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What Should I Do If I Find A Notary Seal That I Reported Lost?

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I lost my seal and reported the fact to the California Secretary of State. However, I found my lost seal at home and never ordered a replacement seal. Am I able to still use my original seal, or do I have to get a replacement? — B.M., California

While this situation is not specifically addressed in California statute, ask yourself the following two questions: (1) Are you 100% sure the seal was not out of your possession? (2) Could the seal have been used for a fraudulent purpose and then placed back where you could locate it afterwards? Since you can’t answer either question in the affirmative, the safest practice is to destroy the misplaced seal and obtain a new one. We’d also recommend writing the Secretary of State to say you subsequently found and destroyed the misplaced seal, and asking the Secretary to send a new Certificate of Authorization to Manufacture Notary Public Seals so that you can obtain a replacement seal.

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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