Your Notary Jurisdiction

In almost all states, a notary has statewide jurisdiction that is not limited by county boundaries. For example, a notary public in the state of Texas can perform notarial acts anywhere within the state of Texas. When notarizing a signature, the notarial certificate a notary completes typically includes a venue, in the format “State of __________, County of ____________,” which is an indication as to where the notary and the signer were physically located at the time the signature was notarized and also indicates the authority of the notary to perform notarial acts at that location.

There are few states that allow their notaries to notarize documents outside their state border line with no additional commissioning requirements.  For example, Virginia notaries have limited powers in performing notarial acts outside the Commonwealth of Virginia. A traditional notary public may perform any notarial act outside the Commonwealth for any writing intended to be used in the Commonwealth of Virginia or by the United States government. (§ 47.1-13, § 47.1-13.1)

Kentucky allows a resident or non-resident of Kentucky to apply for a special commission to perform notarial acts inside or outside of the state if the documents are to be recorded in Kentucky [KRS 423.110(6)].

If you live in a state bordering Illinois and work in Illinois, you may apply for a non-resident notary commission to notarize documents in Illinois. Kansas and Missouri allow for residents who live in adjacent states and work in their states to apply for a non-resident notary commission.

A non-resident licensed Texas escrow officer who resides in a state adjacent to Texas can become a Texas notary public if the person (1) meets the same qualifications as a Texas resident, setting aside the residency requirement; (2) is a resident of one of the following adjacent states: Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, or New Mexico; and (3) completes Form 2301-E. If the non-resident notary public is no longer a licensed Texas escrow officer, the notary must voluntarily surrender his or her notary public commission to the Secretary of State.  

Always remember, your notary authority typically stops at your state border line. However, you may have more than one notary commission if you live in a bordering state that issues notary commissions to non-residents.

Legal Disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding notaries' best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, 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 in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states' notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

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