I am notarizing documents for a Florida property purchase. One of the title company documents asks for 2 witnesses. Since I am in Michigan and we don’t have a rule that states there must be 2 witnesses - do I need 2 witnesses for these Florida documents?
By law, Florida mortgages do not require witnesses - only deeds of conveyance (Warranty Deed Quit Claim Deed, etc - that would be seller’s side)
However, that said, some counties in the state have instituted their own requirements for recording and they want two witnesses on the mortgage. To be on the safe side since we’re not sure what county your particular property is in, I would suggest having signers line up two witnesses - having two witnesses will not render the mortgage unrecordable, however not having them for a county where it’s required will make the recorder kick it back.
Normally if the document requires witnesses. The title company have already told the customer to bring a witness and the other witness can be you the notary also serving as the 2nd witness. But the golden rule is always ask the title company how they want or what they want in regard to witnesses.
Most importantly, If the closing instruction does not mention that you’re required to have two witnesses I wouldn’t worry about it. Sometimes, they sent out document that is universal so if you’re not in the state that requires witnesses, I would leave it alone. Just confirm with the title company and ask them if they need witnesses!
Thank you - I called the county - yes, 2 witnesses are required…and it was the mortgage doc that needed it…glad I asked!!! Thank you!!!
No, thank YOU for being so diligent…kudos to you!!
I live in Hawaii and I do a lot of Florida documents. The notary can be both the Notary and the Witness(Florida) and that cuts it down to only 1 witness for the borrower to bring. Hawaii does not require Witnesses, but the documents are recording in Florida so I have always been instructed to honor Florida’s requirement for Witnesses.
That’s all dependent on whether or not your state notary laws “allow” you to be a witness - some states do not allow it. In Florida the notary can be a witness - do your notary laws state the same?
BTW, I have rarely seen the title company or lender ever advise the signers that they need witnesses. I would say 1 of 10 might be aware and be prepared.
to NC notaries. I have gone over the notary laws back and forth and back and forth again. It is not clear to me if in NC notary can also be one of the witnesses (on real estate documents). I think we cannot, but can anyone verify for me? I have FL docs signing in the works and hiring company provides only one witness, saying I will be the other. However, the hiring company is not NC based, I have to verify if I can be a witness. Thank you for any input.
If I were you, Malgorzata, I would check directly with your Sec of State and find out from them or find out where it’s noted in your handbook.
If you don’t have time for that, I’d play it safe and have the signer provide two witnesses. That is, if you can’t find anything definitive anywhere. Florida will accept it with you as a witness but the questions is does your notary law allow it?
I’ll look around a bit and see if I can find anything.
@Malgola508 I just went through the NC Notary Statutes - I didn’t see anything that says you can’t; that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s automatic that you can…I would suggest you check with your SOS and find out what they suggest as a best practice. Or, err on the side of caution and don’t be a witness - let signer get 2
Thank you so much! NC Statutes rather suggests that if act is not expressly allowed, then it’s prohibited. I’ll check with the SOS to be sure.