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5 Things To Remember When Preparing For Your First Notarization

5 Things To Remember When Preparing For Your First Notarization

Updated 11-19-19. You’ve just received your Notary commission and you’ve scheduled your first notarization. But do you still feel nervous? If so, you're not alone. Here are 5 tips to help new Notaries from our expert NNA Hotline counselors:

1. Bring your Notary reference books and materials with you.

Having your state Notary handbook or NNA Notary Law Primer handy can mean the difference between a smooth, first notarization and having to reschedule or stop altogether. With information on your state laws and official procedures at your fingertips, you’ll have easy access to the answers to any questions that might come up while notarizing. And if you’re unsure you’re following proper procedure, your reference books can make sure you don’t accidentally forget anything important.

If you're an NNA member, you can also enter the NNA Hotline number in your phone contacts so that if any questions come up during the notarization, you can call one of our counselors for help. 

2. Don’t forget your seal and journal.

These are vital tools of your trade — before you set out on your first assignment, be sure you have them with you. If you have an ink seal, be sure that it has enough ink to make a clear seal impression.

3. Bring blank copies of the correct notarial certificate wording for different acts.

If the signer’s document doesn’t have preprinted certificate wording, or it has notarial wording from another state that you aren’t authorized to use, you will need to complete and attach a separate certificate with the correct wording to the document to complete the notarization. Having copies of the correct wording for your state’s notarial acts can save both you and the signer valuable time and avoid the need to postpone or reschedule the notarization.

4. Don’t forget a stapler.

Bringing preprinted notarial wording won’t do you any good if you can’t attach it to the document. In addition to your notarial certificates, be sure to have a portable stapler. Before the appointment, make sure that it has staples.

5. Carry extra pens with you.

You can’t finish the notarization if nobody has a pen, or your pen runs out of ink during the notarization. Always be sure to carry plenty of extra pens in the event a spare is needed. Good luck.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.



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Patricia Adams

28 Aug 2017

Why is this required?


28 Aug 2017

just trying to read article


14 Sep 2019

Thank you for all the tips and information you always provide. I always refer to the reference materials that I have gotten through my NNA membership as well as the Hotline. I am a much more knowledgeable and confident Notary.

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