The Importance of the Venue on the Notarial Certificate

The venue is the portion of a notarial certificate describing the place where the notarization occurred, usually in the format "State of ___, County of ___". The venue may seem fairly insignificant, but it's actually important. Every notary has a limited jurisdiction in which they can perform notarial duties. In most states, a notary's jurisdiction is limited to the state for which they are appointed. Some states allow their notaries to notarize out of state for documents intended to be used or recorded within the state.

The venue is important because it is a verification that the notary had the authority to perform the notarial act in the location where the notarization took place. It is vital that this information always be correct in a notarial certificate. However, notaries often run into difficulty when the preprinted venue on the notarial certificate does not match the venue where the notary is actually located at the time the notarization is being performed.

In some states, it is standard on real estate documents to place a venue at the top of the document indicating the location of the property involved in the transaction. The notary should not alter this venue. If no separate venue is printed over the notary's certificate, the notary should print or type the appropriate venue immediately above the notarial certificate. If the venue immediately above the certificate is incorrect, the appropriate way to correct it is to simply cross out the incorrect information, print or type the correct venue, and initial the change.

In an affidavit, the venue at the top of the affidavit must be the location where the notarization is being performed. An affidavit is, in itself, the certificate of a notary, and therefore the venue must reflect the notary's venue, even if the affidavit deals with real property.

Of course, always consult your state's laws on issues of jurisdiction.

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. 

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