Can You Be a Notary in Multiple States

Can a Notary Notarize in Another State

Navigating notary laws can be a complex task, especially when transactions involve multiple states. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the nuances of notarial acts, the role of notaries, and the intricacies of out-of-state notarization. Whether you’re a business professional, a legal expert, or an individual seeking clarity on the subject, this guide aims to shed light on key aspects that impact notarization procedures across state borders.

Can a Notary Notarize in Another State?

The question of whether a notary can operate in another state is one that often perplexes individuals involved in cross-border transactions. To comprehend the answer, it’s essential to delve into the specifics of notarial acts.

A notarial act is a formal procedure conducted by a notary public services, an individual appointed by the state government. The primary purpose is to verify the authenticity of signatures on important documents. This process serves to deter fraud, confirm the identity of the signatories, and ensure that all parties willingly participate in the transaction. Notarial acts essentially give legal weight to various agreements, making them enforceable in court.

However, the geographical scope of notaries is typically limited to their state of commission. While this is the general rule, exceptions exist. Some states recognize the importance of facilitating transactions across borders and permit notaries to perform out-of-state notarizations. This means that a notary from one state can legally notarize a document in another state. It’s crucial to note that not all states allow this practice, so understanding the legal requirements and restrictions in both the notary’s home state and the state where the document is to be notarized is essential.

What Is a Notary Public?

To comprehend the significance of notarial acts, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the role of a notary public. A notary public is a public official appointed by the state government to serve as an impartial witness in the execution of important documents. Their role goes beyond merely witnessing signatures; it involves verifying the identities of the signatories, ensuring their willingness to participate, and administering oaths when necessary.

Notaries play a critical role in upholding the integrity and legality of various legal and financial transactions. Whether it’s a real estate transaction, a business agreement, or the execution of a will, notaries provide an additional layer of assurance regarding the authenticity of the documents involved.

Why You May Need an Out-of-State Notary

Understanding when and why an out-of-state notary might be needed is crucial for individuals and businesses engaged in cross-border transactions. There are several scenarios where the involvement of an out-of-state notary becomes necessary:

  • Physical Location Constraints: In situations where signatories are in different states and physical presence is not feasible, the services of an out-of-state notary may be sought.
  • Urgent Document Needs: Time-sensitive documents that require notarization may necessitate the assistance of a notary who can operate across state lines.
  • Specific Document Requirements: Some documents, due to their nature or legal requirements, may mandate notarization by an out-of-state notary. Understanding these requirements is vital to ensuring the legality of the transaction.

Having clarity on when an out-of-state notary is needed can streamline processes, reduce delays, and ensure that legal and financial transactions proceed smoothly.

Common Documents That Need Notarization

Notarization is a common requirement for various documents to ensure their legal validity. Here’s a closer look at some of the common documents that need notarization:

1. Auto Loans and Sales:

Notarizing documents related to auto loans and sales adds a layer of authenticity to the transaction, protecting both buyers and sellers.

2. Real Estate Transactions:

Real estate transactions often involve significant financial commitments. Notarized documents in these transactions provide legal assurance and prevent potential disputes.

3. Mortgage Documents:

Validating mortgage agreements through notarization is a standard practice to ensure the legality and enforceability of the terms.

4. Subpoenas:

Notarizing subpoenas adds an extra layer of authentication to these legal documents, ensuring they are legally binding.

5. Structured Settlements:

Notarization is crucial in structured settlements to verify the agreement’s authenticity and protect the interests of all parties involved.

6. Power of Attorney:

Notarizing power of attorney documents is essential to prevent misuse or fraud, providing added security to the parties involved.

7. Medical Documents and Healthcare Proxies:

Healthcare-related documents, such as proxies, gain credibility through notarization, ensuring their validity in critical situations.

8. Business Agreements:

Many business agreements, ranging from partnership agreements to contracts, require notarization for legal validity and enforceability.

9. Wills, Trusts, and Deeds:

Notarizing these important legal documents ensures their authenticity and legal standing, preventing disputes over the distribution of assets.

While notarial acts are generally bound by state borders, some states recognize the need for flexibility in certain situations. Understanding which states allow out-of-state notarial acts is crucial for those involved in cross-border transactions. States that permit this practice typically have specific regulations in place, outlining the procedures that notaries must follow to ensure legal compliance.

States may differ in their approach to out-of-state notarization, with some allowing it without restrictions and others imposing specific conditions. Researching the laws of both the notary’s home state and the state where the document is to be notarized is essential to determine the feasibility of out-of-state notarization.

Presently, the following states permit both out-of-state and remote notary services:

New Mexico
North Dakota
Oregon Notary Services
West Virginia

Additionally, New York, Illinois, and New Hampshire are in the process of approving legislation to allow out-of-state notarization.

Is Online Notarization Allowed in Every State?

In our increasingly digital world, online notarization has emerged as a convenient and efficient alternative to traditional notarization. However, its legality is not universal; it varies from state to state. Some states fully embrace online notarization, recognizing its benefits in terms of accessibility and speed. Others may have restrictions or have yet to adopt this method.

 May provide other services related to documents, such as notarization, photocopying, scanning, translation, etc., for additional fees. Handles all inquiries and requests related to apostille certifications promptly and courteously. Keeps up-to-date on regulations and guidelines related to apostille procedures. 

How to Notarize Documents Out-of-State?

Notarizing documents across state lines involves navigating the specific requirements and regulations of both the notary’s home state and the state where the document is being signed. The process may include several key steps:

  • Verify State Regulations: Understand the notary laws and regulations in both the notary’s home state and the state where the document is to be notarized.
  • Confirm Acceptable Forms of Identification: Ensure that the signatories present valid identification in accordance with the requirements of both states.
  • Clarify Fees and Payment Methods: Notary fees can vary, and the method of payment may differ between states. Clarify the costs and payment methods beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings.
  • Adhere to Document Requirements: Ensure that the document complies with the notary laws of both states. Some states may have specific requirements for the content and format of notarized documents.
  • Utilize Online Platforms: If applicable, explore online notarization options, keeping in mind the specific regulations governing online notarization in both states.

Navigating these steps ensures a smoother notarization process and minimizes the risk of legal complications. Whether the notarization is conducted in person or online, adherence to state-specific requirements is paramount.

States that share borders may have similar notary laws, but subtle differences can exist. It’s essential to be aware of any distinctions to ensure a smooth notarization process and the legal validity of the document.

Some bordering states may have reciprocity agreements or acknowledge each other’s notarial acts. However, assuming uniformity without verifying specific regulations can lead to misunderstandings. Notaries operating in bordering states should familiarize themselves with the nuances of each state’s notary laws to avoid potential complications.

What You Need to Consider for an Out-of-State Notarization

Conducting an out-of-state notarization requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure legal compliance and the validity of the document. Here are key aspects to consider:


Valid identification is a cornerstone of notarization, and it’s crucial to understand the acceptable forms of ID in both the notary’s home state and the state where the document is signed. Verify that the identification presented meets the requirements of both states to avoid any complications during the notarization process.


Notary fees can vary, and the method of payment may differ between states. Before proceeding with the notarization, clarify the costs and payment methods to ensure a smooth transaction and avoid any disputes.


Ensure that the document adheres to the notary laws of both states. This includes verifying that the content, format, and any additional requirements specified by each state are met. Non-compliance may jeopardize the legal validity of the notarized document.

By addressing these considerations, individuals and businesses can navigate the complexities of out-of-state notarization with confidence, ensuring that their transactions are legally sound and enforceable.


How many states allow remote online notarization to take place?

The acceptance of remote online notarization is a rapidly evolving landscape. While an increasing number of states are recognizing its validity, the specific count can vary. It’s advisable to stay updated on the latest regulations in the relevant states.

If a notary travels to another state, can he or she notarize documents there?

The permissibility of a notary notarizing documents in another state depends on the regulations of both states. While some states allow this practice, others may have restrictions. Thorough research of the laws in both states is essential.

Can a notary notarize a document from another state?

Whether a notary can notarize a document from another state depends on the laws of the states involved. Not all states permit this practice, and understanding the specific regulations is crucial to avoid legal complications.

How long does it take to get a document notarized remotely?

The duration of remote online notarization can vary based on several factors. Document complexity, state regulations, and the efficiency of the online platform used all contribute to the time required. Generally, the process aims for efficiency without compromising legal standards.


Successfully navigating notarial acts across state borders requires a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape in both the notary’s home state and the state where the document is being signed. Whether opting for in-person or online notarization, staying informed ensures a seamless and legally sound process for all parties concerned.

In conclusion, the intricacies of notary laws, out-of-state notarization, and the evolving landscape of online notarization highlight the need for individuals and businesses to be well-informed. As transactions increasingly transcend state borders, a thorough understanding of notary procedures and legal compliance is indispensable for ensuring the integrity and enforceability of important documents.

PAC Signing exclusively offers mobile notary services within the state of Oregon. We do not extend our notary services beyond the boundaries of Oregon, prioritizing the delivery of accurate and authentic information to ensure clarity for our clients.