Notary Bulletin

Best Practices | Tips

Hotline Tip: How Many IDs Are Needed For A Notarization?

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Hotline Tip: What Do I Do With A Damaged Journal?

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Hotline Tip: Notarizing A Previously Signed Document

Hotline Tip: Notarizing Motor Vehicle Titles

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Hotline Tip: Notarizing Living Trusts

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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize In Advance?

Hotline Tip: Dealing With An Out-Of-State Venue

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Hotline Tip: Two Signatures On The Same Document

Hotline Tip: Can I Perform An Overseas Marriage Ceremony?

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Hotline Tip: Question Regarding A Power Of Attorney Notarization

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Hotline Tip: Notarizing A Will

Hotline Tip: What Can I Charge For Simple Notarizations?

Hotline Tip: Can A Seal Be Applied To A Document Without Notarial Wording?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Charge A Travel Fee?

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Hotline Tip: Power Of Attorney Notarization

Hotline Tip: Do I Record A Signer's ID Information In My Notarial Journal?

Hotline Tip: Do Motor Vehicle Titles Require A Special Notarial Stamp?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize Documents Related To My Own Business?

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Hotline Tip: Can I List Multiple Documents Within One Journal Entry?

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Hotline Tip: Does This Notarization Require A Thumbprint?

Hotline Tip: Dealing With An Out-Of-State Acknowledgment Certificate

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Hotline Tip: Does The Judicial District Need To Be Specified On A Trust Deed?

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Hotline Tip: Can The NNA Check The Reputation Of This Company?

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Hotline Tip: Do I Need To Fill Out The 'SS' Portion On An Acknowledgment?

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Hotline Tip: I Passed My Notary Exam, What Next?

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Hotline Tip: Tribal Enrollment Identification Card  Acceptable Or Not?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Refuse This Notarization?

Hotline Tip: Are Initials Acceptable As A Signature?

Hotline Tip: Dealing With Multi-Page Documents

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Hotline Tip: Can I Perform A Jurat Using An Attorney In Fact?

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Hotline Tip: How Do I Properly Destroy An Expired Seal?

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Hotline Tip: Notarizing Unclear Documents - Yes Or No?

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Hotline Tip: Are Thumbprints Required For All Notarizations?

Hotline Tip: Dealing With A Power Of Attorney Signing Situation

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Hotline Tip: Can I Certify A Copy Of A Marriage Certificate?

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Hotline Tip: How Can I Prevent Signers From Rushing Me Through The Notarization?

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Hotline Tip: Copy Certification For Passport Pages

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Hotline Tip: How Do I Perform A 'Re-Acknowledgement'?

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Hotline Tip: Are Thumbprints Required For All Notarizations?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Perform Weddings In More Than One State?

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Hotline Tip: Can A Notary Have Multiple Journals?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize For Non-U.S. Citizens?

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Hotline Tip: Will My E&O Policy Protect Me From Future Litigation?

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Hotline Tip: What Can I Do To Protect Myself (And Others) In The Case Of A Natural Disaster?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize A Document For Two Different States?

Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize My Mother's Will?

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Hotline Tip: How Do I Perform A Signature By Mark?

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Hotline Tip: How Long Should I Keep My Old Notary Journal?

Hotline Tip: How Much Am I Permitted To Charge For Notary Services?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize Refinance Documents For Out-of-State Property?

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Hotline Tip: Should The Time Of Notarization Be Recorded In The Journal?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize For A Foreigner Without Proper Identification?

Hotline Tip: Can Documents Be Notarized After The Signing?

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Hotline Tip: Are Notary Fees Tax-Exempt?

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Hotline Tip: How Much Can I Charge As A Mobile Notary?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize For Someone At The Mexican Border?

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Hotline Tip: Is A Social Security Card Considered A Valid ID For Notarization?

Hotline Tip: Is There A Quicker Way To Perform Multiple Notarizations?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize For An Adult With A Presumed Mental Deficiency?

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Hotline Tip: How Many Journal Signatures Are Required For Multiple Documents?

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Hotline Tip: Can Notaries Notarize Signatures For Non-English Documents?

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Hotline Tip: Is This A Document That I Should Notarize?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Charge A Travel Fee For A Notarization?

Hotline Tip: How Much Information Do I Record In My Journal?

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Hotline Tip: What's A Notary's Best Protection Against A Lawsuit?

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Hotline Tip: Which Name Goes On The Signature Block?

Hotline Tip: Can I List Multiple Documents Within One Journal Entry?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Charge A Travel Fee?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize A Copy Of A Passport?

Hotline Tip: How Do I Perform A Marriage Ceremony?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize My Spouse's Signature?

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Hotline Tip: How Do I Change The Address On My Commission?

Hotline Tip: Can I List Multiple Documents Within One Journal Entry?

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Hotline Tip: My Supervisor Is Asking Me To Perform An Unauthorized Notarization!

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Hotline Tip: Copy Certification By Document Custodian Of Birth Certificate?

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Hotline Tip: Can My Attorney-Employer Serve As A Subscribing Witness?

Hotline Tip: Can I Accept An Immigrant's License As ID?

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Hotline Tip: How Do I Notarize For A Prison Inmate?

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Hotline Tip: Are Laminated Licenses A Valid Form Of ID?

Hotline Tip: What Information Goes In The 'By' Space On A Certificate?

Hotline Tip: I Notarized A Document After My Commission Expired!

Hotline Tip: Defining The Legal Language On Notary Certificates

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Hotline Tip: Can A Signer Correct A Mistake On A Notarized Document?

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Hotline Tip: Can A Client Sign For His Wife On A Loan Modification?

Hotline Tip: Can I Officiate At My Friend's Wedding?

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Hotline Tip: How Do I Perform A Signature By Mark?

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Hotline Tip: Can A Notary Act As Both Wedding Officiant And Witness?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Still Use My Outdated Stamp For Notarization?

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Hotline Tip: How Can I Protect A Loose Certificate Against Fraud?

Hotline Tip: Can My Boss Examine My Journal Entries?

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Hotline Tip: Jurat Or Acknowledgment?

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Hotline Tip: How Do I Properly Dispose Of My Outdated Notary Seal?

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Hotline Tip: Does My Signature Need To Exactly Match My Notary Stamp?

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Hotline Tip: Can My Boss Examine My Journal Entries?

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Hotline Tip: Can A Notary Have More Than One Stamp Or Embosser?

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Hotline Tip: Is A Social Security Card and Temp ID Considered Acceptable Identification?

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Hotline Tip: Should I Handwrite Or Type My Notary Certificates?

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Hotline Tip: Is A Notarial Act Still Valid If There Is No Notary Seal?

Hotline Tip: How Many Witnesses Need To Sign A Grant Deed?

Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize Documents That Will Be Recorded In Another State?

Hotline Tip: What Is A Foreign Commissioner Of Deeds?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize My Fiance's Birth Certificate?

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Hotline Tip: Should I Use An Embosser Or A Seal?

Hotline Tip: What Do I Do If A Client Refuses To Sign My Journal?

As a New York Notary, I maintain a journal containing entries for all of the notarial acts I perform. Given that journals are not mandatory in New York, what should I do if a signer refuses to sign my journal? Do I note the reason for the refusal and continue with the notarization, or should I refuse to notarize the document?..More

Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize for Mexican Clients Using Consular IDs?

Hotline Tip: Do I Need To Include My Employer's Information On My Notary Application?

Hotline Tip: Notarizing For A Three-Year-Old?

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Hotline Tip: Should I Record My Signers' Driver's License Numbers?

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Hotline Tip: What Is The Required Wording In A Jurat Signature Line?

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Hotline Tip: What Fee Can I Charge For Performing an Inspection?

Hotline Tip: Does A Florida Notary Commission Allow Me To Perform Out-Of-State Weddings?

Hotline Tip: Is The Signer's Presence Necessary For Me To Complete The Notarization?

Hotline Tip: What Should I Do If I Applied My Stamp Upside Down?

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Hotline Tip: Can I Help A Signer Choose What Form To Use?

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Hotline Tip: What Does 'SS' Mean On A Notarial Certificate?

Hotline Tip: What If An Older Signer Lacks ID?

Hotline Tip: How Do I Find Out What Notarial Act Is Required?

Hotline Tip: How Do I Report An Improper Notarization?

Hotline Tip: Do I Need To Request ID From A Signer I've Seen Before?

Hotline Tip: What If There's No Room For My Seal?

Hotline Tip: Can I Use The NNA Logo On My Business Card?

Hotline Tip: Can My Employer Prohibit Me From Notarizing Outside Of Work?

Hotline Tip: How Can I Correct A Blurred Seal?

Hotline Tip: Can I Backdate A Mortgage Document?

Hotline Tip: How Do I Change My Name On My Notary Stamp And License?

Hotline Tip: What Is The Correct Language For A Jurat Oath Or Affirmation?

Hotline Tip: How Can I Better Protect My Signers' Privacy?

Hotline Tip: Can My Employer Collect And Keep My Notary Fees?

Hotline Tip: Can A Copy Of A Passport Be Notarized?

Hotline Tip: What Do I Need To Know About Using An Embosser?

Hotline Tip: Am I Allowed To Use A Loose Certificate?

Hotline Tip: How Do You Void A Notarization When There Is An Error?

Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize A Document In Which I'm Mentioned?

Hotline Tip: Do Witness Signatures Require Notarization?

Hotline Tip: What Do I Do If The Names On The ID And The Document Don't Match?

Hotline Tip: What Should I Do If My Seal Isn't Completely Visible?

Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize A Document That Has Already Been Signed?

Hotline Tip: How Do I Identify A U.N. Official Or Other Foreign Signers For A Notarization?

Hotline Tip: What Is The 'Right' Way To Audit My Employee's Notarial Journal?

Hotline Tip: Can I Accept A 'Matricula Consular' Card As Valid Identification?

Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize For A Signer Suffering From Dementia?

Can I Notarize A Document In Which I'm Mentioned?

Do I Have To Record Work-Related Notarizations?

Should I Require An Oath-Taker To Sign My Journal?

Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize My Wife's Signature?

Hotline Tip: Should I Record A Declined Notarization In My Journal?

Yes, you should always record details of a declined notarization in your journal...More

Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize A Jurat That Has Already Been Signed?

Signers sometimes ask you to perform a jurat on an affidavit that has already been signed. If that happens, he or she must sign the document again since a sworn statement must be signed in your presence...More

Hotline Tip: How Do I Handle An Out-Of-State Acknowledgment Certificate?

It is becoming fairly common for Notaries to be presented with a document that includes an out-of-state acknowledgment certificate...More

Hotline Tip: How Do I Properly Store And Protect My Journal?

You should never surrender control of your seal and journal to anyone, even if your employer has paid for them or the journal contains entries related your employer’s business...More

Hotline Tip: How do I Notarize A Document Signed By Two People In Different Location?

You may notarize the signature of one person appearing before you and then the second person can appear before a Notary in their city/state and have their signature notarized...More

Hotline Tip: Are Notaries Required to Keep Copies of the Documents they Notarize?

Since documents often contain sensitive information (private letters, business information, identification numbers), a Notary could be held liable for damages if the signer proved his or her privacy was compromised..More

Hotline Tip: Get Agreement On Travel Fees In Advance

Most states limit fees that can be charged for notarizations, but many permit Notaries to charge for traveling to a client...More

Hotline Tip: Less, Not More

One of the most common identity issues occurs when a signer’s name in a document or their signature does not match the name on the identification document presented to you. When this happens, the best way to proceed is to apply the general rule of “less, but not more.”..More

Hotline Tip: Don't Be A Copy Cat

Some Notaries misguidedly keep copies of every document they notarize. They shouldn’t. Many documents contain sensitive information about signers, which increases liability should that information ever be compromised..More

Hotline Tip: Exercising Reasonable Care Is Best Defense

The best way to protect yourself from being held liable in a lawsuit is to exercise “reasonable care” while performing notarizations...More

Hotline Tip: Making Corrections

While you are not responsible for the contents of the document being notarized, you are responsible for the accuracy of information contained in the notarial certificate...More

Hotline Tip: Death and Life

On rare occasions, Notaries are presented with the signature of a deceased individual and asked to notarize it — an official act that should never happen...More

Hotline Tip: Less, But Not More -- On Fees

Maximum Notary fees across the United States are defined explicitly by state law, and range anywhere from 25 cents to $10. Normally, states permit Notaries to charge any amount less than the maximum, or give them the option to not charge at all...More

Hotline Tip: If I'm Unable To Certify Copies, Can I Use A Document Custodian?

In states that do not allow Notaries to certify copies, a possible alternative is copy certification by document custodian...More

Hotline Tip: Be Wary Of Incomplete Documents

Notarizing an incomplete document exposes a signer to fraud, so no official instrument should be notarized unless it is complete and free of blank spaces...More

Hotline Tip: Tying Up Loose Ends

If a document is missing notarial certificate wording, or if the document contains certificate wording that is not allowed in your state, you should attach and use a loose certificate instead...More

Hotline Tip: What Does "Venue" Refer To On Notarial Certificate?

The “venue” portion of the notarial certificate can be a source of confusion for Notaries...More

Hotline Tip: Should I Use A Seal If My State Doesn't Require It?

While some states don’t legally require a Notary to use a seal, they can add authenticity and professionalism to a document...More

Hotline Tip: Can I Determine A Signer's "Representative Capacity"?

Notarial wording — whether preprinted on a document or as loose certificates — often lists a signer's title..More

Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize An Acknowledgment That Has Already Been Signed?

A common misconception about Notaries is that they are always required to witness a client signing the document in the Notary's presence. But that is not always true...More

Hotline Tip: What Are The Best Practices Regarding Subscribing Witnesses?

As a last resort, a proof of execution by subscribing witness is sometimes used when the document's principal signer cannot appear before a Notary. ..More

Hotline Tip: Using A Web Site And Social Networking To Grow Your Business

With the click of a mouse, sites like Facebook and MySpace allow you to connect with people across the world on a minute-by-minute basis. But can enterprising Notaries use such sites to promote their business and find new customers?..More

Hotline Tip: What Are The Best Practices Regarding Fingerprinting?

While many states don't require Notaries to take a fingerprint, it is incontrovertible proof that a signer appeared before you...More

Hotline Tip: Can I Waive Personal Appearance For My Boss Or Close Friend?

As Notaries, we often are asked to waive personal appearance for a signer. The scenarios are endless...More

Hotline Tip: Best Practices When Dealing With Gender-Neutral Names

When notarizing for people with names like those, it's a good idea to note their gender in your journal...More

Hotline Tip: Notarizing A Document That Will Be Sent Out Of State

Federal law requires each state to recognize the official notarial acts of all other states, even if they differ from their own...More

Hotline Tip: What Is A 'Hybrid' Certificate?

Sometimes a notarization is both an acknowledgment and a jurat. And that's called a hybrid certificate...More

Hotline Tip: Should Attorney-Notaries Notarize For Their Clients?

The essential role of a Notary is to protect everyone's best interest by serving as an impartial, third party witness. Attorneys are paid to be advocates for their clients, a role that violates notarial impartiality...More

Hotline Tip: What Is The Acceptable Procedure For Making Edits On A Document?

Change is a fact of life, and that is equally true for documents. They may need to be corrected or revised to accommodate the needs of various signers...More

Hotline Tip: What Are The Best Practices Regarding The Notarial Seal?

While a number of states do not require a seal, they don’t prohibit them either. A seal has several advantages...More

Hotline Tip: The Right Way To Find And Submit Job References

Competition for job openings is fiercer than ever in today’s market — and a good reference can mean the difference between a new career and a “No Thank You” message...More

Hotline Tip: Pattern Your Career After High Achievers

Career success often is a long, lonely climb. But it doesn’t have to be...More

Hotline Tip: How Can I Get My Boss To Notice Me?

Sometimes the toughest career move is advancing in your current company...More

Hotline Tip: Should I Use A Separate Journal For My Work-Related Notarizations?

Many Notaries do double duty by performing notarizations for their employer and outside of their regular job. Some might be tempted to keep two sets of journals in order to keep their two Notary roles separate...More

Hotline Tip: What Should I Do If An ID Seems Suspicious?

As a Notary, you're an identity manager. If you sense something suspicious when examining a client's identity document, ask them about the particulars on their ID...More

Hotline Tip: Can I Use A Standard Office Filing System For Documenting Notarial Acts?

If you think a filing system or a cabinet filled with loose papers is an adequate substitute for a bound journal, remember the last time you misplaced or lost an important document normally stored in such a manner...More

Hotline Tip: Do I Have To Use Black Ink With My Notarial Seal?

An old line attributed to automaker Henry Ford goes that customers could have any color they wanted for his Model T, just as long as it was black...More

Hotline Tip: Notarizing A Document -- Again

If you are asked to perform a second notarization on a revised document, you are in effect performing a second notarization...More

Hotline Tip: What Are The Best Practices Regarding Sharing My Journal?

Your journal is a public record, which means periodically someone might ask to examine it...More

Professional Sections

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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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