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Can I use a paperclip to attach a Notary certificate?

Photo of woman with long dark hair on phone. She is looking at papers in her hand. Text on image reads NNA Hotline Tip.

Is attaching a paperclip onto the notarized document with the jurat or acknowledgment sufficient? I know that stapling is the most secure or preferable way to attach a loose-leaf certificate to a document. In case I am in a bind, may I use a paperclip?E.B., California

The California Secretary of State’s office has clarified when a Notary is ‘attaching’ a certificate to a document they are notarizing, the certificate must be stapled to the document.

“Both the certificate of acknowledgment and the jurat must be endorsed on or stapled to the instrument. Taping or paper-clipping the certificate of acknowledgment or jurat to the document is not permitted” (2018 CA Notary Newsletter). The newsletter can be downloaded here.

For additional information, please see our article “When to use a separate (or loose) Notary certificate.”

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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Rosa Maria Lagarda de Shammas

26 Feb 2024

very important information. thanks


21 Mar 2024

Do you realize how impractical is the answer that was provided to that question? When you are completing load documents, the signing/title/escrow company will never hire you again if you use any staples or even paper clips in the documents. Please clarify this part.

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