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Notary Bulletin

Recommended Notary Practices: Notarize Completed Documents

If a document is notarized while it still has blank spaces to be filled in, the potential for fraud increases because someone can later fill in those spaces with incorrect information outside the Notary’s presence. Several states — including California, Colorado, and Florida — prohibit notarizing incomplete documents. That’s why the NNA’s Recommended Notary Practices encourages all Notaries to:

Always notarize only documents that are complete and without blank spaces.

Except in special cases — such as a blank section of a document specifically indicated to be completed later by a government official — the Notary should ask a signer to complete all blank spaces in a document before proceeding with the notarization. If there is some other reason that a blank space cannot be filled in, the signer should line through or write “To Be Determined” or “Not Applicable” in the blank spaces as appropriate.

 

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