Steps to a Proper Notarization

Notaries should follow proper procedures to minimize any risk of liability for an improper notarial act and reduce opportunities for fraud. With every notarization, the notary should use precise measures to:

  • insist on the personal appearance of the signer at the time the notary act takes place;

  • establish clearly the identity of the signer(s) using proper identification techniques;

  • ascertain that the document is complete, with no blank spaces, and is dated no later than the date of the notarial act;

  • determine that the signer understands and is willingly signing the document being executed;

  • administer an appropriate oath or take the acknowledgment of those signing the document;

  • enter the transaction in the notarial journal,

  • act as a completely impartial witness with no involvement whatsoever in the transaction taking place; and

  • maintain privacy and confidentiality regarding the transaction at all times.

If you are unsure about proper procedures to take, join the American Association of Notaries and take advantage of our notary professionals standing by to help you! Our members know they can count on us!

Legal Disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information. However, it is important to note that the information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss, or consequential loss, out of or in connection with the use of the information contained on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions. 

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.