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Notary Notes

A Refresher on Customers' Signatures

by PAN
When a disabled customer appears before you and wants a document notarized, here are the ways to handle the notarization's signature component properly. 

Signature by mark 

Someone who cannot write or is physically unable to sign their name may choose to make a mark - an "X" is common - on the line where a signature is required. Print or type the customer's name and the words "his mark" or "her mark" near the signature line. 

Assisted signature 

Someone who is physically unable to make a mark can rest his or her hand on the hand of an individual holding the pen for them. In order for the notary to remain as an impartial witness to the notarization, the notary should not be the one holding the pen. 

Signature of designated individual 

If the customer is unable to sign by mark or with assistance for any reason, they may direct another person to sign the document. The customer, the designated signer, and two witnesses (PAN suggests two witnesses) must clearly indicate to the notary and witnesses that signing the record is their intention. The designated signer should sign their own name and print the words "for" followed by the customer's name. 

Stamped signature 

For the customer who is disabled or illiterate, a stamped signature is regarded the same as a signature by mark. In this instance, the customer and two witnesses must all be present and properly identified at the time of the signing. 

In all circumstances, the signer must be able to communicate to the notary and indicate his or her willingness and understanding of the document to be signed. 

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