When is Notarization Not Allowed?


The Basics

Each state has specific laws regarding when a notary public may or may not complete a notary certificate.  These laws are put in place to protect the customer and the notary.  

There are four categories of disqualification for notarization.  A San Diego mobile notary may refuse to certify a document due to disqualifications relating to the signer, the document, the notary, or other factors.

The Notary May Disqualify The Signer

  • The signer is not present at the time of the signing.

  • The signer cannot be properly identified using one of the approved forms of identification.

  • The signer does not speak the same language as the notary.

  • The signer is unwilling to swear or affirm that the information in the document being notarized is correct and true.

  • The signer does not appear to be aware, alert and responsive.  If the signer is confused or disoriented due to medications, substance abuse or a medical condition, the notary cannot proceed.

  • The signer is being coerced into signing the document.

The Notary May Disqualify The Document

  • The document is incomplete or contains blank spaces or missing pages.

  • The document does not contain a notarial certificate, such as a jurat or acknowledgment, and the signer is unable to tell the notary which certificate is needed.

  • The document type is not permitted for notarization by the California Secretary of State.

The Notary May Disqualify Themselves

  • The notary is the signer of the document.

  • The notary is named as a party to the transaction or has any financial interest or benefit in the transaction.

  • The signer is the notary’s spouse, parent or child.

Other reasons to disqualify a notarization:

  • The notary knows or suspects the transaction being notarized is false, illegal or deceptive.

  • The notarization requested is not an authorized notarial act by the California Secretary of State.

  • If the signer is unwilling or unable to pay, the notary may refuse the notarization.

  • A notary may refuse if the signers request is outside normal business hours or if the time requested conflicts with other appointments or commitments.

  • A notary may also refuse if the request violates company policy or guidelines.


A California notary public may not refuse to notarize a document due to personal bias against the signer(s) or because the nature of the document is controversial to the notary, such as same sex unions, assisted suicide, abortion, etc.  A notary may not refuse to perform a lawful notarization due to a conflict in personal beliefs. For fast and easy 24/7 San Diego mobile notary service, request online or call 619 731-0878.