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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 for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. 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 notaries' best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, 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 in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states' notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

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.