So, you are a notary? But:
(1) Do you fill out your certificates thoroughly?
(2) Do you know what the optional or additional information section of the acknowledgment certificate is?
(3) Do you know what a certificate is?
(4) Do you know what the Acknowledgment wording is in your state?
(5) Do you cross out the his/her/their or (s) in capacity(s)?
Most notaries don’t do their cross outs which is illegal to skip. And the Secretary of State is too busy to catch up with all of the notaries in their respective state.
What is in the optional information section, and should it be optional?
(1) Number of pages in the document
(2) Document name
(3) Document date
(4) Capacity of signer
(5) Other signers who signed the document but, were not notarized on that notarization
(6) Right thumbprint of signer
Why is this important?
There are a lot of frauds out there. California law requires notaries to STAPLE (legally, the word used is attach) the notary certificate to the corresponding document. But, do you know how many people detach the staple? Title companies complained about my staples because they detached everything I stapled. They are inviting fraud if you ask me. It looks tampered with if they detach documents. Very sketchy. If I were the Secretary of State, I would investigate anyone who unstapled a notary document and might have them arrested for suspected fraud!
If a fraud wants to take an Acknowledgment OFF one document and attach it to another, it will be hard work if the optional information is all filled out. The number of pages would have to measure up. The document date would need to correspond. The Document name would have to be consistent as well. Most frauds would have not go that far, and might make a mistake matching all of the statistics since they were not trained well (probably). But, imagine if you submit an Acknowledgment certificate that has none of this information? You could conceivably reattach it to ANY document that the signer signed — an invitation for others to commit fraud.
Therefor, I believe that it should be required by law in all states to fill in the optional information section — hence renaming it the required additional information section. Be square and deter fraud today!
You might also like:
10 tight points on loose certificates
Basic Notary Acts — Acknowledgments