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Hotline Tip: Acknowledgment Certificates From Other States

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As a New York state Notary, I was asked to notarize a set of documents related to a property located in Pennsylvania. The borrower came to New York so that I could conduct the signing for her. The acknowledgment wording was for Pennsylvania, not New York, so I crossed out the Pennsylvania wording and attached the correct New York acknowledgment wording. I believe I did everything correctly, but I have since been contacted by the title company, who told me that the notarization is unacceptable and will not be recorded. What should I do? – M.M., Owego, NY

According to instructions from the Counsel’s Office of the New York Department of State, the New York uniform acknowledgment form contained in Real Property Law 309-a is only to be used on documents relating to a conveyance or other instruments with respect to real property located in New York State. In all other cases, Notaries may use a form of acknowledgment that has been acceptable in the past. You could have completed the Pennsylvania acknowledgment wording even though you are a New York Notary. In all likelihood, the title company rejected the notarization because you did not use the Pennsylvania form. You can contact the title company and let it know that if it sends back the original document, you can complete and attach the original acknowledgment certificate.

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

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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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