May a Person with a Disability Direct Another Person to Sign?

December 1st, 2018 Comment

For A Person With A Disability Who Directs Another to Sign

On a rare occasion, we may be asked to notarize the signature of a person who cannot sign a document in the usual manner.  An individual with a disability may direct the notary or a designated person to sign on his or her behalf.  In a sense, one person substitutes his hands for the hands of the person with a disability.  We may notarize this signature and we will indicate the unusual circumstances in the notarial certificate.


What You Should Know


■ The Notary Public will question the person to make sure that he or she understands the nature and effect of the document to be signed.  If the person is blind, the Notary Public will read the entire document to him or her.  If the person does not understand, the Notary Public will refer him or her to an attorney for legal advice and we will not proceed with the notarization.


■ The notary will ask for proper identification from the person with a disability.  It is not necessary to require identification from the designated signer.  Think of that person only as the “hands” of the person with a disability.


■ The notary may then sign the signature of the person with a disability at the direction of and in the presence of that person and the two witnesses.


■ Perform the appropriate notarial act: administer an oath or take an acknowledgment.  The notarial act will be directed to the person with a disability.


■  The Notary Public will complete the notarial certificate with the required information.  When stating whose signature is being notarized, it would be best to indicate the special circumstances of the signing.


■ Two persons with no interest in the transaction must witness the signing of the document and the notarization and that their names and addresses be clearly printed below their signatures.  Unless otherwise required by law for the particular document, it is not necessary for the witnesses’ signatures to be notarized.


■ The witnesses and the designated signer must sign the notary journal.