Notaries and Witnesses

Notaries and Witnesses

Often I am asked to provide witnesses in addition to my notarizing documents.   And more often I am asked “why is it necessary to have witnesses when the document is being notarized?”   I explain to my clients that Witnesses are neutral third parties whose job it is to ensure that the document was signed by both parties and no forgery took place.  Having someone there to attest to this can be valuable if there is ever a dispute regarding the parties or the contract.   Witnesses may also confirm the identity of both parties. They then sign the document as a witness to prove they saw each party sign.

It is important to note that Witnesses cannot benefit from the contract in any way or be related to one of the parties. For instance, a beneficiary cannot witness a Will where they will be inheriting assets.

In addition, Witnesses must be 18 years old and of sound mind when witnessing a document’s execution.

Another question I am frequently asked is “can a notary serve as a witness?”  Most jurisdictions allow a Notary to serve as a witness. But if they are witnessing a document, they cannot verify their own signature as a Notary because it would be a conflict of interest.

As a Notary, whenever you are executing a document, you need to make sure you are signing the document in accordance with your state law’s requirements and those of your document.  You must also be certain to get proper identification from the witness(es) and keep a record of it in your journal.

For additional information, please contact Center City Notary – we look forward to talking with you.


Welcome to Notary Corner

WELCOME to Notary Corner.  This is the first of a series of articles dealing with notarization.  I hope you will enjoy reading these articles and most importantly if you have questions  I will be pleased to answer them.  Thank you and happy reading. 

 It’s a trend.  Just Imagine your grandparents not attending their real estate closing.   Times have changed.   Now we have people who are traveling through Philadelphia for business or pleasure and have a closing back home which needs to be signed to keep within a deadline.   

  • Sometimes they only need to sign a Power of Attorney allowing their designated representative to handle it on their behalf.  
  • Sometimes they need to sign all of the closing docs and have them sent by overnight mail. 

That includes attorneys,  athletes, actors and actresses and many more.            It is almost always at the last minute.  Just recently I signed a Power of Attorney for a famous athlete at Del Fresco’s restaurant on a Friday night at 8:00 PM so that it could be scanned for a Saturday afternoon closing

Then there is the Professional Signing Company who just happens to have a large client in Philly, or a client in Philadelphia for business or on vacation and they need a closer.   In my experience, building a trustworthy relationship with these companies is the key.

They don’t know the area, they don’t have a bank of closers to choose from like they do in their own cities, and they often have a client who is focused on other things.   If they grow to trust you, and if you do a good job, they most always call you back when they have work in Philadelphia.

I am also the owner of

Center City Apostille.

Apostille refers to a means of authenticating a signature on a document that is recognized by an international body.

The country of destination determines whether the authentication is an apostille or certification.   It is the legalization of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.

If the country of destination of the Apostille does not participate in the Hague Convention, documents being sent to that country can be “authenticated” or “certified” This also allows me to facilitate transactions for people in other countries.   I have done work for people in Bulgaria, Columbia, Switzerland and I recently completed a large job in Lithuania.

So, while you will most always find me perched at my Center City Notary office located on the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia, my assignments come from right here on Broad Street and as far away as Poland.    No, I don’t get the frequent flyer miles, and I cannot stay for a month, but I do get the amazing opportunity to work with people in various countries, I do the research and I learn how other countries handle notarizations and legalizations.

Center City Notary and Center City Apostille are operational 24/7/365.    We do general notarizations such as Affidavits, Deeds, and Contracts.  The busiest hours are frequently 4:00 – 7:00 PM; that seems to be the time when people want to come by and get a quick notary or notaries without having to take off from work.

Having both a brick-and-mortar presence and being mobile, we are able to accommodate the working professionals, including often on a Sunday afternoon.

For more information about Center City Notary, please text or
call 215-870-3103.