Notarial errors can be costly both for your client and for you. Here are ten common mistakes notaries, mobile notaries, and loan signing agents make, with some tips on how to avoid some of them:
1. Failing to keep good journal records. Keeping good records will prevent many problems.
2. Failing to find an error in the notarial certificate. For example, sometimes documents get notarized out of state with certificate errors. If an error is discovered in notarial wording, you must correct it before finalizing the notarization.
3. Failing to attach your notary seal.
4. Failing to attach your date of appointment expiration.
5. Leaving an unclear seal impression. A recommended solution to this is to make a second, clear impression close to the first one, while being careful not to cover any text or printing on the document.
6. Failing to sign the notarized document.
7. Failing to include names and dates from acknowledgments, oaths, affirmations, and other supporting documents.
8. Putting the wrong date on the notice of right to cancel. This can cost your client thousands of dollars.
9. Failing to properly administer the oath.
10. Failing to require a signer to appear in person. This can cost you your commission and land you in serious civil and criminal trouble.
Good record-keeping, attention to detail, double-checking, and maintaining professional standards will keep you from most of these mistakes. It also doesn’t hurt to keep a list like this as a checklist so you can double-check to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.