Is A Notary Public Allowed To Decline Notarization?

Notaries often come across people, whether their bosses, co-workers or customers that ask them to illegally notarize their documents. Sometimes, a notary public may not be able to tell the difference or know completely whether they should or should not notarize a document, especially if they are being pressured by powerful people. However, there are rules as to when a notary public can or cannot decline notarization. Let’s explore these rules in detail.

At What Point Can Notaries Refuse Notarization?

It is important to know when to decline notarization in order to prevent the fraud from being committed. Different states have different laws for notaries to follow regarding the refusal of service. However, it is safe to say that if there is any doubt of the documents being illegal or fraudulent.

If a signer does not follow the correct protocol or meet the requirements for the notarization to take place, the notary public from Oklahoma City. Some of the disqualifications may include:

  • The signer not making a personal appearance
  • The signer has not given their proper identification
  • If there is a language barrier
  • The signer is disoriented or seems like they are being forced to sign
  • If the signer is refusing to take an oath or affirm their documents

Sometimes, the documents may lead the notary public from Oklahoma to decline notarization, such as:

  • There are missing pages or blank spaces in the documents
  • If the required notarial certificate is not obtained

Then, there are also times when the notary public from Oklahoma may present a conflict of interest, and cannot unbiasedly notarize the document due to:

  • Being the signer of the document
  • The financial documents benefiting them as well
  • The signer is their parent, spouse, or child

Other situations in which a notary public from OKC can decline notarization are:

  • If the notary public is suspicious that the transaction is illegal, false, or deceptive
  • If the act being asked of them is not authorized for them to do
  • The signer cannot or will not pay the fee that is required for notarization
  • Being requested to notarized outside of your office hours
  • If the act that is being requested violates the guidelines of their workplace

Of course, notaries cannot refuse notarization due to a personal bias against the signer’s gender, race, religion, nationality, disabilities, or lifestyle.

Notaries must maintain their professionalism and use a respectful and calm tone when refusing the notarization. They must also explain why they are declining notarization. Lastly, the notary public has to document their refusal for any future questioning.

5 Mistakes To Strictly Avoid As A Notary Public

Most people assume that a notary public’s job is quite easy to do. People perceive that the job entails just having to go through paperwork and getting people to sign documents, which must be a piece of a cake. That could not be further away from the truth. The mental labor that notaries go through every day, as well as having to go through documents diligently and not make mistakes which could even end up with them getting sued (yes sued) is enough to make their jobs one of the toughest and most detailed.


If you are a notary public or are hoping to become one, here are the top 5 mistakes that you need to strictly avoid while on duty.

1. Not Asking For The Signer’s Personal Appearance

This is one of the biggest mistakes a notary public from Oklahoma City could ever make. It is only in exceptionally rare cases, such as when the attorney of a signer represents them, does the signer not have to present. No matter what other excuses a signer gives, personal appearance is a requirement that needs to be fulfilled no matter what, otherwise the notary public can get into some serious trouble with the law.

2. Not Checking The Certificate Properly

One of the most common and most silly reasons why a notary public’s documents are rejected is due to the notarial certificates not having the complete details. As a notary public from Oklahoma, it is absolutely necessary to check and recheck whether the signer’s name is correctly entered and the venue is also added into the notarial wording. Even checking to see if you have put the right date in is a must to avoid issues from arising. Notaries should make sure that the notarial wording includes all the required information.

3.   Not Having Enough Evidence Of Identity

It differs from state to state, but it is necessary for a notary public to collect sufficient details backed by authentic evidence or documents of identity from the signer before notarization. A notary public from OKC must at least request for a copy of the signer’s current ID card, as that will provide photo evidence, a description of the signer, as well as the original signature.

4.   Not Stamping Properly

A document with a faded or an upside down stamp is likely to be rejected. So, the notary public has to be extra cautious while ensuring that their seal/stamp is placed properly and does not cover the notarial wording, as that will cause the document to become illegible.

5.   Not Having an In Date Notary Seal

Again, this may differ from state to state, but the notary seal needs to show the commission expiration date. If notaries use an expired stamp, their document might get rejected, so it is essential to make sure that your notary stamp/seal is not expired.

These are just some of the mistakes that notaries make while on duty. Thus, the notary public needs to be very careful throughout the notarization process, so to not make any mistakes and to avoid either getting into trouble or getting their document rejected.