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Can I Ask A Notary For A Corrected Certificate?

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I have a Quitclaim Deed that was recorded with incorrect information. In order for this to be corrected, the County Recorder is requesting an acknowledgment for the deed so that it can be re-recorded with the correct information. I've been requesting this from the Notary who notarized the original document and provided her with a copy of the Quitclaim she notarized, but she is refusing to complete the acknowledgment.  – J.W., California

The Notary cannot send you a new acknowledgment certificate without having the original Quitclaim Deed returned. According to the Secretary of State of California, if a document or Notary certificate is incorrect, the Notary must notarize the document again, which means the signers have to appear before the Notary with the original document. Then the Notary can re-notarize the signature on the document. The Notary must make a new journal entry. Below is some information from the Secretary of State’s Newsletter for 2015 page 5:

“Correcting a Notarial Act: There are no provisions in the law that allow for the correction of a completed notarial act. If you discover an error in a notarial act after completing the act, then notarize the signature on the document again. All requirements for notarization are required for the new notarial act, including completing and attaching a new certificate containing the date of the new notarial act and completing a new journal entry.”

In addition, the following statement is provided in the 2015 Notary Public Handbook, page 12: “Note: An acknowledgment cannot be affixed to a document mailed or otherwise delivered to a Notary Public whereby the signer did not personally appear before the Notary Public, even if the signer is known by the Notary Public.”

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 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

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18 Jan 2016

These notary bulletin pages NEVER display properly, Firefox or Edge. What is the issue?

National Notary Association

19 Jan 2016

Hello. All of our Bulletin articles should be available to the public with no restrictions. If you've encountered an error that is blocking your ability to read our articles, please email us at with a description of the problem and what type of device you are using, and we'll try to help you resolve the issue. Thanks and sorry for any inconvenience.

Jackie Pratt

23 Jan 2016

Complete a new acknowledgment to the corrected deed

Juan R. Roldan

08 Mar 2016

Asking me to get a document notarized without at least one of the signing parties present is the problem that I encounter the most. I am retired now. A couple of years ago while I was still working in one occasion my supervisor ordered me to notarize a document that was already signed (not in my presence) by one of the two signing parties. I retired from a semi-military government organization. My supervisor couldn't or didn't wanted to understand that he was giving me an illegal order. I refused his order again and explained to him that the rules by which a notary public abide come from the governors office therefore superseding any order from any local command. I didn't notarized the document. He later found someone else to do it for him. I ended facing discipline for insubordination. It wasn't much, just a verbal counsel in my record. This incident is the one I remember the most every time I'm faced again with this problem. Bit this is why I like to educate my clients if I feel necessary to do so.

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