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Notary Bulletin

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5 things Notaries should always check before the signer leaves

There's nothing as awkward as finishing a notarization, watching the signer walk out the door and then realizing you forgot something.

This checklist can help you make sure you have done everything needed to properly complete a notarization before the signer departs.

1. Is the main body of the document complete with no blank spaces?

During the notarization, take a quick glance at the document to confirm there are no blank spaces. To respect the signer's privacy, you don't need to read through the document in detail, just make sure all necessary information is filled in before finishing.



2. Is the Notary certificate complete with no blank spaces?

One of the most common causes of document rejection is an incomplete Notary certificate. Before finishing the notarization, review the Notary certificate to make sure you have written in all required information and there are no missing sections.



3. Have you proofread the Notary certificate to make sure it is correct?

If the certificate includes misspelled or incorrect information, the notarization's validity could be questioned or outright rejected. Take a few additional moments to proofread the certificate to confirm:

  • The signer's name is spelled correctly and entered in the correct section of the certificate.
  • Your name is spelled correctly and entered in the correct section of the certificate.
  • Your name is written the way it is spelled on your Notary commission — don't use nicknames or abbreviations that don't match the commission name!
  • The venue (the location where the notarization takes place) is correctly listed.
  • The date of the notarization is correct.

4. Are your signature, seal and commission information correctly affixed and legible?

Make sure that your signature and Notary seal are affixed in the proper section of the Notary certificate, and your seal image is not blurry, smeared or covering any document text. If you are in a state that requires you to add your name and commission information to the certificate, confirm they are correct and that your name matches your Notary commission as described in #3 above.





5. Do you have all required information or signatures from the signer for your journal entry?

Be sure that the signer provides you with any information and signatures required for your Notary journal entry. If they leave without providing you with needed details, you will be left with an incomplete journal entry and little or no chance of fixing it once they leave.

To prevent this situation from happening, the NNA suggests filling out the journal entry and obtaining any required journal signatures at the start of the appointment. This will ensure the signer doesn't leave before providing the necessary information.

20 Comments

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Venita B, Timpson

07 Dec 2020

Thank you for this valuable reminder.

Bruce E Pfender

07 Dec 2020

I am looking for some training material with plans to become a notary. I thought I had some some months dack but have not received any.

National Notary Association

11 Dec 2020

Hello. Please see here for more information on how to become a Notary: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/about-notaries/how-to-become-a-notary-public

Thurman C Thompson

07 Dec 2020

Thank you

Linda Millstone

07 Dec 2020

As your example is showing a notarization in the State of California, it is my understanding that the notary must write "Notary Public" after their name.

Alina J. Johnson

07 Dec 2020

I find it helpful to get the MOJO signed first (ID verified) - up front - before proceeding with anything because literally ANYTHING can happen after that, including the signer needing to be somewhere else in the midst of the transaction!

Gilbert R Gomez

07 Dec 2020

Great reminder - Thank you!

Deborah Smith

07 Dec 2020

This is a necessary reminder, the volume I am doing now causes me to move swiftly sometimes missing important steps. Thanks for the reminder.

David A Bailey Jr

08 Dec 2020

Initial lines at the bottom of the lender docs (specifically the note, mortgage, PUD riders, and 1003s. I always flip back through and double-check those as they are easy to miss.

gineng2@aol.com

09 Dec 2020

This is very helpful to me. I am just starting my new venture and can use all the help I can get. Thanks

Yolanda Owens

09 Dec 2020

Very informative.

LOLA K WELTY

09 Dec 2020

Very helpful. Thank you! I am also new to this business and need all the help I can get.

Gary Thornton

09 Dec 2020

Thanks for the update

A Deloris Blair-Cannon

10 Dec 2020

It’s good to be reminded of the steps and the importance of checking the paperwork before leaving a signing.

Tracy S

10 Dec 2020

I always triple check documents before I insert them into the shippng package.

Jonathan Roution

11 Dec 2020

Thank you!

J London

14 Dec 2020

Can you direct me to specific training in the State of Texas for mortgage refinancing?

National Notary Association

14 Dec 2020

Hello. You can find information on NNA training for Texas Signing Agents here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/texas/signing-agent

nsatoiwomack@gmail.com

18 Dec 2020

Thank. Much needed information.

wanda_boyd2003@yahoo.com

01 Jan 2021

Good information. It would be helpful to note that the particulars should be circle and X out, especially for new notaries.

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