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Minors


Can I notarize the signature of a minor?

Some states prohibit notaries public from notarizing the signature of a minor. If the notary laws in your state do not prohibit a notary public from notarizing the signature of a minor, the notary must exercise the same notarial procedures in verifying the identity of the minor as the notary would have followed for verifying the identity of an adult signer. The notary must refuse the notarization if the notary is unable to legally verify the identity of the minor.

One of the school parents brought his ten year old to sign custody documents. I declined the notarization because the minor did not fully understand what was going on. Was I wrong in this situation?

No, you were right. Some states prohibit notaries public from notarizing the signature of a minor. In the event that your state laws do not prohibit notaries from notarizing the signature of a minor, there was still a high probability that the ten-year-old minor did not possess the minimum degree of mental capability to understand the nature, effect, and consequences of the document being signed and notarized.

A minor needed his signature notarized on a document to play sports, but he did not have any form of identification. What does a notary do in this type of situation?

If the notary laws in your state do not prohibit a notary public from notarizing the signature of a minor, the notary must exercise very strict notarial procedures. In most states, a notary public may establish the identity of the signer by any of the following methods of identification: 1) the signer furnishes a current identification card or other document issued by the state or federal government that contains the photograph and signature of the signer; 2) the signer is personally known by the notary; or 3) the notary takes the oath of a credible witness who is personally known to both the signer and notary.