To err is to be human, but not when you are a mobile notary. Notaries must stay extra cautious and take all possible precautions to make minimal mistakes. We understand that avoiding mistakes is easier when you have a checklist that continually reminds you of what not to do. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of common notary errors and how to avoid them.
Here are the seven most common notary errors that public notaries make. Be sure to be on the lookout for these potential pitfalls!
If the principal signer does not agree to be present at the time of signing a document and instead urges you to let their attorney represent them, be cautious as this is how most fraud starts. This can land notaries in serious trouble. It is only in very rare cases that a principal signer is allowed to be represented by their lawyer.
This mistake is quite common: most mobile notaries forget to ask for the principal signer’s ID. Most jurisdictions require an ID. In the event that your jurisdiction does not have set rules regarding which IDs are acceptable, we recommend asking for a current ID that has a photograph, name, and signature of the signer.
Notaries often sell themselves short and see themselves as only witnesses. However, the state vests a tremendous amount of power in notaries and they must fully understand this responsibility. Before going ahead and signing any documents or providing any information about themselves, a notary must make sure to read the notarial certificate. Do not sign any document unless you fully understand what you are expected to do.
There are very strict guidelines about how a notary must mention their name on a notary certificate. A mobile notary’s name on any notary certificate must be the same as the name on their notary commission. The same goes for their signature. Any mistake in this regard can lead to a notarial certificate being rejected.
One of the common mistakes that notaries make is sending incomplete certificates to recording officers. They often forget to write the signer’s name on the notarial certificate. Similarly, mobile notaries also often forget to mention the place where the notarization took place or enter the wrong venue by mistake. These small errors lead to the rejection of certificates as well as a waste of time.
Most notaries understand that mentioning the right date is crucial. Unfortunately, some notaries see the date as a formality and often end up making a mistake there. This small mistake can land them in big trouble with the authorities. Notaries must check the date twice before performing a notarization. Similarly, they must also make sure that they have stamped the document properly. Documents with partial, blurred, inverted, or otherwise improper stamping also face outright rejection from recording officers. Documents with stamp impressions covering signature or notarial wording also see a similar fate.
While for most professionals, the white-out pen is essential for hiding various errors, notaries cannot use this advantage. Many notaries think it is okay to cover their mistakes with a white-out pen. However, receiving agents see this as tampering and often use it as a ground to reject certificates. If you have made a mistake, strike through the error, and sign next to it before correcting your mistake. Conversely, you can also choose to go with a black document if you do not want to deal with any hassles.
In this article, we have covered the most common mistakes that the notaries make and receiving agents see. A comprehensive list with all possible errors would run into several more pages. To avoid these errors and to save their time, many people prefer to work with a skilled, experienced, and insured notary. If you want to know more about such errors or are looking to hire an insured notary who you can trust, contact Coast2Coast.