How Long Is a Notarized Document Valid? Find Out!

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

How Long Is a Notarized Document Valid? We Have the Answer!

How long is a notarized document valid? If you’ve had it for a while, you may wonder whether it can expire, or you may want to know it before notarization. We’ll help you understand how notarizing documents works and answer your question. You can also count on our assistance for future notarizations. Sign up for DoNotPay to get a document notarized remotely with zero effort!

A Breakdown of Notarization

Notarization is the fraud-deterrent process that proves a document or a signature on a document is authentic. It is performed by a public official called a notary, who is appointed to witness the signing of a document and provide notary service by doing one of the following notarial acts:

  1. Certify a copy
  2. Take an acknowledgment
  3. Administer an oath or affirmation (affidavits typically require oaths)
  4. Take a verification on an oath or affirmation

Check the table below for a breakdown of the notarization process:


Brief Description

Checking the signer’s identityThe notary will check the signer’s ID or another type of identification and ask several questions to verify their identity
Establishing the signer is willing to signThe signer has to understand the content of the document and the terms they’re agreeing to. They need to show they’re signing it out of free will
Determining the signer is of sound mindThe signer needs to be sober and mentally stable during the notarization
Witnessing the signingThe notary witnesses the signer signing the document
Signing the documentThe notary signs the document and adds a seal if necessary

Notary Certificates, Signatures, and Seals Explained

Every document that is notarized needs to have a notarial certificate. This is a written statement certifying the notarial act that was performed. Depending on the notarial act, the certificate will have different wording.

The most important part of a notarized document is the notary’s signature. The notary must sign the document in the exact same way as they did on their notary commission.

Most states require notaries to add their seals or stamps when notarizing. Typically, a seal should include the notary’s name, the words “notary public,” and the date when the notary’s commission expires. The purpose of the seal should be to authenticate the notarial act.

With these three elements, the document is officially notarized.

Does a Notarized Document Expire?

The notarization of a document does not expire. If the date shown on the seal used in notarization is valid, so is the document. This means that as long as the notary notarizes a document before their commission expires, the notarization is valid.

When it comes to the document itself, it depends on the type of document and its content. If the document is a lease specifying a one-year rental period, the contract is no longer legitimate after the mentioned period ends.

If you’re not sure whether your notarized document is still valid, you can seek an attorney’s advice or help from the court.

When Can a Notarized Document Be Rejected?

The court or any receiving party of your notarized document may reject it and deem it invalid in certain instances, such as those including:

  1. Correction fluid usage
  2. Stamp over a section of text
  3. Incomplete notarial certificate
  4. Illegible or expired notary seal
  5. Incorrect signer’s name or place of residence

Find More Answers to Your Notary Questions

As notarization can be a confusing and complicated process that differs across the U.S., you are likely to have a lot of questions. Our learning center is here to provide answers! Here’s only a part of what we can help you learn about—general notary questions and notarization in different states:

Notary QuestionsNotarization in Different States

Need a Notary? Turn to DoNotPay!

If you need to notarize a document, DoNotPay can help! Our app will match you with an online notary in a matter of minutes and help you arrange your remote online notarization.

and follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to our Notarize Any Document product
  2. Upload your document
  3. Give us your email address
  4. Follow the link you receive via email

Once you follow this link, you can pick the date and time of your notary appointment and confirm it.

The Perks of Using DoNotPay To Book a Notary

Using our app to get your document notarized isn’t all you can do with our help. Once you sign up, you can enjoy our other services, including faxing and drawing up documents. DoNotPay can help you draft a personalized document before you go about notarizing it.

Here’s all you have to do to create numerous contracts and agreements:

  1. Type in the document you want the app to generate
  2. Answer a few questions to customize it

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