A Notary Signing Agent colleague recently admitted to me that in order to save time, she does not notarize documents while at the actual signing, but does so later, before she ships the documents. Is this an acceptable practice? – M.B., Yakima, WA
You should let the agent know — and quickly — that this is not a recommended practice. Although your colleague’s practice does not violate any known statute, the best and professional practice suggests that your signer has a right to watch you notarize their mortgage papers while in front of you and check the signed papers for completeness or errors before you leave. In addition, if for some reason a mistake is made, or some form of clarification becomes necessary, the document signer will not be there to correct the mistake or make the clarification. It may take a little longer to do the signing, but every aspect of the notarial act ought to be done in front of the principal signer.
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