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Attaching Notary Certificates: Staple or Paper Clip?

New Hotline Resized 3Should I staple or paperclip a Notary certificate to a document when I notarize?  K.H., Pennsylvania

It is the Notary’s responsibility to ensure that the certificate is securely attached only to its intended document. Securely attached means stapled or otherwise bound; it does not include tape, paper clips or binder clips (4 Pa. Code 167.71[c]).  

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

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4 Comments

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Freda Falk

01 Jul 2019

When doing loan signings, Quite often a bank or title co. will specifically state 'Do not Staple any documents'. Should their request be 'ignored' based on the State of California notary requirements?

National Notary Association

01 Jul 2019

Hello. If you receive such instructions, but for some reason need to attach a separate Notary certificate to a document or have another issue with certificate wording on a loan document, you should contact the bank or title company to explain the situation and request instructions.

Linda Caputo

01 Jul 2019

When a document has the notary clause on the next page and there isn't any indication as to the document it is to be a part of, shortly below my notary seal and my signature, I print the name of the document it is to be attached to. This way it can't be used for something else.

BJ Waters

01 Aug 2019

In California, was able to obtain a California All Purpose Acknowledgment online that has "Additional Information" at the bottom left corner. It has space to specify the name of the document, description, the capacity of the signer (individual, corporate etc) and is very handy if you are concerned that someone may remove your notary acknowledgment and place it on another document.

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