Prohibited Acts for Notaries
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From Chapter 117, Florida Statutes

A notary public may not notarize a signature on a document if:

  • The person whose signature is being notarized is not in the presence of the notary at the time the signature is notarized. §117.107(9).
  • The document is incomplete. §117.107(10).
  • The notary public actually knows that the person signing the document has been
  • adjudicated mentally incapacitated. §117.107(4).
  • The person whose signature is to be notarized is the spouse, son, daughter, mother, or father
  • of the notary public. §117.107(11).
  • The notary public has a financial interest in or is a party to the underlying transaction. §117.107(12).

Also, a notary public may not:

  • Give legal advice, unless the notary public is a licensed attorney. §117.01(4)(f).
  • Take an acknowledgment of execution in lieu of an oath if an oath is required. §117.03.
  • Obtain or use a notary commission in a name other than his or her legal name. §117.05(1).
  • Notarize his or her own signature. §117.05(1).
  • Charge more than $10 for any one notarial act or more than $20 for solemnizing the rites of matrimony. §§117.05(2), 117.045, 28.24(29), & 839.11.
  • Notarize a signature on a document unless the notary personally knows the signer or has satisfactory evidence of identification. §117.05(5).
  • Act as a notary public after his or her commission has expired. §117.05(8).
  • Translate the phrase “Notary Public” into a language other than English in an advertisement for notarial services. §117.05(11).
  • Attest to the trueness of a photocopy of a public record if a copy can be made by another public official. §117.05(12)(a).
  • Use a name or initial in signing certificates other than that by which the notary public is commissioned. §117.107(1).
  • Sign a blank form of affidavit or certificate of acknowledgment. §117.107(3).
  • Take the acknowledgment of a person who is blind until the notary public has read the instrument to such person. §117.05(14)(a).
  • 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 which the person does understand. §117.107(6).
  • Change anything in a written instrument after it has been signed by anyone. §117.107(7).
  • Notarize a signature on a document if it appears that the person is mentally incapable of understanding the nature and effect of the document at the time of notarization. §117.107(5).

Other Prohibited Acts

  • Notaries do not notarize photographs. Read more
  • Notaries do not notarize copies of birth certificates, or any other vital record or public record. Read More
  • Notaries do not certify a translation of a document from one language into another.
  • Notaries do not provide signature guarantees. This duty is usually performed by officials in the banking and securities industry.
  • Notaries do not certify the authenticity of objects, such as art or sports memorabilia.
  • Notaries do not judge contests or certify contest results.
  • Notaries do not certify a person’s residency or citizenship status.
  • Notaries do not prepare legal documents, or immigration papers, unless they are an attorney licensed to practice in Florida.


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