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How do I fill out an Illegible Notary Seal Declaration?

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My seal impression had too much ink making parts of it unable to read. I have been asked to fill out a form called an Illegible Notary Seal Declaration and I’m not sure how to answer the questions on the form.A.L., California

The document in question is called an Illegible Notary Seal Declaration, or Certificate of Illegibility and is specific to California (Government Code 27361.7). A California County Recorder may request this form when the Notary seal information on the certificate is not legible. Without knowing the county that is requiring you to complete an Illegible Notary Seal Declaration and seeing the form, we can’t advise you how to complete it. With the Declaration in front of you, you can call our Hotline and one of our Hotline staff can assist you. You may also reach out to the specific County Recorder’s office to make sure you are completing the form as they expect.

For tips on dealing with smudge or illegible Notary seals in other states, please see our article and video, “How to fix a bad Notary seal impression.”

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 consultants 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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Alisha Kocjan

30 Aug 2023

I just tried to send a tax-exempt certificate. The customer service rep I spoke with earlier today said to send it to I am receiving a message saying that my email was rejected/blocked. What is the email to send my tax-exempt certificate to?

National Notary Association

05 Sep 2023

Hello. Please call our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 to speak to a representative and ask for instructions.

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