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What If The Notary Certificate Has The Wrong Venue Information?

New Hotline Resized 3I am a notary in PA. My firm recently submitted for a project in NJ. When I was given the document to notarize, it had already been filled out “County of ___________ in the State of NJ.” How am I supposed to fill this out? — A.B., Philadelphia, PA

If that language is in the notarial wording you are asked to fill in, then you can correct the information by lining through “New Jersey,” writing in “Pennsylvania” and initialing and dating your correction. Make sure to insert in the blank the name of the county in which you are performing the notarial act.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. – The Editors

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827,Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

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Brenda G. Postert

01 Sep 2014

I need a certificate of completion of the Notary Signing Exam and a certificate of having had a criminal history report done thru NNA


03 Sep 2014

Hello Brenda, Our Customer Care team should be able to assist you with this. You can reach them at 800-876-6827 or

cora davis

02 Sep 2014

Good info


03 Sep 2014

I am a Notary in the state of California. Can I use an acknowledgment that just says Acknowlegdment versous one that says California All-Purpose Certificate of Acnowledgment

National Notary Association

03 Sep 2014

Hello Lilla, Thank you for your question. The acknowledgment certificate wording must exactly match the language prescribed in CA Civil Code 1189(a) if the document is being filed in California. If the certificate wording is different from the language in the statute, you may not use it unless the document is being filed outside of California. The certificate wording must not ask you to determine or certify anything that is not allowed under California Notary law.

John Clark

14 Oct 2014

If I complete a notary signing, and later find out that the signer was a cheat, what am I supposed to do about it?

National Notary Association

15 Oct 2014

Hello John, If you suspect illegal activity took place during a notarization, you may wish to report it to local law enforcement and your state Notary-regulating office.

Claudia Silverwood

14 Oct 2014

Is there an easy way to explain why I cannot "personnaly know" someone that I know well? I find this to be one of the most difficult things that I do because a lot of my acknowledgements are from home office which is out of state. I end up saying it's a California Notary law. Sometimes they get quite irritated.

National Notary Association

15 Oct 2014

Hi Claudia, California changed its Notary laws in 2008 and 2009 to prohibit Notaries from using personal knowledge of a signer as proof of identity. Every principal signer may now only be identified through satisfactory evidence as listed under Civil Code 1185(b).

Ellen Byng

14 Oct 2014

When I have been presented with an Acknowledgement from another state with information filled in I usually put a line through it, initial and attach an All Purpose Acknowledgement. 2 Reasons; wrong state, county and wording is not correct as to identifying the signer.

Elizabeth Long

14 Oct 2014

Very timely posting. Thank you for sharing!

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