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Can Notaries stamp a document with no certificate wording?

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The document's receiver is requesting me to stamp the seal on the document. It has no certificate wording. My understanding is that I can stamp the Notary seal on the certificate wording only. Is this correct?A. T., California

You are correct that a California Notary Public may only place their Notary Public seal (stamp) on a compliant certificate wording.

California Government Code section 8207 says: “A notary public shall not use the official notarial seal except for the purpose of carrying out the duties and responsibilities as set forth in this chapter.”  

The Secretary of State has published the following statement in its 2014 Notary Newsletter: “Your official seal must be placed in its entirety on the same page as the notarial certificate. Do not place an impression of the seal on every page of a document or fan the pages of the document and place an impression of the seal across all pages.”

For more information, please see our article “3 things you can't do as a Notary.”

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

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1 Comment

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Charles R. Matthews

06 May 2024

Need to also recognize that in some states, notarization of transfer of title for a motorized vehicle is required. The space is on the back of the title and does not typically contain full wording.

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