Vellum Pen Requirement?

Has anybody been requested to notarize some plats that require the signing to be done with a Vellum Pen?

I’ve never had anyone give me a requirement to use a “vellum pen” and I’ve never had to notarize on vellum, nor have I had to notarize a plat.

I am an electronics engineer, and I have had the computer plotters I was using create plots on regular paper, tracing paper, and Mylar (a brand name of polyester). Survey plats are made with the same kind of computer plotters, on the same kinds of media.

Of course, regular paper is regular paper. Tracing paper can be a little hard to write on, and some kind of fine fiber-tipped pen may work better than a ball-point pen.

Ball-point pens are pretty much useless for writing on Mylar. I used to use Sharpies. I did a Google search and found this. It says it will write on overhead transparency film, and in my experience, pens that work well on overhead transparency film also work well on Mylar. If you can’t wait, try the section at Staples that has the specialty paper and drawing triangles.

By the way, a normal notary stamp won’t work on Mylar. The Florida Department of State has a web page on some less-than-ideal ways to deal with this.

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Another idea about the stamp: find out if the plat is on Mylar. Find out if the land surveyor will be present for the signing. If so, ask the surveyor can bring a stamp pad that works on mylar. Then go to a local stationery store that can make a notary stamp quick, and get a plain old rubber stamp like from 50 years ago. Use the plain stamp with the surveyor’s ink pad. Charge for all the extra work and expense.


Thank you so much @ashton!

That was very helpful.
I have completed the notarization and you are correct it was Mylar plats that contained the survey/engineering plans to several properties.

Unfortunately the survey technician wasn’t available, and after all said and done the property owner (my client) even said my seals and signature came out far better than the surveyor’s and other parties signatures and seals.

I have an embosser and normally use it on every notarization I do in addition to my state required ink stamped seal, however I wasn’t sure about using it on the Mylar material so I didn’t use it. Then reading the article on the link you provided I’m like well dang… I could have used it.

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My seal came out flawless on the Mylar however I told the client beforehand that I wasn’t sure that the ink from my stamp was going to dry properly on the Mylar and I can’t make any guarantee it won’t smudge afterwards.

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The web page I linked to says “the impression seal is no longer the official seal for Florida notaries”. Also, back when I used to have lots of Mylar plots laying around, I tried using my engineer embossing seal on a scrap plot, and it didn’t work very well. (Of course I destroyed the Mylar after the experiment).

Vellum pens have ink that is permanent, WATERPROOF, and does not smear after drying. I think that is the primary concern. The coating on the plat paper is nonporous and regular ink pens have a tendency to smudge/smear which is a concern for signing important legal documents like plats.

I have notarized plats and did not have an archival ink pen, so I signed using a fine tipped black Sharpie pen which also met the requirement in that it is permanent, waterproof, and will not smear after drying. I now try to carry with me ARCHIVAL INK pen in both blue and black ink.

Any pen you find that states it contains ARCHIVAL INK should meet the need. Archival ink is acid-free, lightfast, colorfast, photo safe, waterproof, fade-proof, non-bleeding and smear-proof once dry. If the instructions you receive do not specify whether to use blue or black ink, black ink is the safest because it photocopies best, IMHO.

Hope this helps you.

p.s. Vellum/archival ink pens for signing/signatures. But my notary stamp is my notary stamp. I just try to make sure my notary stamp is completely dry before handing the notarized document back to the client.

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Yeah I made sure that those plats were set aside with nothing on them after stamping and signing and advised the client leave them on table uncovered for an hour to be safe.

He recently got back in touch with me and said the clerk received it and mentioned it was the clearest detail of stamp and signature she has seen on a Mylar plat, client wanted to reach out to me to thank me again for my efforts making sure it was done right.

You guys have been a big help thank you!


Awesome that your attention to detail prompted a call back from your happy client, who will no doubt remember you for all the right reasons. Well done!

I poked around on the internet, including the website for EngineerSupply. I did a search for “Mylar” and what I found agreed with what I saw other places. Not all Mylar is created equal. Some is intended for inkjet, and some is intended for laser printers. So if a certain stamp works OK one time, it might not work so great the next time, because it might be a different kind of Mylar. (And if you think notaries spend a lot on paper, take a look at those prices for Mylar.)

Back when I used Mylar, the plotters grabbed a special pen in a special holder, and drew the lines much like a person would. Several colors were available. SLOW!


A fellow Engineer. I’m a retired Electrical and Biomedical Engineer and Physicist.

There are some Fountain Pen inks that are archival but only work on uncoated cellulose paper. There are specialized inks, such as Iron Gall inks, that will sometimes work on some Vellum stock. Iron Gall inks tend to be acidic, unless specifically formulated to be PH Neutral. As a Fountain Pen enthusiast I must concede Fountain Pens aren’t always the best solution.

Yes, I’ve notarized dozens of Mylar documents, one several months ago. You sign it with a sharpie, print your name, what county is your principal place of business, and your commission expiration date.

Easy money.

Requirements for seals on Mylar vary from state to state and document to document. ewing_joe’s response would be correct for certain California plats on Mylar, but not necessarily for other states, or other Mylar documents. It appears that Florida always requires a seal. My state, Vermont, never requires a notary’s seal. (But a survey plot would require the surveyor’s seal.)

just a quick follow up on Ashton’s comments. The NOTARY acknowledgment is pre-printed on the mylar document. The client hands you a pen, you complete the acknowledgment. My only word of caution would be that if you’re not 100% certain of your skills, you might want to turn this one down and allow the client to find a more experienced notary. Why? Because you’re printing with permanent ink and no mistakes are allowed. These maps tend to be quite large, sometimes as long and as wide as a conference table, so there’s no do overs. i’ve never made a mistake. However, it’s easy to see how hard it would be to correct.