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Do I Need To Cross Out Extra Wording On Notary Certificates?

New Hotline Resized 3Do I need to cross out any unnecessary pronouns listed in California Notary acknowledgment certificates?  A.W., California

No, the pronouns (“he/she/they”) do not need to be crossed out. In fact, they are required to be included in the certificate wording.   

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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Wayne H Haug

30 Aug 2019


Leanne Hendricks

04 Oct 2019

This must be something new for California & I will make note of it. I remember at many NNA seminars the instructors would tell us to cross out the unnecessary pronouns. At the most recent seminar I attended in the fall of 2019, I do not recall being instructed not to cross them out.

Len Taylor

14 Oct 2019

There is an example of a completed notary acknowledgment in the CA Notary Public Handbook that shows the inapplicable pronouns crossed-out. Since it is not listed as a requirement, it must be optional? And, with the new "X" gender for CA ID's, the "is/are" pronouns appear to be the only ones that can be identified when we assist an "X" unless the notarial wording is going to change too. In my opinion, underlining "is" and crossing out "are" could help prevent an additional party's name from being added to an acknowledgment in cases where only one person acknowledged signing.

Oleg Shishko

31 Jul 2021

Interesting... I am now going through NNA's loan signing course. It actually instructs to cross out the pronouns on the Deed of Trust. I guess this is optional then.

National Notary Association

07 Sep 2021

Yes, crossing out the pronounces is optional. (In California, we recommend NOT crossing out the pronouns)


16 Sep 2021

In CA here. What about when attorneys prepare and prefill notarial certificates included in a trust package for example. They like to omit the unnecessary pronouns, so instead of it saying "he/she/they", they only write "he", and also omit the (s) at the end of "person (s)", all the rest of the wording is identical. My guess is to make it look cleaner, but are they allowed to do that? Does that make the certificate non-compliant in the state of CA?

National Notary Association

29 Sep 2021

This is not allowed, because the certificate must contain all information (no matter how small) that is required by law in California Civil Code section 1189 [a]3 and California Government Code 8202[d]

D. Dickey

22 Apr 2022

No circling or crossing out any of the pronoun verbiage you can just move on with your life as of 2018 law passed by Governor Newsome.

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