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Notary Bulletin

Can A Notary Affix A Partial Seal Impression To A Document?

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My business had a document signed and notarized in Oregon. The Notary placed the document and the acknowledgment side by side when she used her stamp so half the stamp imprint is on our signed document and half on the acknowledgment. Is this legal in Oregon?S.R., California

Yes, provided one full impression of the official stamp appears on the notarial certificate near the Notary's signature. Oregon Administrative Code Section 160-100-0110(4) states, "When a notarial certificate is on a separate piece of paper attached to the tangible record to be notarized, or when there are attachments to the tangible record to be notarized, a notary public may use one additional imprint of the notary public's official stamp to mark for identification the tangible record or attachment, if the imprint does not make any part of the record or attachment illegible. The additional stamp will be partially stamped on the notarial certificate, and partially on the record or attachment to the notarized record."

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, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.


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14 Nov 2016

Does this apply to any other state? (I am in Washington, but imagine others would be interested.)

National Notary Association

16 Nov 2016

Hello Hugh. The procedure described in the Hotline Tip is specifically authorized in Oregon, but not in Washington state.

Elsie Horst

14 Nov 2016

Can this be done when performing a notarization in California?

National Notary Association

16 Nov 2016

Hi, Elsie. No, this is a procedure specific to Oregon. The CA Secretary of State's office stated in its 2014 Notary Newsletter: "Your official seal must be placed in its entirety on the same page as the notarial certificate. Do not place an impression of the seal on every page of a document or fan the pages of the document and place an impression of the seal across all pages."

Dina Lam

14 Nov 2016

Is this procedure only for Oregon state? Can we do this in other state also? i.e. in Hawaii can I do this when there are multiple sheets?

National Notary Association

16 Nov 2016

Hello Dina. The procedure described in the Hotline Tip is specific to Oregon and is not authorized in Hawaii.


23 Jun 2020

Would this be allow in California using an embosser instead?

National Notary Association

26 Jun 2020

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

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