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March 16, 2016

Can you send a loose acknowledgment? You should hear the answers

I asked a Notary the following questions.

Can you send a loose Acknowledgement if the Grant Deed you already Notarized and send it had a smudgy seal?

The Notary said, that yes you could. You just attach it to the Grant Deed.
I replied back that if you attach the certificate to the Grant Deed, that it would no longer be loose. It is kind of like asking if a virgin can be sent in the mail and you say — yes, she just has relations with Tim and then you can send her. If the virgin had relations with Tim she would no longer be a virgin just like the Acknowledgment Certificate on the Grant Deed would no longer be loose if it were attached to the Grant Deed. On a brighter note, if Tim were the only lady that the “virgin” had relations with, at least she would not be considered to be “loose” like the acknowledgment whose final words were, “Baby, I’ll attach myself to any document… anywhere… any time…”

Legal or not?
Many Notaries feel that it is fine to send a loose Acknowledgment in the mail. This is actually not legal in most states. Acknowledgments should be attached by a stable to the document they are associated with. If the stamp was smudgy on the initial acknowledgment, some states might allow you to destroy the original acknowledgment and add another non-smudgy one in its place. But, no state will allow there to be two acknowledgments for one Notarization floating around. That is just plain crazy.

California wants Notaries to completely re-do smudgy signings. You would have to go back and visit the signer all over again, get a new signed journal entry, and do the Notarization as if you were doing it for the first time if God forbid — there was a smudge.

The way to handle Acknowledgments with smudges varies from place to place. But, you need to know what the law says so you don’t do something stupid. Most Notaries that I talked to do not have a thorough understanding of the law about this topic.

You might also like:

10 tight points on loose certificates

Sending loose certificates is illegal

Notary Certificates, Notary Wording & Notary Verbiage



  1. Makes perfect sense.Nobody should make that mistake.

    Comment by Barbara Brewer — May 4, 2016 @ 6:33 pm

  2. I agree with Grace. Not professional at all. A better example should have been made. Tacky in my opinion. Smh

    Comment by Jessie Calderon — September 15, 2016 @ 2:50 am

  3. You had an article that said some people at Some lenders have removed the staple and separated loose acknowledgements/loose jurats. I even was able to download an editable PDF each for acknowledgements and for jurats.
    WHY do you use them? Because idiots who never notarize create documents with no space to stamp.
    If it is removed from the document who KNOWS where it ends up. The document then becomes NOT notarized, not witnessed. Figure out the ramifications.
    The attys I work with have told me, if there is No room to stamp, stamp on the verbage.
    I no longer use them.
    Regarding smudgy signings, the first lesson I learned from the NNA training was to use sticky notes to flag. Stamp, put a 3 x 3″ sticky note on top of it and it won’t smudge. It helps when you check your documents, too, bc you can see that you stamped the notarized document.
    Every time somebody posts that the extra work you put in to a signing might be wasted time, start demanding that you get the documents early enough to double check them.
    I have discovered at least 1 dozen documents over the last 7 years, 2,000+ signings, where there was a seemingly random line for initials. I believe that the initial lines are purposeful, but flagging it helps remind you to get it initialed by the signer, and saves you a 2nd trip. 2nd trips take away the thin margin of profit, and for ME, profit is bottom line. I pride myself on thoroughness. During this COVID19 crises, I refused a signing where the vendor told me to drive to the signer’s house, hand over the package, and wait at my car for them to bring it back.
    I said that there is no witnessing, and that they could find somebody else, which they did.
    Guess it was a fast signing. Good recipe for fraud.
    I hope that you all here at 123Notary agree. I remember a recent article reminding us to oversee signers correcting “I/We, Is/Are, etc.”. Such detail. I can only think of one job more detail oriented, and that is those who examine counterfeit currency.

    Comment by betty — June 2, 2020 @ 4:40 pm

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