What is Locus Sigilli

Locus Sigilli is A Latin term denoting the area on a contract where the seal is to be affixed; it literally means, the location of the seal. The Locus Sigilli often appears on copies of documents in brackets. This signification was used to replace actual seals on documents.


Locus Sigilli is often abbreviated as L.S. However, in modern law there is a reduced distinction between documents that have this designation and original copies that bear an official seal. The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) has mandated that this distinction is irrelevant for sales of goods. However, for many documents, such as birth certificates and marriage certificates, an official seal is necessary to certify the document and give it legal weight.

On Notarial Certificates

The abbreviation L.S. may appear on notarial certificates to let the notary or other official know where the official seal should be affixed. It can also be used to let a signatory know where to affix his or her signature.

If an embosser seal is used, the seal should be affixed over the letters; however, if a rubber stamp seal is used, it should be affixed next to, not over, the abbreviation.

History of Locus Sigilli

History, the term Locus Sigilli or the abbreviation L.S. has been used to replace the even older practice of affixing a wax seal to contract or other document, by means of authentication. Historically, the use of a wax seal offered evidence that the owner of the seal was a party to the contract, as the signet ring or other engraved object used to imprint the wax was widely known to identify its owner. The wax seal further removed the need for consideration in a contract, until modern reforms in contract law made this principle obsolete. The seal further acted as a defense against fraud, modifications to a contract after the fact, or the inclusion of an undisclosed principal in the contract.

By the 19th century, the use of embossed or impressed seals had replaced the use of wax seals in most jurisdictions, including the use of the initials L.S. in place of a seal. In modern usage, an embossed paper disk, an impression in the paper itself, or a stamped-ink seal has replaced the wax seal, with the initials L.S. commonly indicating where the seal should be placed.