The seal of a notary public is a sign that the document with the seal was signed by the person whose signature is on the page and that the signature is original. Getting one of these seals on a document can sometimes be urgent, leading to a frantic search for someone who is certified by the state to notarize a document. For people in cities that border metro areas in other states, it might be possible to use a notary from the other state – but you have to be very careful to follow the laws in your state and the other state regarding these notarizations.
Each State Has to Allow Cross-Border Notarizations
Most states in the U.S. do not allow a notary public who is commissioned in one state to notarize a document while traveling in another state. Someone can bring that document into the state that the notary public is commissioned in, and they can notarize it in their own state. But having the notary public travel across state lines is usually not allowed, no matter how closely the two metro areas are linked. However, a few states have reciprocal agreements regarding notary public commissions. This means that a notary public commissioned in one state can notarize a document while traveling in the other state. However, both of the states involved must allow this. If one state allows it and the state next door does not, then the notary public can't notarize in that second state.
The Seals Must Show the Correct Place of Notarization and Certification
For states where notaries can't travel across a border and notarize documents in the other state, the seal of the notary must show the state in which the notarization happened. So, if someone in California notarizes a document brought into the state from Oregon, the seal of the notary should show the name of the state of California, in which the notarization happened. If the notary travels from California into Oregon, that notary has to be commissioned in Oregon and have a seal that lists Oregon as the state. Do not try to convince a notary to use a California (or other state) seal outside California in a state that notary isn't commissioned in; it doesn't matter if you think no one will know because with legal documents, there's always a chance someone will find out. And that notary will not want to risk their commission.
Hopefully, if you need a document notarized quickly and can't find someone in your city to do it, you can take the document with you to find another notary even if it's done in another state. However, many people sign up to be notaries, so you should be able to find someone who can notarize the document quickly.