Common Notary Mistakes and Errors


Notarization is a highly sensitive process that requires notaries to pay meticulous attention to facts and figures. Even a small mistake or error can trigger a series of mistakes along the way. Here are a few mistakes notaries should avoid at all cost:


Ignoring the certificate wording

Notaries often make the mistake of not reading the certificate wording before verifying signatures. One common mistake that notaries make in this regard is writing his/her name in the blank space meant for the name of the signer. Notaries should make sure that they understands the terms clearly and enter necessary information in an accurate manner.


Jumbling different notarial acts

Most notaries mix up acknowledgments and jurat, which are not interchangeable notarial acts. If a document requires parties to “affirm” or “swear” in the notary's presence, the notary has to create a jural instead of an acknowledgment. Mixing up notarial acts often lead to legal hurdles, and can call for re-notarization. Notaries should, therefore, ensure that instructions are followed and the right notarial act is performed.


Entering the wrong venue

The venue mentioned on a certificate is the place where the notary certifies the documents. But most notaries make the mistake of entering the wrong venue on the certificate, which creates a hassling time for people. Notaries should, therefore, ensure that the certificates have the correct venue address before they are sent to the concerned parties so as to avoid re-printing and re-notarizing the document.


Entering the wrong date

One of the most common errors made by notaries is entering the wrong date of notarization or post-dating a document or certificate. Doing so can lead to unnecessary certificate re-printing or re-notarizing needs or cause a dispute in the future. Notaries should check the calendar and ensure that the notarization date is entered correctly in the certificate.

Ignoring physical presence

Physical presence of parties signing a document is mandatory, except in few situations when an individual is an agent of the principal. But, most notaries ignore this mandate and certify documents without the physical presence of the signing parties. This may not only lead to frauds but also jeopardize the authority of the notary public.


Not asking for proper identification

Last but certainly not the least, most notaries make a serious mistake of not verifying the identities of signing parties with proper ID proofs. Doing so not only increases the risks of frauds but also elicit legal actions against the notary public. Therefore, notaries should ensure that the parties provide satisfactory proof of identity in conformity to notary laws of the state.


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