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I Notarized A Document After My Commission Expired

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Is a document invalid if I notarized it without knowing that my license was expired? If so, am I liable or what can I do to clarify or correct the document?R. R., Columbia, South Carolina

If the notarization was performed at a time when you did not have a valid South Carolina commission, then a court could invalidate the notarization, and a recorder of deeds could reject a document for filing. South Carolina’s Notary laws do not pronounce such acts invalid.

The best course of action is to immediately inform your customer of the error and refer the customer to a commissioned Notary to have the document notarized again. 

You should not perform any additional notarizations until you obtain a new South Carolina Notary commission.

Each time you sign a notarial certificate, you are certifying that your commission is valid at the time (South Carolina Code Section 26-1-120[B][1]). Section 26-1-160 states that performing notarial acts if your commission has expired is a misdemeanor.

Related Articles:

Hotline Tip: How To Properly Destroy An Expired Notary Seal

Additional Resources:

How to Become a Notary Public

Minimize Your Liability

View All: Hotline Tips

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