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Hotline Tip: How Can I Correct A Blurred Seal?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesMy seal was slightly blurred on a quit-claim deed and was rejected. Can I supply a new, clear seal on an acknowledgment form and attach it to the original document without the signer having to appear and re-sign?  F.D., Santa Monica, California

Yes, you can supply a clear seal on another acknowledgment form as long as you have the original document to which you can attach the loose certificate bearing a clear impression of your seal. The document signer does not need to appear and re-sign, as this person did nothing incorrectly; it was your seal impression that was the problem.

Never send a signed and stamped loose certificate to anyone (even if the document signer requests it), as you are the only person authorized to attach a loose certificate to the document. If you sign and stamp a loose certificate without it being attached to the original document, it may end up attached to a document you did not actually notarize.

In some cases, certain counties may allow a Notary merely to submit a form in which the illegible wording in the smudged seal is clarified, instead of requiring a new certificate attached to the original document.


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

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