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 seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information and ideas for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary educations, and securing their notary supplies but makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained . Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.

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.