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Hotline Tip: What Do I Need To Know About Using An Embosser?

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When using an embosser, do I also need to use my ink stamp when notarizing? Does the embossment need to be done within the Notary block? Is there anything else I need to know when it comes to embossing? - A.C. Torrance, CA.

When notarizing, the seal must always imprint or emboss a photographically reproducible impression. Because the image must be able to be clearly photocopied, most Notaries use an inked rubber stamp seal, since an embossment would have to be smudged or darkened to be picked up on camera. If an embossment is made so that it can be photocopied, however, it need not be used with an inked stamp, provided it contains all required information.

An embosser may be used in addition to the required photographically reproducible seal, but it must not be impressed over the reproducible inking seal or over the Notary’s signature (Government Code, Section 8207). It should be affixed as near as possible to the inked seal impression in the certificate wording.

If you emboss the original document and the Notary certificate together, on the notarial certificate you might write “Original Document Has Embossment.” This will let the receiving agency know that they should find an embossment on the original document, and if it isn’t there, then it is not the document that was notarized.

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) 876-0827Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

8 Comments

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Jem jacala

26 Dec 2018

Hi, we recently had several documents notarized but I noticed that there was just a notary stamped and notary signature. I am used to seeing a notary pressed on the round seal ( embossed) in my prior experience. Our lawyer said it is not required. I feel that our documents are not properly notarized. I thought it prudent and authentic to have that pressed on round seal. Is my lawyer correct? Thank you for your attention. Jem

National Notary Association

27 Dec 2018

Hi Jem. Seal requirements may vary depending on state law. Can you please tell us what state the Notary was commissioned in?

Tanisha

04 Jan 2019

"An embosser may be used in addition to the required photographically reproducible seal, but it must not be impressed over the reproducible inking seal or over the Notary’s signature (Government Code, Section 8207). It should be affixed as near as possible to the inked seal impression in the certificate wording." I see that this law is for California. I can't find information for New York State. Is it okay to emboss over your stamp/signature in New York?

National Notary Association

04 Jan 2019

Hello. New York's Notary Public License Law states the following: "“The laws of the State of New York do not require the use of seals by notaries public. If a seal is used, it should sufficiently identify the notary public, his authority and jurisdiction. It is the opinion of the Department of State that the only inscription required is the name of the notary and the words ‘Notary Public for the State of New York’” (https://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/lawbooks/notary.pdf, page 16)

Tanisha

04 Jan 2019

I know seals aren't required. I just wanted to ensure that it's okay to emboss on top of your signature and/or stamp if you do use one.

National Notary Association

04 Jan 2019

Hi Tanisha. We will forward your question to our Hotline Team to see if they can provide you with any additional information on this topic.

National Notary Association

04 Jan 2019

Hi Tanisha. Here is the response from our Hotline Team: "Regardless if the Notary affixes a seal stamp or hand prints her Notary commission information, it should be a clear image in order for the receiving agency to read the Notary’s information. Thus, embossing over the seal imprint could distort it and make it unreadable. If you choose to emboss in addition to the seal, you should do so in a different place."

Tanisha

04 Jan 2019

Thank you. I appreciate your help.

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