Notary Bulletin

Important Facts About Military Notaries

Notaries — both military and civilian — play a key role assisting members of the armed forces and their families by notarizing essential documents that preserve their rights — often free of charge.

Military bases often employ two types of Notaries: military personnel authorized as Notaries by the federal government, and civilian employees specifically commissioned by individual states for military work.

Notaries working on military bases handle a wide variety of documents for service personnel, including wills, powers of attorney and affidavits for troops deployed to other countries. They also regularly notarize documents for retired armed forces personnel, families of service members and Department of Defense employees. Most military legal assistance offices offer Notary services, free of charge, to military members, family members, civilian employees, retirees, and others eligible for legal assistance.

Just like their civilian counterparts, military Notaries can only notarize documents when the signer is physically present, according to the U.S. Armed Forces Legal Assistance Web site. Title 10, United States Code, Section 1044a requires all states to accept the notarial acts of military Notaries in the same way as state-commissioned Notaries.

The U.S. Armed Forces Legal Assistance Web site provides extensive information on military Notaries, their duties and federal statutes governing their work.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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