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Is It Illegal For A Notary To Read A Signer's Document?

Is it illegal for a Notary Public to read the full document before providing the Notary service?R.L., Texas

No, it is not illegal; however, the Notary should not read the documents they notarize because it is unnecessary and could possibly be a violation of the signer’s privacy. You may scan over the document to obtain the information you need for your journal entry of the notarization.

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, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

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Paula Buehrer

15 Feb 2021

I renewed my Notary in June 2020. Due to COVID & many shut downs I have not had to use it. I had covid myself & double pneumonia which caused a delay in getting the background check. I know I still need to meet this condition but am I eligible to notarize prior to obtaining the background check. I have something to notarize now but I didn't want to without the background check if that was absolutely necessary. Please advise. Thanks. Paula J. Buehrer

National Notary Association

05 Mar 2021

Hello. If your previous commission has expired and you have not completed the renewal process or received your new commission, you should not notarize again until you receive your new commission.

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