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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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Annie Faye Lewis

25 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.

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