Notaries DO Notarize Events – Just Specific Types of Events

Many articles have been written about being a Notary Public. Certain themes come up often in these articles. One of those themes is that “a Notary Public can not Notarize an event.”

This is patently absurd, for what a Notary does is witness the event of an identified person signing a document and taking an oath as to the contents of the document (an oath which the Notary administered) or the event of an identified person acknowledging that they have signed a document freely and willingly. Having witnessed such an event, the Notary then certifies it — meaning they put their own statement about the event onto paper – and signs that Notary Certificate, places their official Seal upon the paper, and records the event in their Notary Journal. These combinations of actions is what it means to Notarize.

So, while those who say a Notary can not Notarize an event make a distinction between events and signatures, what the Notary actually does is witness the events detailed in their Notary Certificate. If they don’t witness those events, they can not truthfully and properly sign or seal the document. It would be more accurate to say that a Notary can only Notarize a very short list of events, rather than they can’t notarize events at all.

It is easy to see how someone can get confused about the “Notarize an event” issue, though, as bosses, clients, and constituents (members of the public within the jurisdiction served by the Notary) are frequently unaware of the limitations of what a Notary can do, so they may request that a Notary take actions beyond their authority to act. It is up to the Notary to know their own limitations, as set down in the law of their jurisdiction.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Notary to seek training sufficient to allow them to do their Notarial duties competently and completely.


About Tim Gatewood

55+, male, widowed. Mobile Notary Public and Signing Agent, Freelance Writer, and Ordained Minister. Willing servant to cats. Science fiction and fantasy fan, avid reader, Founder of the Darrell Awards. Author of _Getting Started As A Notary Signing Agent_ (available from Please be kind to one another.
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