Notarizing During Business Hours

Since most employed notaries become commissioned at the request of their employers, they occasionally inquire as to what types of restrictions their employers can place on them when it comes to performing their notarial duties. The answer to this question differs from state to state, so be sure to consult with you state's notary laws. If state law does not address it, be sure to speak with your employer to come up with a plan that is reasonable.

In general, a notary's employer may restrict the employee-notary from providing notarial services during working hours - especially when it comes to non-customers. Some employers allow their notaries to notarize only work-related transactions. Banks, for example, often restrict their notaries to notarizing only for bank customers and may refuse to notarize certain types of documents at their location. An employer generally has the right to restrict a notary from performing non-work related notarizations during working hours.

An employer may also insist that any notary fees collected during the business day belong to the employer. These types of agreements are acceptable, but make sure that you and your employer come up with some plan that can be applied uniformly among all customers.

Employers cannot, however, restrict you from performing notarial services outside working hours, even if the employer paid for your commission and notary supplies. An employer may not restrict you from taking your notary stamp and journal home. For this reason, employed notaries should never share journals. If an employer requires some sort of communal journal, you should still keep your own separate sequential records.

Always remember, your notary stamp and journal belong to you even if your employer paid for them. Your notary commission also belongs to you, and your employer cannot force you to resign when you decide to leave your employer.

As always, consult your state's laws to determine what, if any, restrictions an employer can place on a notary during working hours.

Legal Disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information. However, it is important to note that the information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss, or consequential loss, out of or in connection with the use of the information contained on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions. 

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