Notary & Apostille

Precautions and Reminders

New Mexico Notaries Public should be aware of the following precautions:

1. A New Mexico “NOTARY PUBLIC” is NOT a “NOTARIO PUBLICO” and a New Mexico “NOTARY PUBLIC” is NOT equivalent to a “NOTARIO PUBLICO” as in Mexico and in Latin American countries.

A New Mexico Notary May Not:

  • Prepare Legal Documents
  • Counsel On Immigration Matters
  • File Immigration Papers
  • Or Use The Term “NOTARIO PUBLICO” Or Any Equivalent Non-English Term In Any Business Card, Advertisement, Notice, or Sign.

2.    A notary may not notarize a document that does not have a notarial certificate. A  non-attorney notary public shall not determine the type of notarial act or certificate to be used.

3.    Notaries should not notarize documents on which they are a signer or in which they are named.

4.   Notaries should not notarize documents or transactions to which the notary is a personal beneficiary (this does not include notaries acting in the scope of their employment for their employer, such as a secretary or an office clerk).

5.    Notaries may notarize documents when acting in a professional capacity, such as a professional advisor, counselor, agent, or attorney.

6.    Because of the notary’s need to be impartial, he should avoid notarizing for family members or in any other circumstances when his impartiality can be questioned or challenged.  A notary cannot notarize his own signature.

7.    New Mexico notaries may only perform notarizations within the state’s borders, and do not have authority to notarize any document outside of the state of New Mexico.

8.    Notaries must safeguard their seal by keeping it in a secure place when not in use.

9.    Although it is not required by law it is recommended that a notary public keep a permanently bound journal of his notarial acts.

10.  Documents which have been changed or altered with correction fluid or correction tape should not be notarized.

Notary Reminders

  1. A Notary must never notarize a signature that was not signed or acknowledged in the Notary’s presence! This is the most important rule to protect a Notary from legal liability.
  2. A Notary is to serve any person who makes a lawful and reasonable request for notarization.
  3. A Notary is an impartial witness to a transaction.
  4. A notarization does not prove the truthfulness of the contents of a document or validate a document and render it legal.
  5. If a Notary has any doubt about the signer’s identity, it is best not to notarize that signature.
  6. A notarization provides verification of a document signer’s willingness to sign, his competence to sign, and that the signer is, indeed, the person identified by the signature.
  7. A signature affixed to a document by a rubber stamp cannot be notarized. Conversely, a notary must perform a notarization by signing his manual signature and not with the use of a rubber stamp of his signature.
  8. Notaries may NOT make a photocopy of a birth certificate or a death certificate, marriage certificate, nor a publicly recordable document. Birth and death certificates are official state records. Certified copies may be obtained only from the State Registrar of Vital Records at Vital Records & Health Statistics in Santa Fe, New Mexico by calling 505-827-2338 or at the Health Department in Albuquerque, New Mexico by calling 505-841-4185, or by visiting their website( ).
  9. An employer shall not establish fees for notarial services that are in excess of those specified on page 10 of the New Mexico Notary Public Handbook, nor on the attributes of the principal as delineated.
  10. Notary public’s shall neither certify nor authenticate a photograph.

Quick Contact Information

Mailing & Physical Address
New Mexico Capitol Annex North
325 Don Gaspar, Suite 300
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Hours of Operation
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Monday through Friday

Toll Free : 1-800-477-3632

Business Services Division
Phone 505-827-3600 (Option 1)
Fax 505-827-4387

Bureau of Elections
Phone: 505-827-3600 (Option 2)

Ethics Division
Phone: 505-827-3600 (Option 2)

Phone 505-827-3600 (Option 3)