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Who Can A Notary Perform a Notarization For?
Recently I had someone contact me for GNW (general notary work) with regards to her father. Our schedules conflicted at the time, so we were unable to proceed. When I followed up the next week to see if she still needed my assistance, I was glad to hear that she was able to get the document taken care of. She then proceeded to tell me her mother-in-law was a notary and was able to help her. Initially this caused me a little concern, hearing the “in-law” aspect. However, since it was for her father, the rules regarding “in-laws” would not have applied in this situation.
While many notaries are aware that they cannot notarize their own signature, some get confused at who they can notarize for. Because each state has their own guidelines, you always want to make certain you are familiar with your own state. Michigan outlines their regulations in Act 238 of 2003, Section 55.291 (in part) as follows:
(8) A notary public shall not perform a notarial act for a spouse, lineal ancestor, lineal descendant, or sibling including in-laws, steps, or half-relatives.
When a document is notarized incorrectly, this can lead to many complications ranging from a delay until correction, or even invalidating the document in its entirety.
To review the entire section on who a notary can perform for, please see section 55.291 Notary Public; Prohibited Conduct: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(1sa1sdafxw2hnajhj0j1krnx))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-55-291
References: Michigan Notary Public Act 238 of 2003; Michigan.Gov/sos; Notary Signing Agent Code of Conduct; Michigan Notary Law Primer