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 Which states allow credible witnesses?
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3106 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2016 :  2:07:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This is one of my favorite older posts if you scroll down. Somebody just asked me about credible witnesses in Florida.

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3 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2010 :  05:39:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit vanotary's Homepage  Reply with Quote
from the VA SOC,"Satisfactory evidence of identity" means identification of an individual based on (i) examination of one or more of the following documents bearing a photographic image of the individual's face and signature: a United States Passport, a certificate of United States citizenship, a certificate of naturalization, an unexpired foreign passport, an alien registration card with photograph, a state issued driver's license or a state issued identification card or a United States military card or (ii) the oath or affirmation of one credible witness unaffected by the document or transaction who is personally known to the notary and who personally knows the individual or of two credible witnesses unaffected by the document or transaction who each personally knows the individual and shows to the notary documentary identification as described in subdivision (i).

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549 Posts

Posted - 06/10/2010 :  04:06:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Renee's Homepage  Reply with Quote
MI only allows the use of a single but mutually-known credible witness (the witness must personally know both the signer and the notary). Good luck with that.

The members of the Notary Public Administrators -NPA (sadly, not all states have a representative member, my own state is absent) are working towards the goal of Uniform laws being accepted. Their conversations are VERY interesting, and the list-serve is open to anyone (although can tax your e-mail, I warn you!) To join, go to NASS.org (Nat'l Assoc of Secretaries of State), the NPA is a section of that org.

Last week they did a 'show of hands' on BGC's, and almost all of them followed the same protocol - doing BGC's only upon complaint against a particular notary.
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51 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2010 :  04:19:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is a Uniform Law Commission (and a few other organizations with similar goals) which drafts suggested uniform laws that the states might want to adopt. In some areas, almost all states have done this, such as the Uniform Commercial Code or the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. The uniform law on notarial acts has not been widely adopted. You can see the most recent drafting process at http://www.nccusl.org/Update/CommitteeSearchResults.aspx?committee=304
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553 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2010 :  8:55:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The list for credible witnesses is interesting. You would think that all the states would have the same rules regarding this for all of us. For example, I think all notaries should be required to have testing and mandatory education as well as background checks. I realize it is a state specific thing but it has always baffled me as to why all the rules are different from state to state being a notary in the first place. Since we all are basically responsible for the same duties. It would be so much easier for all parties if we all had the same set of rules to adhere to.


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678 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2010 :  06:31:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Arkansas does not seem to address this at all. So I assume, lacking any criteria, credible witnesses are not allowed.

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51 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2010 :  09:00:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vermont's Short Guide for Notaries Public (http://vermont-archives.org/notary/guide/pdf/NOTARY%20GUIDE%202006.pdf) says on page 10 that one credible witness known to the notary may be used and, optionally, the witness may be required to swear to the identity of the signer.

The suggested witness oath contains no mention of the signer not having an ID card, and although "identification papers" are mentioned on the same page, there is no recommendation to rely on them. The overall tone of the page seems to be personal knowledge is best, a witness known to the notary is second best, and ID papers are a distant third.
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469 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2010 :  04:51:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit PWinFL's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In many states, when using one (1) credible witness, the witness must be known by BOTH the notary and the signer. For those states that allow two (2) credible witnesses, some require that the witnesses attest to a set of specific facts, which includes wording in substantially the same form as "That it is the reasonable belief of the witnesses that the circumstances of the person whose signature is to be notarized are such that it would be very difficult or impossible for that person to obtain another form of identification."

The Florida Governor's Reference Manual (2001) goes on to say:
When using these methods of identification, it is a good practice to have the witnesses also sign the document being notarized.

Although not required, if the document has sufficient space, you may want to print or type the witnesses’ statement on the notarized document itself. If it is on a separate paper, then you should keep it in your records, rather than attach it to the notarized document. Additionally, your notarial certificate should state that the form of identification you relied upon was the sworn written statement of a (two) credible witness(es): name(s) .

Keep in mind that these provisions are for the purpose of identifying certain people who do not have other identification and do not replace the “presence” requirement. The person whose signature is being notarized must be present at the time of the notarization.

Never drive any faster than your guardian angel can fly.

I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Florida,
and I may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice.

Visit us online at http://www.PAWnotary.com
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3106 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2010 :  12:32:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here is information about which states allow credible witnesses. I got this information from notary law primers, handbooks, and the internet.

AZ - (1) Credible "person" that must be known to the notary
CA- (1) witness if the notary knows the witness, or (2) unknown witnesses
FL - (1) witness if the notary knows the witness, or (2) unknown witnesses.
GA- (1) witness if the notary knows the witness, or (2) unknown witnesses.
MA - (1) credible witness that must be known to the notary
MI - (1) credible witness that must be known to the notary
MO - (2) credible witnesses that may or may not be known to the notary
NH - (1) credible witness that is known to the notary
NJ - (1) credible witness that is known to the notary
NC - (1) credible witness that is known to the notary
NV - (1) requires a special acknowledgment form for credible witnesses.
OH - (1) credible witness that is known to the notary
OR - (1) credible witness that is known to the notary
PA - (1) credible witness that is known to the notary
SC- (1) but they don't need to be known to the notary
TN - (2) credible witnesses
VA - Not allowed. No credible witnesses allowed.
UT - (1) credible witness that is known to the notary
WA - (1) Credible witness that must be known to the notary.
We don't have information about other states.

Please visit our glossary page about credible witnesses

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