Signature by Mark
If the signer of an instrument cannot write (sign) his or her name, that person may sign by mark (x). The requirements for signature by mark are as follows:
The signer’s mark must be witnessed by two persons who must subscribe their own names as witnesses on the document. One witness should write the person’s name next to the person’s mark and then the witness should sign his or her name as a witness. The witnesses are only verifying that they witnessed the individual make his or her mark on the signature line of the document. A notary public is not required to identify the two persons who witnessed the signing by mark or to have the two witnesses sign the notary’s journal.
If the witnesses were acting in the capacity of credible witnesses in establishing the identity of the person signing by mark, then the witnesses’ signatures must be entered in the notary’s journal.
Example of signature by mark
You can easily see here that Mary Jones signed John Smith after Mr. Smith placed his mark (x) on the document. Peter R. Roberts signs as a witness but does not need to resign Mr. Smith’s name.
It is important to note that when you perform a notarization for a person who is signing by mark, you must still verify the identity of the person signing by mark! In addition, you must have that person also sign the journal with his or her mark. That person must also sign under his or her own power. It may be acceptable for someone to support his or her arm during the signing, but the notary cannot allow the person helping to make the mark or signature for the person by guiding the signer’s hand.
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