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 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.

Your choice regarding cookies on this site.

Our web site uses essential cookies to function and to optimize your site experience.
  • Click on the “Accept Optional Cookies” to agree that we may also use cookies to help us enhance site navigation and analyze performance and traffic on our website.
  • Click on the “Reject Optional Cookies” to disable all but essential cookies.
By visiting our website, you agree to our website Terms of Use and Cookie and Privacy Policy.