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October 13, 2017

Notary Public 101 — Identification

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As a Notary Public, the most important thing you do is to identify a signer. Different states have different rules for what identification document you can use and how someone is to be identified. If a Notary fails to do a good job identifying a signer, that Notary can quickly end up in court as a witness or defendant. In my opinion if you don’t do a good job identifying signers, you might as well not be a Notary Public.

Identification Documents & Characteristics
Commonly accepted ID’s include passports, driver’s licenses, state issued ID cards, military ID’s. Green cards (permanent resident cards) are not necessarily allowed, so look that one up in your handbook. As a rule, an acceptable ID must be:

Current — (there are exceptions in California, Tennessee and perhaps other states that allow the ID to be issued within five years even if it is expired.)

Government Issued — Some Notaries think that a signature affidavit or gas bill is a good secondary form of ID, but those are not government issued and you don’t know what the source of the information for the names on them are.

Photo ID — An acceptable ID should have a photo. I do not think that many states allow social security cards as secondary identifications. However, you can look that up in your handbook.

Physical Description — the ID would say your height, eye color, etc.

Serial Number — the ID should have a number such as A58362D.

Expiration Date — the ID should have an expiration date somewhere. Normally there is an issue date as well somewhere.

Signature — the signature on the ID is important because you will need to compare that to the one in your journal and on the document made by the same person.



Different states have different rules for what the name on the ID should say relative to the name on the document. Some states do not require the names to match. Others require that the Notary be reasonably sure that the person in the ID and the person on the document are the same person. Reasonably sure is a wishy-washy term. You can never be 100% sure it is the same person because ID’s can be falsified and there could be multiple people with the same name as well as multiple people who look similar to each other. Identifying humans is easier than identifying squirrels, but there can still be confusion. The name on the document’s signature must be provable to the name on the ID, otherwise it would be questionable and risky to notarize that signature.



When you do a Notary act, you ask for the signer’s identification. You record that information in your journal and you keep a journal whether your state requires it or not as that is your only evidence in court. You compare the name on the ID to the name on the document. If the name on the document is not provable based on the ID then you are advised to decline the notarization, especially if it is for a Deed. Here is a summary of the ID and acknowledgment notarization process.

(1) Ask for ID.
(2) Record ID information in journal
(3) Have signer(s) sign your journal and the document(s)
(4) Compare the name in the document to the name on the ID. Make sure the name on the document is provable based on the ID.
(5) Make sure the signature in the journal, document and ID all match.
(6) Fill out the certificate, sign and seal.

Examples of provability in ID
ID says John Smith — document says John W Smith…. name is NOT provable.
ID says John W Smith — document says John W Smith… name is provable
ID says John William Smith — document says John W Smith… name is provable based on the ID.



Keep an eye out for fake ID’s. There are guide books that can yelp you identify a false identification. If there is peeling lamination or the signature is above the lamination then it is fake. You can ask the signer what his sign is or what his birthday or height is. If he does not know his sign or birthday based on the ID, then his ID is fake. If he does know his sign that is great, but does not prove the ID is real.



If you value your life, ask for journal thumbprints. They can keep you out of court. People might complain about being asked to be thumbprinted as it can seem like an invasion of privacy and a hassle — but a thumbprint is the only way an investigative agency can have a paper trail leading to an arrest of an identity thief. Thumbprints are the only unique form of identification a Notary can use at this point in time. No two thumbprints are alike, and they cannot be forged at a Notary appointment unless they wear a latex thumbprint on their thumb which would be easily detectable.


You might also like:
Is it legal to photo copy a military ID?


October 19, 2013

Notarized Document Expired Identification

Filed under: Identification For Being Notarized — admin @ 8:18 am

Using expired identification cards

As a notary public, you will be bombarded with various types of identification — some will be current, some expired, some foreign, and some forged.

Expired ID? Check the issue date!
Some states allow an ID to be used for a particular number of years after the issue date. Many identification cards will document the issue date somewhere on the ID even if they don’t say what that date is. You can kind of guess what that date represents because it is not their birth date or expiration date. Using expired identification cards might be legal in particular states. California and Tennessee allow a notary to use an ID within five years of its origination date / date of issue.

Check your state’s notary handbook to find out the current laws in your state regarding what types of identification are legitimate in your state! Using expired ID cards just might be okay just as long as they are not “too old”.

If you cannot get identification that is acceptable in your state, many states allow the use of credible witnesses that can swear to the identity of the signer. Those witnesses are normally friends, relatives, hall mates, or neighbors of the signer.

You might also like:

What’s your sign? A technique for spotting false ID.

Credible Witnesses – the ins and outs

Notary Public 101 – Identification


February 17, 2013

Identification requirements for being notarized

Do you need to see a notary public sometime soon? Are you going to get some critical documents notarized? Don’t be afraid, this is easy! However, there are a few things that you must know.

(1) The notary public is required by law to check your identification. Certain types of identification are generally acceptable such as current driver’s licenses, state issued identification cards, passports,etc. As a general rule, if an identification is a current government issued photo-ID with a physical description, signature, and serial number, it should be good for a notary public to use. Make sure that your signature on the identification matches the one that you use on the document.

(2) Your name on the document must match the name on the identification. However, if your name on the document is shorter than the name on the identification, that is fine. If your ID says John J Smith, and on the document, you are named as John Smith, you are okay. If the name on the document is longer than the name in the identification, the notary public can not legally notarize that longer name variation.

(3) Some states require the notary public to thumbprint you for Deeds affecting real property and Powers of Attorney. It is painless (when I do it).

(4) The notary can not legally choose the type of notarization for you to get. Please have your decisions of whether to get an Oath, Acknowledgment, Jurat, or something else worked out before you see your notary.

(5) Most states require the document signer to sign the notary’s journal as well as signing the document. The notary should also record your identification information in their journal.

(6) Jurats require the signer to swear under oath. Please be cooperative about raising your right hand when you swear under oath.

(7) Mobile notaries charge a travel fee, and can charge waiting fees if you keep them waiting. Please be on time and respect their time and fees. specializes in mobile notaries.

(8) If the signer doesn’t have acceptable identification, please consult an attorney. Please be aware that inmates in jail do not have identification on their person other than their wristbands which is completely unacceptable as notary identification.

Good luck, and find a great notary public on!!!

(1) Your name on the document must match your name on the identification when notarized.
(2) Acceptable notary identification must be government issued, photo, serial #, exp. date, etc.

You might also like:

Notary Public 101 – Identification

Signature Name Affidavit: Not a substitute for an ID

When ID and documents have different names

What’s your sign?


January 18, 2011

Notarizing For a Minor — Identification!

It is not that common to notarize the signature of a minor, but at some point you might be asked to. A minor who needs to be notarized must be positively identified just like everyone else even thought their signature is not legally binding. But, if you need a notary for a minor — what type of identification can they get? The DMV can issue them a state ID card if they are not licensed to drive yet. If they are old enough to drive, you could get a drivers license. Another possibility is to go to the Post Office and apply for a passport which is another acceptable type of identification for being notarized. One benefit of passports is that they are valid for ten years while state issued ID’s are generally only good for four or five years!

So, if you are asked to notarize a minor, you can give the parents a tutorial about acceptable types of identification for their benefit! And remember — when notarizing a minor, please document in your journal that the signer is under 18 — and you might also document their exact age as well! Be professional when you do an “underage notarization”! Do it right!


January 7, 2021

A step by step guide to RON

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:56 pm

I am watching more videos on RON to try to learn more.

There are different types of portals. Some portals farm out work to you and pay you once a day or so. One lady made $5 per notarization, but got a lot of quantity providing she was quick on the draw when jobs were dispatched or made available.

Other portals allow you to bring your own clients from wherever you found them, or clients your boss gave you. There are also portals where you can bring your own clients or notarize theirs for a cut of the total money. Here are some of the specifications and steps involved.

(1) You need an online commission (not all states allow this)

(2) You need an online seal

(3) IDENTIFICATION. The portals will verify the signer’s identity by seeing a photo of the front and back of their ID and also by asking them questions based on their credit information that supposedly only they (or a really good identity thief) would know.

(4) PAYMENT. The Portal will have a system to input the signer’s credit card information.

(5) THE DOCUMENT. The Notary can start the session after the ID and credit card have been inputted. The notary will see a video of themselves and the signer. The notary can enlarge or turn the ID using tools and compare it to the signer. The signer can also see the Notary’s information. Both parties can see the document on your computer.

(6) SIGNING. The signer can fill in the blanks and sign and date the document from here on. The signature can be drawn, typed or a scan can be used. The Notary can then fill in the venue, certificate wording, and then sign and seal the document.

(7) Last, you can click the complete the session button.

Some portals charge to get set up, while others like OneNotary do not charge up front for Notaries to get started with them.


December 6, 2020

Notaries and absentee ballots and why this is essential

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 8:24 am

When I first heard of the debate about having a Notary requirement for an absentee ballot, it seemed sensible to me. The main point of having Notaries is to verify a person’s identity to authenticate the credibility of a signed document, or in this case, a ballot.

Many complained that it was “racist” to require Notaries, or would be a huge hassle. Seeing a Notary in their office takes a few minutes, is fast, and not expensive. The several dollars required to see a Notary does not exclude anyone other than perhaps homeless people.

The essential and critical point of this article is that the states who did require Notaries for mail-in ballots did not show evidence of having rampant fraud involving mail-in ballots. The states that did not require Notaries that were swing states often had big lawsuits involving Rudy Giuliani.

On the other hand, history has proven that you can get rid of checks and balances for proving the integrity of an election, commit rampant fraud, deny the evidence or the scope of the evidence, and survive any court case. You can cheat, and get away with it — at least for now. I’m sure there will be some sort of consequences for cheating, but time will tell how the consequences will manifest itself.

I believe that absentee ballots should not exist at all. I believe that those who have medical issues could vote with a mobile poll that comes to them. Identification and signatures must always be verified, and thumbprints should be taken. There should be databases to make sure that someone is voting in one state only and voting once only and that dead people don’t vote. Elections must have integrity, it is not rocket science to enforce this integrity, and Notaries contributed to the part of the election in 2020 that was integrous in particular states.


November 30, 2020

What do people like about being a mobile notary?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 5:59 am

There are many reasons why someone would become a mobile notary. There are also other reasons why a person might continue to be a mobile notary. Here are a few.

1. Work your own hours
Are you tired of the 9-5 hussle and hassle? Working your own hours is great. You can also do other gigs between notary jobs, or take other gigs when there normally aren’t any notary jobs. You can also work a part time or full time job and keep doing signings.

2. Drive
Some people were born to be on the road (again). If you love to drive, being a mobile notary will keep you busy. You can work on the road, eat on the road, and just remember not to sleep on the road as that might be dangerous.

3. Meet new people and then notarize them
It is like being in the armed forces. Go to foreign countries, meet new people and then kill them. Instead of killing them, you notarize them — it’s the next best thing — trust me. You will meet people from all walks of life. You will know every end of the spectrum of middle class (boring) as well. Just like a snobby British upper class lady once said, “A marriage made in middle-class — how pedantic.” And then the sarcastic New Yorker said, “She could have done worse.” So take your pick. You can also meet criminals, kidnappers, arsonists, frauds, strippers, porn actresses and more. But, for the most part you will meet very “pedestrian” middle-class Americans who are so boring that you should have a cup of Joe before the signing to ensure you don’t fall asleep. On the other hand if boring is your thing — you will meet the right demographic. On a brighter note, if you live near a fun town like Santa Monica or Hollywood, you might meet more fun people.

4. Deter fraud
It brings meaning to my life to be part of reducing the amount of fraud in this world. Fraud creates uncertainty and suffering and the angels would prefer that we keep our world clean and orderly and that is why I believe they chose me to run this directory as I try to keep things ship shape. Notaries who are thorough make it very hard for frauds to get away with anything. Using that raised seal embosser on every page of every document you notarize, checking ID’s carefully and thumb printing makes it hard to do anything suspicious.

5. Reading our blog
Some Notaries like being a notary just so they have a legitimate excuse to read our zany blog. Yes, the comedy articles on the blog make the whole nightmare of being a mobile notary all worth it in the end. Laugh your way to success.

6. Money
Believe it or not, some people make good money in this profession, or at least used to. And others make a good supplement to their income too. If you are efficient allocating your time, you can make good money at least on an hourly basis. You should see what Carmen rakes in for very quick jobs taking less than an hour from door to door.

7. Retirement
Being a mobile notary is a great way to spend your retirement. It is hard to work full-time as an elderly person, but as a notary you can work as much as you feel up to it.

8. A good job after you have been in Mortgage
If you were in Mortgage for years, being a mobile notary is a natural continuation as your knowledge will carry over to a particular extent as a notary.

9. Stamping
Some people find it theraputic to stamp things, and as a notary, that is what you do every day. It might make you feel official.

10. Reading up on legal aspects
Being a Notary means you have to read up on the legal aspect of being a Notary Public. You need to know all of the identification procedures and all of the various notary acts. There is a lot to know and many people enjoy learning the legal distinctions. And then there are others who are so afraid to commit UPL that they fail to learn Notary law themselves and end up committing crimes out of ignorance on a daily basis. You might like giving Oaths too — I swear! Hmmm.

So that concludes my little article on why you might like being a mobile notary. I hope that you all now see the positives in your career and don’t regret being in this profession.

You might also like:

Certain things you don’t learn from experience

Is prioritizing a skill a notary should have?

13 ways to get sued as a notary


November 13, 2020

Penalties for Notary misconduct, fraud, and failure of duty

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:23 am

Originally posted in 2018

Notaries by and large do not willfully engage in any type of illegal activity or illegal notarizations. The normal types of crimes Notaries commit are due to complete ignorance of Notary procedure, Oaths, and certificates. The only serious and purposeful crime I have ever heard of a Notary associated with us committing was one that assisted someone in fraud concerning real property — and the Notary ended up in jail. Please keep in mind that Notary law is different in every state and changes all the time as well. Penalties and fines for Notary misconduct are different in each state, California being the most stringent.

Negligent vs. Willful Misconduct

In California, the penalties are much more severe for Notaries who have engaged in willful misconduct rather than just making a careless mistake or omission.

Failure to keep your seal & journal under lock and key.
In California this is very serious and is a crime. You can keep your Notary equipment in a bag with a small lock that locks the zippers together. If you are the only one with access to your car, then the trunk of your car could work as well.

Unauthorized Practice of Law
The definition of UPL differs from state to state. However, offering opinions on legal matters or offering to draft legal documents might constitute UPL. For a professional opinion — ask an Attorney!

Asking a notary to do an improper notarization.
This is a misdemeanor in California. If it involves real property, then it is much more serious. Clients might ask you to notarize their signature using a different name variation that is not documented on their identification, or put a false date. This is illegal. They would guilty for asking you to do this, and you would be guilty if you give in to their pressure. If you have driven forty minutes to a signing job, in a sense you have a beneficial interest in notarizing their document unless you have gotten your travel fee up front when you walk in the door. So, to be prudent and avoid this issue, you MUST get your travel fee BEFORE you see the document, or are informed who the signers are, or see their ID, because a conflict of interest can easily happen. If someone asks you to do something illegal, you can threaten to report them to the Secretary of State’s office. This is a serious crime and you should treat it as such.

Issuing a false certificate
A notary who signs and seals false certificates, and this could include backdated certificates would be guilty of a misdemeanor. A false Acknowledgment certificate constitutes FORGERY. Additionally, the notary public could have their commission revoked if found guilty of this crime, with an additional fine of $1500 per incident in California (fines change over time so look this up in the statues).

Failure to Identify a Credible Witness
A fine of $10,000 per incident could occur if a notary fails to check a credible witness’s identification documents and see that they have acceptable identification.

Failure to get a thumbprint!!!
This is my favorite. Thumbprints are critical for identifying a signer if fraud is suspected. Powers of Attorney and Deeds require a journal thumbprint in California. A fine of up to $2500 per incident would be the penalty. Most other states do not require thumbprints, and Texas and Florida actually recommend against thumbprinting as those states do not trust Notaries with biometric data which is the only foolproof way to identify a signer. How ironic!

Failure to administer an Oath
A fine of $750 per incident could be incurred, not to mention revocation, or suspension of a notary commission, or refusal to grant a commission. I heard that some Notaries in Oklahoma had to go to court for a loan document signing in question. The Judge found out that the Notaries had not administered Oaths on the Affidavits in the loan package. I heard that the Judge overturned the loan and had the Notaries commissions permanently revoked by their state.

Felony Convictions
If you have a felony conviction or have been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude, you will most likely not be allowed to get a notary commission in the first place. If you already had a notary commission, it would be suspended or revoked the minute your state’s ntoary division finds out about it!

Professional Misconduct
This refers to dishonesty in your professional activities. The penalty would once again be suspension, revocation, or refusal to grant a notary commission.

Failure of Duty
This means that you refuse to serve a member of the public who has a legitimate request for a notarization. However, if the signer doesn’t have proper identification, or doesn’t have a properly filled out document, or seems very questionable, you have the right to refuse service to such a client. The penalty would be refusal to grant a notary commission, suspension, or revocation of a notary commission. Additionally a fine of $750 could be imposed on the California notary public.

Falsely Acting as a Notary
This is a misdemeanor. Borrowing someone’s Notary seal and doing Notary work is a serious crime. If you are a Notary, keep your seal and journal locked up.

Making false statements to a notary
Anyone who induces a notary to make an improper notarization with regards to real property can be found guilty of a FELONY. This is the most serious type of fraud possible in the notary profession.

False or misleading notary advertising
Making false statements in notary advertising is illegal, and the penalty for a California Notary is $1500 per incident. Additionally, such a notary’s commission could be suspended, revoked, terminated, or there could be a refusal to issue a commission. Claiming to be an immigration expert, or be able to give legal advice could be a serious example of false advertising and perhaps unauthorized practice of law.

Selling personal information
It is illegal for the notary sells or misuses personal information of those he/she has notarized. Remember to keep your journals locked up, so that nobody can have access to that information. When making copies of journal entries, make sure that the neighboring journal entries are covered, so that their information is not shared with the public. Once again, your application could be denied, or your commission could be revoked or suspended for this type of crime.

Misstatements on a notary application (Application misstatement)
Your notary commission could be suspended, revoked, or refused if you are guilty of this misconduct

Here are some other crimes… I will just list them here, but may or may not describe the penalties.

Failure to deliver a journal to the county clerk at the end of your commission. – misdemeanor
Failure to safeguard seal and journal – revoke/suspend/refuse
Failure to report a lost or damaged seal – $1500 fine
Nonpayment of judgement / Refusal to pay child support – refusal to issue a commission
Failure to keep a journal – such notaries will be prosecuted

There are a few others laws that I am not going to mention, but these were the interesting ones…

You might also like:

A Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because someone changed a name on a certificate

Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because fraud adds name to Acknowledgment certificate.

All you need to know about notary work

All you need to know about notary work

How to complain about a notary public

How to complain about a notary public

Notary Fines and Penalties

Notary Fines & Notary Penalties (gulp)

Fraud and Forgery in the Notary Profession

Fraud & Forgery related to the notary profession

Notary Public General Information

Notary Public Information


November 2, 2020

Notary Verbiage & Notary Wording

Originally published Nov 13, 2016.

Notary verbiage is a fancy way of saying Notary wording. Notary verbiage is legally required on all notarizations that are in writing. Oaths and Affirmations might not contain any written proof of the transaction other than in the Notary journal. The Notary form where the Notary wording is documented or written is called a Notary Certificate. A Notary Certificate would be a separate piece of paper where official state Notary wording is written or it could be the official notary wording embedded at the end of a legal document after the signature section.

Notary verbiage varies from state to state
You need to make sure that the Notary wording you are using is prescribed for your state. Each state has different wording, and you can look up that wording on Google by using terms such as, “New Jersey Acknowledgment Verbiage.” You need to specify which type of Notary act you want to know the wording for. Acknowledgments and Jurats are the two most common forms of Notary acts, although some states allow for certified copies of powers of attorney and other specialized notary acts.

Out of State Notary wording causes confusion
If you are a California Notary Public notarizing a deed with Florida Notary wording, you are allowed to Notarize the document. Notary wording on out of state documents might be a little different than what your state’s official Notary verbiage is. But, so long as it is not substantially different it is allowed. That means that so long as there are no differences in meaning behind the words in the Notary verbiage then it is okay. Most Acknowledgment sections claim that the signer appeared before the Notary on a particular date and acknowledged that they in fact signed the instrument (document).

International Wording
Out of state notary wording has never caused a problem in my personal Notary career of eight years. However, international requirements can cause a huge nightmare. It is common for overseas document custodians (the entity who will record or hold on to the document after it is notarized) to have requirements which are not only “not done” in the United States, but could be illegal. It is common for Chinese organizations to want an American Notary to put a stamp on a blank piece of paper with no Notarial wording which is completely illegal. In such a case, you have to explain to the signer that you are required by law to staple a notary certificate to the document being Notarized, fill it out completely, and then stamp it to complete the Notarization. Most states also require the signer to be identified and sign a journal.


(1) The Venue

Q. What is a Venue?
A. The venue comes at the top of a Notary certificate and documents the state and states the county.

State of California
County of Los Angeles

Certificate verbiage will contain a venue which is a section at the top of the notary certificate which includes the state and county where the notarization took place, and a signature section at the bottom which is where you put your signature and Notary seal impression. It is possible that a preprinted venue will have the wrong state which is a problem. If there is wrong information in the venue, you either have to do a cross out, or start with a brand new form. Most venues pre-print the state, but leave a blank where the county is to be inscribed. A prudent Notary will make sure all forms get filled out correctly with no cross outs as that is very unprofessional, especially on documents such as Deeds or Power of Attorney which are likely to be recorded by the county or some other organization.

(2) The body of an Acknowledgment.
Below the venue, the acknowledgment certificate will state that on such a date, a particular person or several named people personally appeared before a Notary Public and acknowledge that they signed the corresponding document. The wording will also include the fact that the signer was positively identified or perhaps known to the notary (some states allow for personal knowledge of a signer at a notarization.)

(3) The bottom of an Acknowledgment
Locus Sigilli is a lovely Latin term means the location of the stamp. At the bottom of the Notary certificate form is where the signature of the Notary goes and also where the stamp goes. Most Notaries use an inked Notary Seal while others use a non-inked Notary embosser in addition to prove authenticity of the notarization as it is possible to emboss all of the pages of the document to prove that pages were not swapped after the fact.

(4) Examples

Example of a Florida Acknowledgment Certificate



The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this ___________ (date), by __________ (name), who is personally known to me or who has produced _____________ (type of identification) as identification.


Notary Public

Printed Name:__________________

My Commission Expires:


Commission #_________

California Acknowledgment Wording

State of California
County of Los Angeles

On 7-21-2016 before me , Joe Smith Notary Public, personally appeared Sam Sarno
who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument
the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument.

I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.

Witness my hand and official seal _______________
Description of Attached Document
Title or Type of Document: _______ Number of Pages: ________
Document Date: _____ Other: _____________

Crossing out verbiage is required
On an Acknowledgment form, the boiler plate wording in the middle of the form requires cross-outs. Normally on legal forms you don’t want to cross out anything, but these cross-outs establish whether you are dealing with an individual signer, a male, female, group, etc.
If you look at the California Acknowledgment wording above, you will notice the term “Person(s)”. If it is a single person, then cross out the (s). The term name(s) — if there is only one name then cross out the (s). If you are doing a name affidavit, you might have a single person and six or seven names in which case do not cross out the (s). Then there is the he/she/they wording which can be complicated if you are notarizing someone of ambiguous gender or for Siamese twins.

Jurat Wording
Jurat wording is substantially different from Acknowledgment wording in that the Jurat requires the signer to sign in the presence of a Notary and swear under Oath as to the truthfulness of the document. Many states have a simplistic wording that just says,

“Subscribed and sworn to before me this __________ date of ______, (enter year) _______. ”

Other states have more elaborate wording, but the basic facts documented are the same.

Certified Copy by Document Custodian
This is a type of Jurat that is used only from time to time. Many individuals want to make a copy of a document and then have a Notary “certify” that the copy is correct. Most states don’t allow a Notary to certify this information. However, a Notary could make the photocopy him/her-self and write a note claiming that they attest to the fact that the photocopy is a true and complete copy of the original. However, the offficial Notary act that takes place is a Jurat where the signer swears under Oath that the copy is genuine. I completed many such Notary acts for college transcripts especially for foreign clients.

Read More about Notary Wording

Should you use book wording for Oaths or improvise?

Notary Acknowledgment Wording

Index of information about documents


October 29, 2020

What documents can I notarize?

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — admin @ 8:52 am

What documents should I NOT notarize? (better idea for a title)

This is written about frequently but it does require repetition given the penalties associated with it and the # of requests received for unauthorized notarizations.

WILLS – Unless prepared or directed by an attorney, wills are generally witnessed by two disinterested independent third parties.

VITAL DOCUMENTS – Birth and Death Certificates and Marriage Certificates. The Secretary of State has specific laws preventing public Notaries from notarizing vital documents primarily because the Notary cannot verify the validity or authenticity of such a document. In cases such as this, the Notary needs to refer the client over to the agency who issued the document which in many cases is the County Recorder.

INCOMPLETE DOCUMENTS – A notary should not complete any documents that are fully completed at the time of notarization.

DOCUMENTS WHERE NOTARY IS AWARE THERE IS FALSE INFORMATION IN THE DOCUMENT – If you overhear conversation between people talking about the false information contained in the document they are signing, don’t notarize it. If you suspect that the person signing appears to be overly nervous or if it looks like someone else with a beneficial interest is forcing the person to sign the document, don’t notarize it. Always remember that the signer must sign the document willingly and present proper identification and must be able to communicate with the notary.

PERSON SIGNING CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE IN WHICH THE NOTARY IS SPEAKING. You cannot use an interpreter because you don’t know what is being translated and if the translator has an interest in the transaction. Do not confuse this with notarizing a document in a Foreign Language. You can always notarize a foreign language document and don’t need to speak that language as long as the person signing can communicate with you in English or another common language in which both the notary and the signer can communicate.

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