More than ever, Notaries are being challenged by misinformation, half-truths and even propaganda about their important responsibilities and practices. The following are important practices for all Notaries to follow as they serve the public. Recommended Notary Practices From The National Notary Association As a Notary Public, you are a Public Official bound by the laws of your State – and not by anyone else, including an employer, friend, associate or family member. Always follow state law that requires the signer to be in your physical presenceevery time you notarize — without exception. Always have the signature on the document affixed or acknowledged in your presence. Always obtain identification that contains a photograph, physical description and signature. Always keep a chronological record of the notarial act, including the signature of the signer in your journal, which must be kept in your custody and control at all times. Always ask for a thumbprint of the signer in your journal to help protect against imposture. Always confirm that the signer is not being coerced and is willingly signing the documents you notarize. Always attach a Notary certificate if wording is not already printed on the document. Always notarize only documents that are complete and without blank spaces. Always use a seal when you notarize, and be sure to keep it in your custody and control at all times. Always refrain from giving advice to signers unless you have the professional training and credentials to do so.