Can a Notary Notarize a Document Already Signed?

Notarize Documents Can a Notary Notarize a Document Already Signed?

Can a Notary Notarize a Document Already Signed? DoNotPay Has the Answer!

Some documents, such as wills, affidavits, and powers of attorney, have to be notarized. The standard procedure is to sign the document in the notary’s presence. But can a notary notarize a document already signed?

DoNotPay will answer this question and provide the most practical way to notarize any legal document!

Does a Notary Have To Witness a Signature?

In most cases, but not always, a notary has to witness a person signing the document. Notaries sometimes receive already signed documents for notarization. The reasons can be trivial, including a person not knowing that the contract requires notarization in the first place. 


To know whether a notary has to witness a signature, you must first understand two types of notarial acts. Those are:

  • Acknowledgments
  • Jurats

An acknowledgment is a person’s declaration that they have signed the contract of their own free will. Since the individual is acknowledging their signature, they could have signed the document some time ago. As long as the person confirms the signature belongs to them, the notarial act can continue.

An oath requires that a person swears that the statement from the document is true and signs it as the acceptance of that statement. The execution of the jurat, including the signing, requires a notary’s presence.

How Does a Notary Validate an Already Signed Document?

When presented with an already signed document, a notary has to follow a specific procedure. The first step is to check what type of notarization is required. The following steps depend on whether the document contains an acknowledgment certificate or a jurat.

You can see the details of both processes in the table below:

Notarial Act
Acknowledgment  Oath

A notary must use a signer’s ID to determine if the name, face, and signature on the ID match those of the person present. If the individual has already signed the document, a notary will compare the signature from the ID to the one on the document. A person doesn’t have to re-sign the contract, as long as they  can confirm to the notary that they have signed it willingly

If there is a jurat at the bottom of an affidavit, the individual will have to re-sign the document. The notary will typically:

  • Cross out the previous signature
  • Explain why a new signature is required
  • Ask the individual to swear under oath that they are signing the document willingly
  • Wait for an affirmative response before asking for a new signature

In both cases, a notary will enter the current date of notarization in the notary certificate, regardless of when the document was previously signed. 

How To Notarize an Already Signed Document With DoNotPay

DoNotPay has developed a practical feature that can help you notarize any legal document within minutes. You won’t have to look for local notaries and wait for weeks to get the notary’s signature. Our app will enable you to schedule an online appointment with the notary at your earliest convenience!

Here is a step-by-step guide to accessing our service:

  1. Visit DoNotPay
  2. Choose our Notarize Any Document feature
  3. Upload the document you want to notarize
  4. Click on the link we’ll send you via email

Once you click on the link, you will be able to confirm your appointment with the online notary. During the video call, you will be asked to re-sign the document or acknowledge your signature. The notary will send the contract back to you after completing the notarial act.

DoNotPay’s Legal Documents Feature Will Blow Your Mind!

One of our numerous features can help you create legal documents! You won’t have to pay for legal services or draw up the contracts yourself. If you provide essential info, DoNotPay will generate a personalized legal document for you. Here is how the process goes:

  1. Enter the name of the document 
  2. Answer the questions from our chatbot
  3. Download your contract 

Our features integrate to give you the ultimate experience. After you receive your document, you can notarize and fax them from the same platform! 

Check out various legal documents we can create:

Business 
Real Estate
Miscellaneous

What Other Notary-Related Questions Can DoNotPay Answer?

If you want to find out more about various notary services across the U.S, check out our knowledge base!  We can teach you how to notarize documents in Texas, Illinois, Florida, and Colorado. Our comprehensive articles will solve many more dilemmas, such as:

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