Avoid unauthorized practice of law: loose certificates

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Very many times a notary will be presented with a document that does not include notarial wording. This is not a problem since a loose certificate can be added to the document to provide the notarial wording.

However, the notary cannot make the determination as to which type of loose certificate to add.

I received the documents for the closing I am scheduled to do tomorrow.  As usual, I prepare for the closing by going through the entire set of documents. I make notes of any questions I want to ask the title company, any potential problems, etc.  I did find a problem with the SIGNATURE/NAME AFFIDAVIT:

Signature affidavit - no notarial wording

Notice that there is no notarial wording. Yet it instructs the notary to "Add any necessary Jurat or Notary Certificates."

I will be glad to add a loose certificate. But, the title company will have to tell me which type to add. I cannot make that determination on my own. That is against the law.

The following is an excerpt from the Colorado Notary Law Primer:

Do Not Select Certificates

I'll call the title company and ask them which type of notarial certificate they want me to add. But it has to be their choice -- not the notary's.




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Laura Underwood
Above the Line Signing - Knob Noster, MO
Missouri Certified Notary Signing Agent

It is the same here in Missouri. I have to call one particular company each time I get their documents in because one of the pages says to notarize it but it doesn't say what type of notarization they want.  It is the same page every time, but I have to hear it straight from them each time.

Jan 03, 2008 10:32 PM #1
Find a Notary Public needAnotary
QEC Internet Services - Long Beach, CA

Laura it is welcoming to hear you don't make an assumption even though you have spoken to them on another transaction.  Part of the problem is that many lenders lend nationally and often omit state information on documents that require notarization.

It is imperative that a notary is familiar with their state's notarial laws.

May 03, 2008 09:28 AM #2
Denise OnullDell
Santa Clarita Mobile Notary - Santa Clarita, CA
Mobile Notary Public/Real Estate Agent

I've never seen signature affidavits without the notarial wording, but if I did I would never assume which type of certificate to attach.  I would have done the same thing you did, call the title company to be sure.


Jun 10, 2008 03:03 PM #3
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Leon Austin

Colorado Springs Mobile Notary
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