Section 6 - Prohibited Acts
It is important that the notary public know their duties and how to perform them.
It is also important that the notary know the types of notarial acts that they are
prohibited from performing. Here is a list of acts that a notary public is not authorized
A notary may not notarize a signature on a document if:
The person whose signature is being notarized is not present in front of the notary
at the time of notarization.
- The document is incomplete.
The notary knows that the person signing the document is mentally incapable of understanding
and signing the document.
The person whose signature is to be notarized is the spouse, son, daughter, mother
or father of the notary.
The notary has a financial interest in or is a party to the transaction.
A notary public may not:
- Give legal advice, unless the notary public is a licensed attorney.
- Take an acknowledgment in lieu of an oath if an oath is required.
Obtain or use a notary commission in a name other than his/her legal name or nickname
of his/her legal name.
- Notarize his or her own signature.
Charge more than $10 for any one notarial act or more than $20 for solemnizing a
Notarize a signature on a document unless the notary personally knows the signer
or has satisfactory evidence of identification.
- Act as a notary public after his or her commission has expired.
Translate the phrase "Notary Public" into a language other than English in an advertisement
for notarial services.
Attest to the trueness of a photocopy of a public record if a copy can be made by
another public official.
Use a name or initial in signing certificates other than that by which the notary
public is commissioned.
- Sign a blank form of affidavit or certificate of acknowledgement.
Take the acknowledgment of a person who is blind until the notary public has read
the instrument to such person.
Take the acknowledgment of a person who does not speak or understand the English
language, unless the nature and effect of the instrument to be notarized is translated
into a language the person does understand.
Change anything in a written instrument after it has been signed by anyone.
Other Prohibited acts:
- Do not notarize a photograph.
Do not notarize a copy of a birth certificate or any other vital record or public
- Do not certify a translation of a document from one language into another.
Do not provide signature guarantees. Officials in the banking and securities industry
usually perform this duty.
- Do not certify the authenticity of objects, such as art or sports memorabilia.
- Do not judge contests or certify contest results.
- Do not certify a person's residency or citizenship status.
- Do not prepare legal documents or immigration papers unless you are an attorney
licensed to practice in Florida.