Can I Notarize a Document For a Minor?
- Category: Notary Blog
- Published: Monday, 14 June 2021 09:56
You can notarize a document for a minor, contrary to popular belief. This is not like a school form or a doctor's appointment, when the minor's legal guardian or parent can sign for their consent. If the minor's name appears on the document that requires a notarial act, the minor is the one who must sign it. Just because the signer is a minor, it has no bearing on the notarial act process. It is still required for the signer to be physically present, and produce proper identification. Some states permit the notary to rely on credible witnesses, if proper identification cannot be furnished. Remember that parents are not allowed to be used as credible witnesses as they must be a disinterested party.
As the notary public, you must ensure that the minor understands the document's contents and that they are not being coerced into signing it. Some state laws specify the minimum legal age at which a minor can be a signer in a notarial act. If your state does not have a requirement, simply make sure the minor is mature enough to read and understand the document they are signing. For example, a five-year-old may not grasp what they are signing her name to, whereas a sixteen-year-old may fully comprehend the contents of a document. Speak with the minor directly and use your best judgment to see whether they completely comprehend the act. The parent cannot sign for the child under any circumstances.
As always, when performing a notarization, follow the notary laws in your state.