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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize Refinance Documents For Out-of-State Property?

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I have been asked to notarize refinance documents for a property located in Utah; however, the owner is here in California and has proper identification. Besides attaching the California-approved forms containing correct wording, are there any issues I should be aware of when notarizing documents for out-of-state property? – C.M., Modesto, CA

Yes, you may handle refinance transactions involving out-of-state properties. The only issue you want to be aware of is that as of January 1, 2013 in California, any document that affects real property requires that you thumbprint your signers, recording their right thumbprint directly into your journal entry. This new law applies regardless of where the property is located. Be sure to record the signer’s right thumbprint for every document you are notarizing within the refinance package. You many even use another state’s acknowledgment certificates preprinted on the mortgage or other documents in the package provided you follow Civil Code Section 1189(c).


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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