Colorado Springs Notary - Leon Austin


Military Officers as Notaries

IraqI recently did a closing for a woman who was signing with a Power of Attorney.  Her husband is in the military, stationed in Iraq.  She told me that there was a bit of a delay in getting the Power of Attorney notarized because he had to take a helicopter trip to where there was a notary -- a flight that lasted a couple of hours.

I felt sorry for her.  And I felt even more sorry for her husband who had to endure such an ordeal in order to get the Power of Attorney notarized.


I don't know the exact details of the situation, but I remember a question that appeared a while back in the January 2007 issue of The National Notary, published by the National Notary Association that described a similar situation.  The person wrote:

"My husband is in the military, deployed in Baghdad, and therefore does not have access to a Notary.  How can he get a document notarized?"

The response:

"Under federal law, certain U.S. military personnel -- including commissioned officers and judge advocates -- have authority to notarize for military personnel and their dependents anywhere in the world.

On the administrative and judge advocate staffs supporting your husband's unity in Iraq, there are likely numerous persons with notarial powers who can assist him."

military officerThis response probably came too late for that woman, just as this information is too late for the woman whose closing I did.  But hopefully the information can benefit someone in the future who is stationed abroad and is in need of notary services. There was probably someone right there in the unit who could have done the notarization. And it's probably a power that military officers are unaware that they have.  Of course, they should check to ensure that they are qualified to act in the capacity as notary.


I researched this subject at the Cornell University Law School website.  This is taken from the U.S. Code:

§ 936. Art. 136. Authority to administer oaths and to act as notary

(a) The following persons on active duty or performing inactive-duty training may administer oaths for the purposes of military administration, including military justice:

(1) All judge advocates.
(2) All summary courts-martial.
(3) All adjutants, assistant adjutants, acting adjutants, and personnel adjutants.
(4) All commanding officers of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
(5) All staff judge advocates and legal officers, and acting or assistant staff judge advocates and legal officers.
(6) All other persons designated by regulations of the armed forces or by statute.

(b) The following persons on active duty or performing inactive-duty training may administer oaths necessary in the performance of their duties:

(1) The president, military judge, trial counsel, and assistant trial counsel for all general and special courts-martial.
(2) The president and the counsel for the court of any court of inquiry.
(3) All officers designated to take a deposition.
(4) All persons detailed to conduct an investigation.
(5) All recruiting officers.
(6) All other persons designated by regulations of the armed forces or by statute.


Source: Cornell University Law School: Uniform Code


Comment balloon 2 commentsLeon Austin • January 31 2009 05:45PM


Good info to know Leon especially when dealing with the military folks thanks

Posted by Stephen D White, E-Pro, ABR Cape Cod Real Estate (SDW Realty of Cape Cod) over 11 years ago

The federal law quoted above, Title 10 U.S. Code § 936, Art. 136, deals with administering an oath for military administration and military justice, not with notarizing a document.

Military notary powers are authorized under Title 10 U.S. Code § 1044a, and military regulations, for the benefit of military personnel.

I wrote a blog article on this topic at Federal notary authority.

Other federal laws authorize notary powers to consular officers and designated U.S. State Department employees at U.S. Embassies and to postmasters in Alaska.

Posted by Jerry Lucas, Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training (ABC Legal Docs LLC) over 1 year ago

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