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Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Can A Signer Correct A Mistake On A Notarized Document?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesA client called to inform me that a mistake had been made on a notarial certificate and asked if she could make the slight edit to the information. Is this acceptable? – R.N., Fargo, ND

Let the signer know that you, and you alone, must correct the certificate. Any changes to a notarial certificate must always be made by the Notary who performed the original notarization. A certificate with more than one person’s handwriting on it may cause suspicions of tampering.

To make the correction, simply line through any error, add the correction as close to the original as possible, and then initial and date your change.

Changes that may be made to the certificate include:

  • the venue,
  • the statement of particulars,
  • the signature of the Notary, and
  • the imprint of the official seal of the Notary.

Notaries may only correct information in the notarial certificate. They must never make changes in the main body of the document. Only the signer can do that.

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 (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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26 Comments

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Annie Faye Lewis

24 Apr 2017

Client in nursing home from surgery in good mind and able to have full conversation. I received his I.D. And sign Power of Attorney doc and Journal plus thumb print. My Steve sign poa on wrong line where Mr. Gonzales was to sign. I witness signing, but Mr. Gonzales help sit Mr. Steve up so he could sign poa. Unaware he had signed wrong line. Mr. Steve health is not able to redo poa. What can be done legally for to have doc legal for bank and all business for Mr. Steve? Please help.

National Notary Association

25 Apr 2017

Hello Annie. We are very sorry, but we are not authorized to give legal advice on these matters. You would need to speak with a qualified attorney for assistance.

Roberta Bible

26 Apr 2018

On a power of attorney form, there is a spot where the Principal name is printed. However, the principal printed his son's name by accident. He drew a simple line through it, initialed it in front of the notary and then printed his name correctly beneath. Is this ok?

National Notary Association

26 Apr 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but we cannot provide legal advice whether or not a correction to a power of attorney form was acceptable or not. You would need to contact the issuing or receiving agency or a qualified attorney to answer this question.

kelly

03 Oct 2018

A 3rd party is requesting a signature on an assignment, the signer and I (the Notary) complete the signature and Notarization, can the 3rd party then add or edit the document after it is already notarized?

National Notary Association

03 Oct 2018

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.

Hojin

10 Oct 2018

My dad to to get his papers notarized and he accidentally printed his name instead of doing a signature. The notary didn’t Realize this. Is he able to sign inter the printed part??

National Notary Association

10 Oct 2018

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.

Amanda

24 May 2019

In another word, we could notarize the document that singer had made correction? As long as he/she has initialed next to the cross out?

National Notary Association

30 May 2019

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.

Johnny McCarron

30 Aug 2019

It is good to know that only a notary is able to make corrections to notarized documents. We're hoping to get some legal paperwork done for a small business I want to start. For some of the deals, it looks like I'll need to look for a mobile notary myself.

emily

10 Oct 2019

landlord made numerous cross outs and scribbles on a notice to quit. is this legal? the landlord's initials are on a couple corrections and the document is clearly a copy with the adjustments to the document being raised proving it was not part of the original.

National Notary Association

14 Oct 2019

Hello. We're sorry, but that is a legal question that would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Veronica

18 Jan 2020

I have two questions: I need notarized travel consent form for my two girls, can I file one notarize form with their both information Or it needs to be separated Travel consent forms? (For future reference) and my 2nd question: I have two notarized travel consent forms on one of my child’s forms has a wrong location to visit. I went back to the place I got my notarization and they won't correct it, and he wants me to get other forms and charge me for a new one. Please Advise. Thank you

National Notary Association

22 Jan 2020

Hello. Before proceeding, you should contact the agency requesting the travel consent forms to ask what options they will accept and request instructions.

Tracey Pascuzzi

23 Oct 2020

I was notarizing a title for an elderly couple. They signed under purchaser instead of seller. There was no room to make a correction so I drew a line through it and had them sign in the correct area in the next block down on the title. Is that correct?

National Notary Association

26 Oct 2020

Hello. If a signer makes an error signing a title document, you should first contact the recording office where the title will be recorded to request instructions. You should not attempt to correct a title document error without instructions from a qualified authority.

Kendra

29 Oct 2020

I have notarized a Document as an acknowledgement, I made the mistake of starting to write my commission date on the date line, I marked thru what i wrote and initialed the mistake, i then wrote the correct date and below on the correct line i wrote my commission date. Did this void the documents value?

National Notary Association

29 Oct 2020

Hello. The signer would need to contact the receiving agency to ask if they will accept the notarized document with the corrected information.

Wendy

28 Dec 2020

I work for a Register of Deeds. We see notaries that are incorrect all the time. We've been told we can make any changes to a notary block as long as we call the notary and get a verbal "ok". Is this legal?

National Notary Association

05 Jan 2021

No, this is not acceptable. Different states have different rules about correcting notarial certificate, however, none of them allow verbal notarization for a change.

Sharon Dildy

16 Mar 2021

On a Deed of Gift, the notary statement has transposed the full legal name of the actual signer of the legal document. Ex. James Ray Lee is all through the document however; notarial certificate has Ray James Lee was the person appearing before them The signer did sign the name correctly on the document where it said their seal as James Ray Lee. Is the document still valid since the notary typed in Ray James Lee in their notarial certificate?

National Notary Association

16 Mar 2021

Hello. We're sorry, but that is a legal question that would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

kim

12 Jul 2021

long story short husband uncle left him everything he found uncle dead in house sister and her Notory friend told him to sign paper after he sign more was added on paper after he left now the sister have control of every thing

Kenneth James

30 Aug 2021

I completed a form to receive a birth certificate for my daughter from the State of Texas. The agency refused the form because the notary had initially written the wrong day. lined it out and initialed it. The agency said they don't allow any scratch outs on the form. A reasonable person would assume that meant scratch outs by me, not a notary. Any advice? The agency is not being cooperative at all.

National Notary Association

30 Aug 2021

Hello. You would need to ask the agency what alternatives they will accept-for example, if you could return to the Notary and have them perform a new notarization for the document.

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