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Notary Notes

Witnessing or Attesting a Signature

by PAN

Nearly two years ago, notaries gained a new notary power - witnessing or attesting a signature. This notary act authorizes a notary to witness or attest a signature. 

Documents containing a signature that are being witnessed or attested may not be signed before the witnessing or attesting of the signature. The notary must compare the signature on the document to the signature of the customer's identification, if there is a signature on the presented identification. 

Additionally, the document must be signed on the same date that the notary affixes his or her official stamp and signature to the document. The signer of the document is merely signing the document, not swearing or affirming that the contents of the document are true. 

Witnessing or attesting a signature example: 

Signed (or attested) before me on (date) by (name(s) of individual(s)). 

Notary's responsibilities for witnessing or attesting signatures: 

1. Demand your customer's personal appearance
2. Identify your customer 
3. Look for blank spaces and the notary statement
4. Watch your customer sign the document 
5. Compare the signature on the document to the signature on the identification, if there is a signature on the presented identification 
6. Complete the notary wording (certificate of notarial act) 
7. Affix your stamp and signature to the document 
8. Make an entry in your journal 

The purpose of witnessing or attesting a signature is to assure the receiver of the document that the signer was identified and signed the document in front of a notary. 

You may charge $5 for each signature. If you do not charge a notary fee, write N/C for "No Charge" or 0 (zero) in the notary fee space in yoru journal. 

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