How to fix notary mistakes
Notaries often make mistakes. Many make notary mistakes due to lack of education and lack of skill. Those notaries will not likely catch their mistakes, and will not understand if others point out their mistakes. However, a knowledgeable notary public, will be likely to catch their own mistakes.
The point of having notaries in society is to have some sort of record keeping for the signing of documents, and the identifying of signers. The notary hopefully keeps a journal (required in most states), and also fills out certificate sections, or attaches certificate forms to documents.
So, most notary mistakes that could be made would likely be in the journal, or certificate area. If there is a mistake on the journal, it might be that the notary didn’t properly indicate what type of document was being notarized, or left out some critical documentation information. Or, the signer might have “forgotten” to sign the journal which is much more serious. If a signer forgets to sign, the notary can try to call the signer and have them come and sign the journal, or the notary can go to them. An experienced notary wouldn’t let such a thing happen, but if there is a lot of confusion and people are in a hurry, then something could go wrong.
If there is a mistake in the notary certificate, then a new certificate can be made without seeing the signer, providing that the old certificate is destroyed. You can not legally have two certificates for the same document for the same signer — unless there are two journal entries for the same signature by the same person on the same document which is very fishy indeed!
What about forgetting to administer an Oath to credible witnesses, or forgetting to administer an Oath for a Jurat? In such a case, first of all, the notary could lose their commission or be fined by their state government for such a blatant infraction of notary law! But, the notary could try to find the affiant and try to make them take their Oath after the fact. Better late than never. I don’t think that makes it “okay”, but is better than nothing.
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