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Hotline Tip: How Can I Protect A Loose Certificate Against Fraud?

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What is the best way to ensure that a loose certificate won’t be fraudulently removed and attached to another document?

Because there is no absolute protection against fraudulent removal, it’s always preferable to fill out Notary certificate language that is preprinted or typed right on a document rather than to staple a separate or “loose” certificate to it.

However, there are precautions Notary can take to make removal of a loose certificate more difficult.

1) Emboss the certificate and document together and label “Attached documents bears embossment” on the certificate
2) Write a brief description of the document on the certificate, perhaps in the margin, so it is easily identifiable

Notaries should consult state laws regarding loose certificates before using them.

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

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 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

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Roger W Rhodes

18 Sep 2017

What is this

24 Aug 2020

Thanks for the update on Loose certificate.

Candice Simmons

24 Oct 2020

I had an individual present a document for notarization that didn’t have a certificate, so I had to attach a loose leaf certificate. I am in Fl and there is a section on the loose leaf that requires info I am not sure how to complete being that I am a new notary. How do you complete the section that asks additional info? Also does the signer have to sign his or her name the way it is printed on the document? The Document was written and it was needed to get a vehicle out of pound that was towed

National Notary Association

29 Oct 2020

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

14 Dec 2023

thanks for that info. I can see where it may become a bit tricky when using "loose" Certificates. Very informative!

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