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Frequently Asked Questions



Got a notary question?  Think you can stump us?  Put it here, and put us to the test.  We take seriously our answers, and always research your state laws and statutes before posting them.  We will respond as quickly as possible.  As soon as we find another Twinkie...


"To be on a a quest is nothing more or less than to become an asker of questions"      - Sam Keen



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  Where it says" notary public in and for the state of Colorado, residing at________. What does residing at mean? Answer  
  Would it be beneficial for me (a notary in Alabama) to attend a seminar in another state? I just joined, and there is no seminar in my area any time soon. Answer  
  I attended your seminar some time ago and received a 6-page handout "Notarizing Made Simple." This is an excellent tool and I would like to know if it is available to purchase separately for other notaries and, if so, at what price? Answer  
  Can I notarize a document and sent it electronically via email? Answer  
  If you move to another county in the same state do you have to register your signature again in the new county too? or does the move affect it at all? Answer  
  To get my stamp. What part of the Certificate from the State do I mail you. Do I mail the original? Answer  
  What is a notary public commision number? Answer  
  How do I change my name to my new married name on my notary seal. Who do I notify? Answer  
  What is the difference between a "Notary" and a "Notary-at-large"? Answer  
  When and where do I fill out the application for notary? Answer  
  When do i need to renew my commission and do i need to attend another training course for this? Answer  


  What forms of identification are legal in the State of Alabama? Answer  
  Which of the following may a notary public copy certify. Answer  
  Am I allowed to notarize (jurat) a court deposition? a will? Also, how do I recognize a document that is a public record? Answer  
  In a recent question, I had asked you if it was acceptable for my company to charge a notary fee for those who are non-members and not charge a fee for those who are. Your response indicated that it was not, but I was confused with regards to one part of your answer. It read: "If you instead, catergorize the transactions as business related or non-business related you can than charge fees accordingly." I just wasn't sure what was meant by a business related or non-business related notarization. Could you clarify? Thank you very much! Answer  
  I work for my father-in-law, who at times needs documents notarized. I can't find anything in the Tennessee statues prohibiting me from notarizing the documents. Can anyone else confirm that I can in fact notarize his signature? Answer  
  Our business purchased modular homes at auction in another state and the resulting bills of sale & purchase agreements have been mailed back and forth to acquire the appropriate signatures between our purchasing rep and their selling rep; however the docs must be notarized. Neither myself nor our purchasing agent personally witnessed the other's signature, however we do recognize it to belong to the seller. What is the best way to deal with a situation such as this in regards to notarial certificates? Answer  
  If their are two signatures that need to be notarized on the document and only one signer is present to have their signature notarized can i notarize the document and if this is acceptable how would i apply the notary seal on the document? a seperate certificate? Answer  
  Hello! The Notary Public Manual in Connecticut states that the secondary form of I.D. we can accept would include a current document by an institution or business entitiy. I typically use a client's signed credit card-is that acceptable? Just how inclusive are the terms institution and business entity? I have used signed AAA (Auto Club) cards. Would this type of card or others (work I.D.'s, etc.) be included as either a business entity or an institution document? Also, what about certain credit cards or other I.D. that have a signature but no expiration date? Could these be used? Answer  
  The Connecticut Notary Public Manual says that when answering an oath, the individual should say "I do." I'm assuming that this exact wording is not required, is that correct? Could they also answer "yes", "sure do", etc., as long as I discern that they are answering affirmatively? Also do the words "upon the pains and penalties of perjury or false statement", or something similar have to be used?Additionally, if they do not answer verbally, maybe they just nod yes, do I have to tell them they must answer verbally and/or readminister the oath? And finally, if somebody starts signing before the oath is done, do I have to readminister it and have them sign again? Thank you very much! You guys have been a great help! Answer  
  As a notary in the state of CT, I have looked over my notary journal regarding notarial acts for minors, but I still had a question. What if the child we are notarizing for has no I.D. and does not personally know a notary? Am I allowed to perform a notarization w/o any I.D. for a minor? Or what if someone, an adult, only has one form of I.D.- the notary manual says I need two. What am I allowed to do? Answer  
  The Notary Public manual in CT says that both forms of I.D. must be "current". How do you think this would be defined? What if someone had an I.D. with their signature, perhaps even a photo, but it is not dated? For instance, a department store credit card or another card that has their name and signature, but no expiration or start date on it. Could this be considered "current"? If not, what would I do if they had no other secondary form of I.D. and did not personally know a notary? Answer  
  I have read your information on knowing what a document is, not what it says, and had some questions. Should I not be looking at the contents of a document at all? Am I allowed to administer a jurat even if I happen to see that parts of a document are not completed or blank spots are not filled in? Isn't that what they are swearing/affirming to? Or if parts are not filled in or filled out correctly is that just the signer's problem? Answer  
  Am I allowed to attach a seperate piece of paper with the notarial wording, my signature, and seal, on the document with the person's signature? If so, does it matter how its attached (staple, paper clip, adhesive, etc.)? Answer  
  I am an Idaho notary. Idaho law provides we can notarize within the state of Idaho and outside Idaho on documents to be admitted/recorded in Idaho. My question is, if I am in Oregon notarizing a deed or other document to be recorded in Boise, Idaho, how should the State of *, County of * be styled--State of Idaho, County of Ada? Answer  
  Can a will be notorized? Answer  
  Does Colorado allow notaries to take copies of an original birth certificate and certify the copies? Answer  
  A car title that has been faxed.... is it OK for me to notarize? Answer  
  I am a notary in the state of New Hampshire. Do I ONLY use my notary stamp/seal when the document specifies or do I use the stamp/seal EVERY time I notarize? Answer  
  Is it appropriate for someone who writes a loan, let's say a veh loan,to notarize their own work? Answer  
  I'm taking your course right now and have a question about witnesses. Many documents I see have blanks for one or two witnesses. Must I always have witnesses if the attorney put those blanks in the document, even if i know the signer personally, or the signer has sufficient identification? Answer  
  Would you please let me know if notaries can sign the form ( I -134 of Immigration) Answer  
  How do I write a notarized statement? Answer  
  As a notary in Connecticut, I know that we are not permitted to perform any notorial acts involving original birth, death, and marriage certificates or photocopies of such public records. Does this also apply to social security cards? Am I permitted to make a photocopy of the social security card and put the person under oath to attest that it is a true copy of the original? Answer  
  Contract from Russia is written in English and must be notarize by a person in the U.S., then sent back to Russia. If the person signing it understands the document, is it ok for me to notarize the document? Every thing I found in the Notary books pointed me to yes, but I just wanted to make sure. Answer  
  What is the proper procedure for notarizing a petition? Answer  
  Can a notary notorize a last will & testament from another state. My boss lives in my state but the will he wants me to notarize is from another state. Answer  
  How much can you charge for Notary services? Answer  
  Can a notary notarize her husband's signature in Montana? Answer  
  How do you notarize title transfers for a vehicle Answer  
  Can a document that has been received via email be notarized? Answer  
  I had someone call me to ask where they would get a thumbprint type of notarization. Is that something that I as a notary should do or would they have to go to the police department to get that done? Answer  
  Can you notarize for members of your family? Answer  
  I work in a military organization, and someone said they thought that all military officers can serve as notaries, for military and their dependents. I looked in Title X and couldn't figure out whether or not that was true. Can you advise? Thanks!! Answer  
  Can a notary do a signature guarantee? Answer  
  I am in Colorado, is there anything stating that I should not be a notary for family? Answer  
  Can a notary use a signature stamp to officially sign when notarizing instead of actually signing? Answer  

     Types of Notarizations

  Can you notarize a jurat for a person if they are not present but have given power of attorney to someone? Answer  
  If there is a document (such as a vehicle title) that requires a jurat, can I administer an oath if the paperwork is not filled in completely or some of the questions or spots for information on it have not been completed or filled in? For example, a vehicle title may have a spot to input vehicle mileage, seller/buyer info, etc. Do these all need to be filled in before I can adminster an oath and complete a jurat? Answer  
  I have recently notorized 25 individual "Biography Affidavits" for my company. All of these documents get attached to every Application for Intermediary/Broker Licenses which are sent to each state's insurance department. Am I within PA's Notary Law if I notorize only one original per person (25), retain the original and send out certified copies with each license application? Will each state insurance department accept these certified copies? Answer  
  Dear Sirs, Recently a title company insisted that I issue an All Purpose Acknowledgment for a Security Deed for a property located in GA. However, I notarized the Security Deed in the state of TN. The act took place on 12-18-03, in Jan of 2004 they demanded that I issue an APA for the Security Deed that was executed in Dec. The title person insisted that there was incorrect wording in the language of the Security Deed and that I must provide them the APA. She and several of her co workers have been relentless in their pursuit of trying to persuade me that this is "a perfectly legal and acceptable document" Is this true? There was no error in the proper notarization of the document in Dec of 2003. One employee of the title company said that there was an error in the Security Deed's language while another said that their coworker was confused that there is no error they "just need the APA" What is your opinion regarding this? Thank you for your assistance and I value your opinion highly. Answer  
  I just want to make sure I am asking the proper questions when handling acknowledgements and jurats. Before signing, I ask them: Is this signature your free act and deed? Then I ask: Are you signing the document for the purpose stated in the document? If an acknowledgement, that is all I ask. If a jurat, I also ask: Do you swear or affirm the statements made in this document are true? Does this sound correct and is it all that is necessary to ask? Thank you very much! Answer  
  When it says that a signer acknowledges their signature to us, what does this actually mean and/or require of the signer? Answer  
  What exactly does it mean for somebody to acknowledge their signature? Answer  
  As long as I verify identity and competence of the signer, is it correct that I do not have to ask any specific questions to the person if doing an acknowledgement ( I just fill out the notorial certificate)? And if a jurat notarization, is the only question I have to ask just the oath/affirmation? Answer  
  Does an individual put under oath in Connecticut have to raise their right hand, since the manual seems to say this is required? I didn't think they had to? Answer  
  In Idaho, an affidavit starts out with the caption, followed by the State of Idaho, County of Ada, and then the body of the affidavit--"John Doe, being first duly sworn, states . . . ." My question is, for the jurat, does the State of Idaho, County of Ada need to be repeated preceding the "Subscribed and sworn to" language or does the one at the beginning of the affiant's statements suffice to establish jurisdiction? Answer  
  If there is not a place on a document to notarize, can I add an attachment? If so, what must the attachment state so that it refers to the document being notarized? Answer  
  I don't notorize very often, so it never comes as second nature to me. Is there one type of notorial act that is the best to do everytime? Answer  
  What is the difference between jurat and acknowledgement Answer  
  I was recently asked to notarize a document which required a jurat. The person before me had already signed it, so I checked his ID, had him sign my journal, and administered the oath. I then asked him to sign the document again in my presence. Was that the correct way to handle this situation? Answer  
  How do I correct a document if I dated it wrong. Answer  

     Tools and Essentials

  I am in Minnesota where the statute does not specifically state that we must keep a journal but I have been told it is a good idea anyway. What do you suggest? Answer  
  I have a new job and would like to keep my Notary. Do I need to change the addres to my new work address or can I make my home address the address I use? Answer  
  In the notary journal you provide, what should be put on the line for date of document? What if there is no specific date on the document? Answer  
  At the end of the venu wording there are two "SS", what does that denote? Answer  
  Do you do company seminars for a group of 20 or more? Answer  
  can I just go forward a bit at a time or must I complete all three hours in one sitting? Answer  
  What types of affidavits require a notary, and which do not? Why is there a difference, and does a notary generally have any real effect on the validity of the statements contained in the affidavit? Ultimately, anyone can lie as to the truth of thier statements. What are the consequences for someone who is not truthfull in an affidavit? Answer  
  Where do I get a renewal application for a Notary in Pennsylvania? Answer  
  Where can I get a copy of preprinted notary forms Answer  
  Could providing a set of standard/guidelines/job aide, in an attempt to improve consistency at our company, be viewed by individual Notary's as an employer dicating to employees what they (Notaries) can, should or will notarize? Answer  
  Do you carry a "My Commission Expires __________" stamps? Answer  
  Regarding your on line self study course, how does that work once you've signed up? Do you wait for something in the mail? Answer  
  Can I also be a notary in a neighboring state? Can I order Self study training without signing up with another years membership, or would that be applied to adding on another year of memebership? Answer  
  Is the Full Self Study Course accecptable in the State of Conn? Answer  
  Do you have any information or contact information for institutions using or needing mortgage closers. I finally received a reply from one office locally, but I don't want to wait several months for someone to get around to contacting me again. I appreciate any information you can give me with regard to additional training, contacts, etc. Answer  
  I am called by a signer to notarize signatures on 4 documents, 1 Jurat and 4 Acknowledgements. Do I have the signer sign my journal 5 times for documents, or once only? I have a NLI Journal and love it, so how do I proceed? Thank you. Answer  
  How do I fill out the dates on the Notary Public Bond? Answer  
  Is The Notory subscription free with membership? Answer  
  Do you carry Notary Seal Stamps? Answer  
  A Colorado notary has recently married. Can she continue to sign and use her seal in her maiden name until a new certificate and seal arrive? Answer  


  Errors & Omissions- is this necessary to have? Answer  
  My place of employment has the policy of not charging a notary fee for those who are members, and charging $3.00 per signature for non-members. Is this acceptable? If so, is there a maximum amount the company is allowed to charge? Answer  
  I meant to ask, can anyone help me with some tax questions regarding notary income? Answer  
  Hello! A few questions about accepting i.d.'s. First, what if an individual's i.d. has a signature that is faded or partly worn off? Are we able to accept such an i.d. as proof? Or say an individual forgot to sign their card or it's signature has worn off- is it acceptable to have them sign it right in front of us and then use it as an acceptable form of i.d.? And finally, if someone from the military presents us with an expired driver's license (which I believe may be acceptable if they are in the military), can this be used as an acceptable i.d., or does it even matter if an i.d. is expired or not? Answer  
  If a document was notarized, and afterwards the individual finds that it has been completed incorrectly or certain spots were not filled in, is that document's notarization still valid? What if the individual makes changes to the document- is the notarization still valid? Answer  
  I have received a document from a client without the notarization. If I get his verbal assurance over the phone that he signed it, and having previous record of his signature, and personal knowledge of him, can I perform the notarization? Answer  
  What if people doesn't want to sign what you ask for? What should you do? Answer  
  I have been asked to notarize a document transfering ownership of a house to her heir prior to her death (one owner, one heir). Her current will leaves the house to the sole heir, however they would like this done immediately due to the woman's failing health and the possibility of entering a nursing home. The owner will be signing the document, but "won't know what she's signing". The daughter has POA, but her attorney recommends the mother sign instead. Should I notarize this? Answer  
  Is it true that there are certain "places" to stamp my seal? If so, I heard there are massive fines if stamped in the wrong place. For example, I heard that a stamp touching a line could result in fines. Answer  
  Can I accept an EXPIRED driver's license to verify identity? I'd probably ask for a couple of other forms of identification as well. Answer  
  What is the bond form? Answer  
  What if I lost/misplaced my stamp or it is stolen? Answer  
  I witnessed a signature of a lady who worked in my office last year on a Loan and Security Agreement and Disclosure Statement. She was clearly identified as 'Borrower 1' on the document. See signed her name on the 'Borrower 1' signature line. I signed my name under hers, identified myself as a Notary Public, checked the Witness box under my name, stamped near my name with my seal and wrote in 'State of Colorado, County of Mesa' and my commission expiration date. It later came to my attention that a 'Borrower 2' signature (supposidly her husband's signature) was made in the Borrower 2 section of the document and a signature showing my name was placed under that signature. That signature in the borrower 2 section was not stamped with my seal nor any of the other wording. The lender made this loan. Now the husband says he did not sign as borrower 2 and they are trying to come after me for signing my name under that signture when he did not appear in front of me. It appears the wife (Borrower 1) forged his name and my name under that signature. She committed suicide one month after this loan was made. I now have to try to prove that I did not sign my name in the Borrower 2 section. My notary journal only indicates that I witnessed her signature on that day; but I do not keep a very detailed record of every transaction. I recorded her name, the date of the transaction and a brief description of the documents. Someone submitted a complaint about this to the Secretary of the State of Colorado. I sent in my response to them over a month ago and have still not heard back from them. Do you have any suggestions for me? Answer  
  Though a CA notary can notarize for doc destined for another state, if that state's wording is not CA compliant, do you attach a loose cert? Answer  
  I am a new notary in CA. If a document lacks the notary section and has no space for a stamp, we were taught to attach a loose certificate. Wouldn't it be better to stamp and fill out the back of the document instead, to prevent someone from detaching the loose certificate? Answer  
  I have a client, who has a General Power of Attorney from her father to her. Her father is in a nursing home and can't come to my office. He wishes to sign the title to his car releasing it to his daughter. His signature requires a notary. Can the daughter sign for her father in my presence- I notarize her signature and advise her to attach a copy of the POA with the title? - Thanks, Dale Linnabary Answer  
  I am from the state of Wyoming, what are the guidelines for notarizing a minors signature (Power of Attorney) Answer  
  I work at an area Local Union and I am asked frenquently to notarize loan papers from our Credit Union downstairs. They bring up the papers to me already signed by the members and I have been told by my bosses that its ok for me to notarize them without seeing the members that THEY know them and they are Members, so its ok for me to do this. As a notary shouldnt I see them in person and ask for a photo id, and see them sign the paperwork before me? What can I do as an employee of a company and as a notary? Answer  
  A co-worker who I've known for a year asked me to notarize some paperwork relating to life insurance, but it was in her maiden name and she had never had it changed. What should I have done? Answer  
  What is the Notary's liability for misconduct and what does it encompasss - negiligent and/or intentional acts? Answer  
  As a Notary, may I keep a notarization open until all signers have appeared or would I perform just the person who is present? Answer  
  Once in a while I find the following wording in an Acknowledgement: "...and that the same is [blank] free act and deed." What is the [blank] for? The whole clause seems unnecessary. Answer  
  Being a notary in my workplace, are there any notary laws/practices the company can determine. Such as when using a drivers license for identification it must NOT be expired? Or require the person to sign in the presence of the notary in ALL cases, even acknowledgements? Answer  
  Can we refuse to notatize a document that is typed in the name of Michael Smith and he signs the document as James Smith? His Identification says Michael J. Smith. Answer  
  I live in Illinois. Am I correct in notarizing a family member as long as I am not a beneficiary to the transaction? Answer  
  I work for a Government enity in Montana, they paid for the bond and supplies for 5 of us to do notaries. my question is : we charge for notaries and the payment goes into the general fund. I have read other questions where the notaries is susposed to get the fee etc.. is this the same for Govemernment enitites? Answer  
  I know that the Notary is resonsible for the notorizations that they do but is an employeer liable for notarizations done outside of work times? (i.e. weekends) Is the employeer really liable for notarizations done during work hours. Answer