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Before Your Notary Appointment 

Before your appointment


Please Read Carefully

The State of Florida has specific laws that notaries must follow. It is imperative the following have been satisfied, in order for the notarization to be completed:

  • The form must be completely filled out,

  • The form must have a notary certificate (See example below),

  • All signers must be present at the appointment,

  • All signers must produce an original, unexpired photo ID (See acceptable forms of ID),

  • The signer must be of sound mind, alert, and mentally competent.

  • The signer must want to sign the document being notarized.

Sample Notary Certificate

Sample Notary Certificate

If the document does not contain a notary certificate, one can be provided by the notary for an additional fee.


However, the notary will not advise as to the type of certificate required for the notarization.

The Notary must refuse to notarize documents if,

  • The signer is not physically present at the time of the appointment;

  • The document is incomplete or blank;

  • The signer has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated and has not been restored to capacity as a matter of record;

  • The signer cannot produce acceptable identification and/or the signer cannot produce "Two Creditable Witnesses," to identify the signer;

  • The signer appears to be drunk, sedated, or disoriented; or

  • The notary knows or suspects the transaction is illegal, false, or deceptive.

  • The signer cannot communicate in English.

  • The notary believes that the signer is being coerced or does not understand the consequences of signing the document.

  • The signer or witness do not agree to signing the document.

Prohibited Acts

Notaries are public officials appointed by the Secretary of State. There are certain laws, outlined in Florida Statutes governing what acts a notary can and cannot perform. Below is a list of things notaries are not authorized to do in the State of Florida.

Notaries May Not....

  • May not notarize a photo.

  • May not notarize a copy of a birth certificate, any other vital statistic document, or any public record (i.e. marriage license).

  • May not certify a translation of a document from one language to another language.

  • May not provide signature guarantees.

  • May not certify the authenticity of objects, such as art or sports memorabilia.

  • May not judge a contest or certify contest results.

  • May not certify an individual's residency or citizenship status.

  • May not prepare legal documents or immigration papers.

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