarized if there is any cognitive impairment, including alcohol impairment..
You may need to go to court to be able to take over the signing responsibilities for someone if signing a document such as a Power of Attorney cannot be notarized because of these issues.
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.
For in person services, the signer needs to be able to sign in a way that resembles a signature, even if it does not look 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 is considered as an official signature and is allowed by Texas law.
For online notary service, the signer will make a digital signature.