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Notarial Mistakes That Get Recordable Documents Rejected


Forgetting to include a few words after your signature on a notarized document may seem like a small mistake — but these “small” notarial errors are leading to widespread rejection of important legal documents submitted for recording, according to officials of one of the nation’s busier county recorder’s offices.

Employees at the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office have noticed that since 2006, more Notaries are forgetting to print their names and titles when notarizing or forgetting to sign the certificate wording on recordable documents, said Bessie O’Camb, Section Head of the Document Analysis and Recording Section. These errors are among the most common problems with recorded documents in Los Angeles County, accounting for an estimated 30 percent of all rejections. Leaving off a seal, attaching the wrong certificate wording and illegible Notary seals are other frequent causes for document rejection, she said.

O’Camb urged Notaries to take additional time when notarizing to check for the following:

  • Confirm that the appropriate notarial wording required by the state is used
  • Make sure all required information is included, correct and complete on the certificate
  • Do not forget to sign the certificate wording
  • Check that your seal impression is legible on the certificate

“Notaries need to be mindful that each document notarized may be recordable and not rush through the signing process,” she said.

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Serli Tasci

06 Dec 2016

On a grant deed, when a signature by mark is done by two witnesses, do we need to have a witness statement on the document? This is for California. Or can we attach an affidavit for witness of signature by mark? Thank you

National Notary Association

09 Dec 2016

Hello. In California, to perform a signature by mark, two witnesses must be present. One witness must print the mark-maker's name near the mark and both witnesses must sign the document. (GC 16; see also CC 14 and CCP 17[a]). The lender or title company should be contacted regarding any questions about whether any additional witness statements is required on the document.

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