X-Mark Signature

X-Mark Signatures are signatures of people who cannot write their own name. Yes, there will be times when a person cannot physically sign their name. Or they are limited by education and cannot sign. It is possible for them to make a "mark" instead of their signature. This has happened to me several times.

For the mark to be valid, the mark must be witnessed by someone other than the notary. Depending on the state, either one or two witnesses may be required. Further, some state require that the names and addresses of the witnesses be written or typed.

The signing parties must prove their identification just like any other signature. The witnesses identity do not need to be verified as they are acting as only witnesses. However, I have always verified the witness identities.

I would add this caveat. It is best practice for the witnesses not to be beneficiaries under the document to be notarized. In other words, that they do not benefit from the transaction.

Some states have a required statement to be attached. California has a statement similar to this:

(NAME OF SIGNER), being unable to write, made his/her mark in our presence and requested the first of the undersigned to write his/her name, which he/she did, and we now subscribe our names as witnesses thereto.

____________________________Signature of Witness

____________________________Signature of Witness

If properly done, there is no reason for the mark not to be notarized and be just as valid as any other signature. I have done several of these without incident. You just need to take an extra step or two. The amount of extra steps depends on the state:

1. How many witnesses are required; and

2. Is additional language required.

Another note of concern. Sometimes, the person making the mark is too old and feeble and can barely make a mark or can make a mark only with the help of someone else. His or her capacity must be considered. As in... do they know what they are signing. To read more about Impaired Signing, click here.

To Leave X-Mark signature and return to Notary Training, click here.