Requirements

There are several important things you should know or do to make sure your NYC mobile notary signing and/or NY apostille processing goes smoothly:

FOR NY MOBILE NOTARIZATIONS – Top 10

1) Physical Presence: The signer(s) being notarized must be present at the time of the notarization.

2) ID: The signer(s) must have an original, government-issued, photo ID.

3) The Name on the Document vs. Name on ID:  Make sure the name on your document is spelled correctly, has your name in the right order (not last name first) and the name on the document is covered by the name shown on the signer’s ID.  Also, it is okay to use a commonly known nickname on your document, like Jim for James.

4) Document Is Ready and Printed: You must have the document in your possession, reviewed by the signer and printed before an appointment can be made. We have seen too many instances where a document expected to be completed by a certain time is not ready by the scheduled appointment time. We also cannot draft documents for you. We can print the document for you that you email to us (see Pricing and Payment section) if we are given enough notice and are near a printing facility when on the road already. We don’t recommend printing your document 2-sided as that can sometimes be an issue with your receiving party. It is typically best to print 1-sided unless provided that way by your attorney and he or she knows the receiving authority will be okay with it.

5) Blank Lines: We cannot notarize incomplete documents with incomplete blank lines (that you don’t have the information for) or don’t say N/A or “for Office Use only” in the text above your signature line or to have just the last “signature and notary page” without the rest of the document present.

6) Competency, Comprehension and Ability to Sign: All signers need to be competent to sign, be fully alert and be able to prove to the notary that they understand what they are signing. Nodding or shaking one’s head or saying “yes” or “no” is not sufficient. If the signer cannot speak, then he or she will need to be able to write out answers to questions such as: “Please explain what a Power of Attorney is or does in this case?” We cannot notarize someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia or someone on medication that makes the signer hazy about what is going on. You may need to go to court to be able to take over the signing responsibilities. They also have to have the strength to sign something that resembles a signature and is not just a mark on the page.

7) Foreign Language: The signer needs to be able to explain what he or she is signing in English directly to the notary, without a translator. It is not a problem if the document is in a foreign language, but the notary wording that we sign has to be in English or we can provide the notary wording on a stamp or separate piece of paper. Also, the signer’s name must be printed in English somewhere on the document. If it is only in the foreign language, and in a language with a different alphabet such as in Russian or Korean, the English name would also need to be typed or written near the signature line or so it can be matched with the name we write in the notary section.

8) Notary Section Setup: The notary section/statement and notary signature area must be completely on one page and not continue onto another page.

9) Payment:. Payment must be made as soon as the notarization is complete and paid at the signing location or must be made in advance of the signing (through our website or with a payment app). We do not do invoicing.

10) Review of Signer’s Signature Area and Notary Section: We would like to see a phone photo or scan of the signature area and notary section (or the whole document if it easier) emailed to us as about 35% of documents have an error or issue that needs to be fixed in advance or at the signing by revising it by hand.

FOR NY APOSTILLES

1) Correct Document: We need to make sure you have the right type of document or documents. For example, for a birth certificate or death certificate to receive an apostille, it must be a long-form birth certificate and you must have a Letter of Exemplification from the NYC Department of Health or Vitalchek.com (the letter comes automatically when you check off “apostille” to answer why you need the birth or death certificate within the Vitalchek system. You need to write “for apostille” on the NYC Health Department application.)

2) You Cannot Use the Verb “Certify” in Your Documents Being Apostilled. You must replace that with “attest”, “swear”, “affirm” or something similar.The County Clerk adopted this arbitrary rule in 2019.

3) Title of Signer for Company or Organization Documents: When reviewing the documents, the County Clerk is going to be looking for a title for the signer if a company-related document to see that they have the authority to be making the statement he or she is making.

4) Checking that Documents Prepared in Foreign Countries Don’t Include Statements in Notary Sections that NY Notaries Cannot Sign. This is a major problem for documents prepared by lawyers in certain countries (mainly Spain and Mexico). The foreign country’s lawyers typically need the document signed by someone in NY but don’t bother to research what notaries can do here. Notaries in many other countries are like super-lawyers, where they have even greater power than a lawyer and can make and sign statements about the main document signer’s ability and his or her company’s status that NY notaries have no authority to state or certify. NY notaries, and most notaries in the US, can sign two things: A “notary acknowledgement” or a “notary jurat”…nothing else. If you google those two phrases and the wording goes beyond that, send it back to the lawyer for a rewrite.

Minor Margin Modifications: We will need to see the document in advance to make sure there is ample space for the State Department’s grommet (which can sometimes be placed a couple inches down the page) plus our NY notary stamps on the signature page. We also review the notary section at that time.