Everyone knows notaries sign and stamp documents. That’s it, right? Nope! Notaries are responsible for following state protocols detailing how, when and where to apply a notary stamp. These details are reflected on the notary certificate. Here’s an overview of the essential elements of the notary certificate.
The notary certificate that is attached to the document, serves as a record of where the notarization occurred and the person (or people) who appeared before the notary (aka the “principal” or “signer”). As Proper Sign point out:
Because of the legal weight attached to a notarized document, the notary public must follow a procedure to deter fraud or ensure the singer is of sound mind. The notarial act must be evidenced by a certificate, so notaries must ensure the correct language is on or attached to the document and indicates which notarial ceremony was performed. The secretary of state sets specific requirements on each notarial certificate’s wording, so the language may vary depending on your commissioning state. As more states pass remote online notarization laws, new verbiage to reflect the change is added.
Just as each state has specific requirements pertaining to notary bonds, states have specifications for notary seals—and the details that must be included on a notary certificate. Although specifications for certificates vary by state, typically, these nine elements are addressed on the notary certificate:
- Venue. The place where the notarization takes place or the location of the notary at the time of remote notarization.
- Type of notarial act — subtle wording like “sworn to” (oath) or “acknowledge” (acknowledgment) will indicate the required notarial ceremony.
- In-person or remote. The notary must indicate if there was a traditional in-person ceremony or remote online notarization.
- Date of the notarization.
- The name of the principal or person whose signature is being notarized.
- The type of identification. The notary marks whether the principal’s identity was confirmed based on personal knowledge or examination of an acceptable form of identification.
- The notary’s signature (exactly as it appears on his or her commission certificate).
- The notary’s name is printed, typed, or stamped below the signature.
- The notary’s official seal.
Attention To Details
The public relies on notaries to pay attention to details, such as properly checking the identification of those signing documents, carefully completing notarial certificates and ensuring their notary bonds are kept up to date and in compliance with state protocols. Here’s another important detail for notaries to pay attention to: notary bonds are required by states as an important protection for the public, but do not protect the notary from the everyday risks associated with their duties, such as claims of negligence, mistakes, oversights and missed deadlines. To protect notaries from these kinds of claims, E&O Insurance is essential. Conveniently, whether you need to obtain or renew your notary bond, you can now take advantage of Colonial’s complete and affordable Notary Package, which even includes Cyber Insurance! Don’t let an oversight or breach spiral into a disaster. Perform your duties with confidence, armed with our Notary Package which includes:
- A Notary Bond written to the specific requirements of your state.
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