The Proper Steps to Notarize Something

Law & Government

While there are required courses to become a notary, few states offer practical advice on delivering a notary signature. If you’ve recently finished your education and have a thorough understanding of the law, but not how to sign, handle the signature process in real-life situations. Here are the basic steps you need to follow to complete a notarization. 

Set Up an In-Person Visit

In most locations, the Secretary of State sets regulations that require the singer to appear before you in person. This is because having them appear in person protects you, the signer, and anyone else relying on you from potential fraud cases and liability. Plus, it gives you access to the materials you need to complete the rest of the steps. 

Read the Document

Your first step should always be to read the document and look for the type of notarization required, required document elements, blank spaces, the date, and the signer’s name. Note, this doesn’t mean you should read the document and memorize all the details. Instead, skim it to gather any necessary information. 

Identify the Signer

Identifying who is signing the document is the most crucial step. There are three primary methods that you can use to identify someone including, your personal knowledge, photographic identification, and credible witnesses. It is important to remember that this step is required no matter who is signing the document or what type of notarization they require. 

Record the Occurrence

To meet state regulations, you will need to keep a journal log of all your notarizations. Aside from meeting regulations, this can help you defend yourself if anything about this occurrence is questioned later. Note, it is good to do this before signing a document because it allows you to collect any information you need with ease. 

Complete the Signature

If the document contains instructions on the type of notarization required, perform the task. While you do this, ensure the details you need are correct. For instance, the correct location is the place where you notarized the document. Otherwise, ask the client which one is required and describe the various types to ensure they get what they need. If neither of you can identify what type is required, have them contact an attorney and return at a later time. 

If you’ve come out of the training to become a notary and still feel overwhelmed, you are not alone. Following these steps will help you get on the right track with your new business. 

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