Witness Requirement

I am notarizing a Deed of mortgage in New Jersey but the property is in Florida. Do I need a witness for this? I read that Florida notary laws require a witness for a deed but my understanding is if the signing/notarization is done in Florida. Escrow did not mention in their instruction. Is that correct? Please advise. thanks!

I would double check this with hiring party…however

In Florida, witnesses are required only on Deeds of Conveyance - mortgages are not considered to be in that category so, per statute, no witnesses are required. HOWEVER ,… several Florida counties have enacted their own regulations and require witnesses on mortgages or they won’t record the document.

All that said - play it safe and get witnesses - if your state allows you to witness and notarize then you’ll just need the one.

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It’s best to check with your hiring party. Normally, mortgages for Florida property don’t require a witness. However, I have had a few where the lender has required it. Never be afraid to ask your hiring party questions. It’s part of learning the industry. They will appreciate your effort.


Slightly off topic but here’s what I received yesterday: “Hi, good day! This is XXX and I need a mobile notary for my client today, March 5, 2024, 4PM at XXX, MA . It is for a Medical POA and Financial POA with 1 stamp each and 2 signers . The other signer has no valid ID but he has social security ID, birth cert and other credit cards. They have witnesses with valid ID. Signers can understand and sign the docs. They have the documents available. No scan-backs needed and they will keep the document after the signing. Are you available?”. Can anyone guess how I handled this one?

Were you able to use a witness as a credible witness for the signer with no valid ID?

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The signer with no valid ID, had “witnesses” with valid ID’s but they were not known personally to me. I would have no way to verify that these witnesses even with valid ID’s themselves actually knew the signor without a valid ID. I declined the assignment.

I am a New Jersey NSA too. I have done quite a few Florida property signings and they all required witnesses. When questioned, the signing companies say they have to check with title, but the answer will most likely be that you need witnesses.

@mauchsrd Where are you located, if I may ask?

MGL C.222 s. 1 Definitions, “Satisfactory evidence of credible witness,” (ii)


Thank you. I ask because in many states, it’s one known personally to both the signer and the notary and two personally known to the signer (not to the notary).

That said, per Section 1 of Chapter 222 - Definitions:

"“Credible witness’', an honest, reliable and impartial person who personally knows an individual appearing before a notary and who takes an oath or affirmation before the notary to vouch for that individual’s identity.”

Reading that, you only needed one witness and, in your scenario, you could have notarized with the two witnesses with valid ID

My $.02 FWIW

Having read the definition of “Credible Witness,” I was aware of this. Then, coming to the “Satisfactory evidence of a credible witness, (ii)” it seems to state clearly that the oath or affirmation to be given to the credible witness must be personally known to the notary public and who personally knows the individual," was enough for me to err on the side of caution. The two sections appear to be in conflict with each other.

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@mauchsrd Florida provides us with the form(s) to be used and we can adjust it as needed. Too bad MA doesn’t allow that.

Thanks for your reply.

There’s a huge difference in the way FL is run versus MA. You are most fortunate!!

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