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Does a promissory note need to be witnessed and/or notarized?

Grand Rapids, MI |
Filed under: Debt

Does a promissory note need to be witnessed and/or notarized to be valid and enforceable? If the note is witnessed, are there any requirements the witnesses must meet or any restrictions on who can act as a witness?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    The answer may depend upon (1) the jurisdiction in which the note is executed, and (2) the prupose of the note (e.g., real proeprty purchase, commerical transaction, international business dealings, etc.). However, generally speaking, in California, there is no requirement that a promissory note be witnessed or notarized.

    I suggest consulting a local attorney, contacting a pro bono service at a local law school, or obtaining one of many book titles on the market about business forms. These are often available through a local chamber of commerce or the secretary of state.


  2. A promissory note need not be witnessed or notarized to be valid and enforceable. Those factors may be useful if the signer denies that it is his signature, but they are not necessary to sue and recover on the note, provided the signature is genuine.
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    DISCLAIMER–This answer is for informational purposes only under the AVVO system, its terms and conditions. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney client relationship. I am admitted only in California.
    (Bryant) Keith Martin
    sbbizlaw.com

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