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

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesI work in a nursing home, and I have been asked to notarize a power of attorney that a resident has already signed. Do I have to refuse this request, or can the resident re-sign the document while she’s in my presence? - L.P., Allentown, Pennsylvania

It depends on what type of notarization you are being asked to perform and the wording on the certificate. If it’s an acknowledgment, the document does not have to be signed in your presence as long as the signer appears before you with the signed document. However, if the document contains jurat wording, it must be re-signed in your presence.


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Carmen Lachapelle

02 Feb 2021

IN MA can a NOTARY notarize a document that has already been SIGNED? Should they just Resign?

National Notary Association

02 Feb 2021

Hello. It depends on the type of notarization requested. An acknowledgment can be performed on a document that was previously signed. However, a jurat requires the signer to sign the document in the Notary's presence.

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