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Notary Notes

Notary Tidbits

by PAN
Some snippets of information we’d like to share: 
 
  • When filling out your notary application, the use of a middle name or middle initial is optional. Fill out the application with the name you will use as a notary. Please, no nicknames. 
  • Once you are appointed as a notary, you have 45 days to take the oath of office. 
  • Photocopies of powers of attorney may no longer be sent to Recorders of Deeds for recording in the public record. Only original POAs may be recorded. 
  • You cannot execute an acknowledgment on a document that is dated with a future date. 
  • Anyone who asks you to notarize for them must be in your presence, in person, at arm’s length, meaning no more than a few feet away from you.
  • You know you are looking at an affidavit when you see the notary wording “sworn to and subscribed by” or “sworn to and subscribed before me this day” by itself on the document.
  • Never allow someone else to use your notary rubber stamp seal.
  • Always record your notary fees in your register. Do not record clerical or travel fees in your register. If you do not charge fees, write “NC” for “No Charge” or 0 (zero) in your register’s fee column.
  • Your customer is responsible for the truth and accuracy of the statement he or she makes on an affidavit – not you. 
  • The venue describes where you and your customer are located when you notarize for that customer.
  • Notaries in Pennsylvania cannot perform marriage ceremonies. 
  • Don’t confuse a document title with a notary act. The notary wording will tell you the character of the notary act, whether it’s an affidavit, acknowledgment, verification or certified copy. 
  • Never certify any copy without first comparing it to the original document.

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