Can you notarize your own documents?

Learn more about what you can and can’t do as a notary, plus when you should pass your documents on to another for notarization.

There are many documents that require notarization — from loans and property deeds to wills, trusts, court documents, and advanced directives. In these cases, it’s helpful to have a notary you can count on — but what if you already are one? Can you notarize your own documents? It would save a lot of time and effort, after all. Let’s explore more about what you can and can’t do as a notary.

Rules for notarizing your own documents.

In short, you cannot notarize your own documents. Despite having the technical understanding, it’s against notary laws to certify your own paperwork.

This is because being a notary means that you can demonstrate the ability to remain impartial or disinterested in a transaction. It’s impossible to be impartial to a situation that may benefit you, such as gaining the property deeds on a home or becoming an executor of an estate.

Plus, your job is to act as an independent third party to verify the identities of those involved, direct an oath of acknowledgment and witness them voluntarily sign documents. These required steps wouldn’t be completed if you were to perform this yourself. In fact, it would defeat the entire purpose of having a notary.

Whenever you have a transaction that involves you — or even one where you simply feel that you can’t be impartial — it can be in everyone’s best interest to have someone else notarize the documents. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to stay on top of your state’s laws and rules to make sure you’re not overstepping any boundaries. Otherwise, you may face criminal or civil liabilities and suspension or revocation of your notary abilities.

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