NOTARY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Question's? {Written in red.}

Answers. Please refer to the sections of law shown in parenthesis.

FAQ's

Where can I perform my duties? New Mexico Notaries may notarize anywhere within the boundaries of the state of New Mexico.
May I notarize a document that does not have notarial wording? No, if a notarial certificate is not provided or indicated for a document, a non-attorney notary public shall not determine the type of notarial act or certificate to be used. (14-12A-15) NMSA 1978
What is a notarial certificate? A notarial certificate is part of or attachment to a notarized document that is completed by the notary public, bears the notary public’s signature and seal and states the facts attested by the notary public in a particular notarization. (14-12A-2) NMSA 1978
Are both my signature and my notarial seal required for a transaction? A notary must sign and affix the official Notary seal to a Notary certificate for each notarization performed. Your expiration date is also necessary. (14-12A-17) (14-12A-18) (14-12A-19)NMSA 1978
Can I notarize a document for my employer if the signer is not present at the time of notarization? A notary public shall not perform a notarial act if the principal is not in the notary public's presence at the time of notarization. (14-12A-7) NMSA 1978
What is satisfactory evidence? Satisfactory evidence is based on at least one current ID issued by a federal, state or tribal government agency bearing the photographic image, signature and a physical description. A properly stamped passport without a physical description is acceptable.(14-12A-2) NMSA 1978
May I refuse to notarize a document for someone? A notary public shall not refuse to perform a notarial act based on a principal’s, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, health or disability or status as a non-client or non-customer of the notary public or the notary public’s employer. However, if the notary public has reason to believe that the notarial act or the associated transaction is unlawful, the act is prohibited. (14-12A-8) NMSA 1978
What is a jurat? A jurat is a notarial act in where a Notary certifies that the signer appeared in person was personally known or positively identified by the notary public and vouched under oath or affirmation to the truthfulness or accuracy of the signed document. (14-12A-2) NMSA 1978
May I certify or authenticate a photograph? A notary public shall neither certify or authenticate a photograph. (14-12A-12) NMSA 1978
What is an Apostille and where can I obtain one? An Apostille is a certificate of authentication required by the Hague Convention. This document verifies the notary who notarized the document was appointed to a Notary Public Commission in New Mexico at the time of the notarization. The Apostille may be obtained only from the office of the Secretary of State for $3.00. (14-12A-22) NMSA 1978
May I use the term “Notario Publico” on my business sign? A notary public shall not use the term “Notario Publico” or any equivalent non-English term, in any business card, advertisement, notice or sign. (14-12A-15) NMSA 1978
Is a journal required by law? New Mexico notaries are not required by law to keep a journal. However, it is recommended.
May I notarize a birth or death certificate? A notary public may not notarize a vital record, a public record nor publicly recordable document. (14-12A-2) NMSA 1978
Where may I purchase a notary public surety bond?

You may contact a local insurance company/agent or a national association that provides notary bonds and supplies.

*These questions and answers are prepared by the Notary Division based on frequent inquiries to this office. We recommend that you refer to the New Mexico Notary Public Act as the ultimate authority.