Notary Bulletin

How Do I ... Notarize Over The Phone?

You don't. A telephone call is not considered personal appearance. "I just mailed you a deed," a caller might inform you. "When you get it, please notarize my signature and mail it right back." While this might be convenient for the caller, you cannot legally comply with such a request, even with a supposedly reliable third party present.

If you do handle a notarization in this way, you could be helping someone commit fraud, which would leave you open to civil liability, criminal charges or both. Always refuse any request for a telephonic notarization.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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