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It is important that a notary public understands the duties and responsibilities of this office in the State of Florida. The law considers many instruments to be of such importance that they be signed by the maker in the presence of a notary public. The notary's function is to authenticate signatures and administer oaths on these documents, and therefore prevent fraud. The notary public is directly responsible for determining that the person signing is who he/she states. It is also important that the person signing the document states he/she understands what is being signed. When you are appointed as a notary public, you may notarize documents anywhere in the State of Florida.

Requirements to be a Florida Notary:

  • 1. At least 18 years of age
  • 2. Florida Resident: Identification required - Learn More

  • 3. U.S. Citizen: If not a U.S. citizen, you must submit a recorded Declaration of Domicile.
  • Applicants with Felonies: Additional documentation is required - Learn More
  • New applicants: An on-line course is required - Learn More

Procedures for Notarizing Documents

A notary public may notarize a signature on a document if the following conditions are met:​
  • The person whose signature is being notarized is in the presence of the notary public at the time the signature is notarized.
  • The document is complete.
  • The person signing the document is mentally compentent and understands what he/she is signing.
  • The notary is in the State of Florida.
  • The notary is not a party to the transaction - or mother, father, son, daughter, or spouse to the signer.
Florida Notary Requirements
Motary minimum requirements
  • 1. The notary public must specify in the certificate of acknowledgment what type of identification was relied upon, and whether or not an oath was taken.
  • 2. Valid identification must be obtained from each person whose signature is to be notarized. Proper identification is necessary since legal consequences of an error are severe. The following examples are good forms of identification:
    • Personal acquaintance of the notary
    • Driver's license
    • Passport
    • Photo identification card issued (within the past five years) by a state or branch of the federal government
  • 3. A notary public must specify in the certificate, when two or more signatures are to be notarized, which signature is being notarized. It will be presumed that absent these specifics, notarization by the notary public is for all signatures on the document.
  • 4. When notarizing a document, it is important that the state, county, and date be completed before the acknowledgment and seal are affixed.

A Florida Notary Public Can...

  • 1. Perform a marriage ceremony in the State of Florida for all individuals (including any family members) with a valid Florida marriage license.
  • 2. Charge up to $10.00 per notarial signature on a document and charge up to $30.00 for performing a marriage ceremony.
  • 3. Act as a notary anywhere in the State of Florida.
  • 4. Notarize foreign documents as long as the notary is confident that the signer can read and understand the document being signed.
  • 5. Notarize documents from another state or country. Documents leaving the state or country typically require an Apostille or Certificate of Notarial Authority (authentication). This certification can be obtained by mailing the request, notarized document and payment of $10.00 (made payable to the Secretary of State) to: Division of Corporation, Clifton Building, The Apostille Section, 2661 Executive Center, Tallahassee, Florida 32301. For any questions regarding Apostilles or Certificate of Notarial Authority, contact the Department of State at (850) 413-9732 or (850) 921-5268.
  • 6. Supervise the making of a photocopy from an original document and attest to the trueness of that copy, provided the document is not a vital or public record (such as birth certificates & marriage licenses). If the document is a Florida vital record, a certified copy can be requested from Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. Please see their website for more information.
  • 7. Be both witness and notary for the same document.
  • 8. Affix the optional embossed seal (for decorative purposes only) in conjunction with the required Florida rubber stamp seal. The rubber stamp seal must be affixed in photographically reproducible black ink, however, to be legal by state law.

A Florida Notary Public Can Not...

  • 1. Notarize a document unless the signer personally appears before the notary public at the time of the notarization.
  • 2. Notarize a document outside the State of Florida Notarize a signature on a document requiring two signatures unless the notary stipulates which signature is being notarized by indicating such in the acknowledgement.
  • 3. Notarize a document that has blank spaces therein.
  • 4 Post date or antedate any acknowledgement on a document.
  • 5. Notarize a document if the signer is the mother, father, son, daughter, or spouse of the notary public.
  • 6. Notarize a document if the notary public has a financial interest in or is a party to the underlying document.
  • 7. Notarize his or her own signature.
  • 8. Transfer a Florida notary commission to another state (since notary laws differ from state to state, commissions are not transferable.)

Additional Education Material

Additional information on the proper procedures to be followed by a notary public in the State of Florida can be obtained as follows, free of charge:
For any questions concerning these manuals or detailed legal questions, please telephone the Governor's Notary Section at (850) 245-6975.
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