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Can a Florida Notary Public Refuse to Notarize?

The answer is yes. At some point in your career, you may have to refuse a notarization due to certain circumstances. Florida law requires that a notary should refuse a notarization under the following circumstances:

  • The document is incomplete or blank (not filled out)
  • The signer is not present
  • The notary is also the signer
  • The signer is related to the notary (parent, child, spouse or sibling)
  • The notary is a party on the document or could benefit from it financially
  • The document is not in English, the signer does not speak English and there is no translator available
  • The signer does not have proper identification and the notary does not personally know the signer
  • The signer is mentally incapacitated
  • The signer refuses to sign the document
  • The signer does not know what type of notarial act is required and there is no notarial certificate prepared on the document.
  • The signer appears to be intoxicated, sedated or disoriented.
  • The notary suspects that the document is illegal, forged or deceptive.

As with all types of work, if you are sick, you should not witness a signing. It is up to the notary to make the final decision regarding a notarization. Use your best judgment and notarize when these circumstances have not been met.


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