What to expect when you visit a Notary
- The Notary’s most important act is to identify the signer who is present before them. Therefore the person whose name is to be notarized on the document needs to be present and be able to provide a valid non-expired ID (identity document) as explained below.
- The Notary will then identify any credible witness or persons that will facilitate the identity of the signer.
- The Notary will ask the signer if they understand what it is they are signing. You must be knowledgeable on the document’s content and be willing to sign it.
- The Notary will look for any blanks on the document. If there are any, the Notary will request one of the following:
- That the space be filled with the corresponding information.
- Have the signer(s) draw a line through the space since it will not be used or required.
- Write N/A on the space.
- The Notary will “SCAN THROUGH” the document. While the Notary is not required to “READ” the document they are notarizing, they are required to record in their Journal certain information about the document such as:
- Number of pages, etc….
- The Notary will validate the document’s date.
- For the official act of “Acknowledgement”, the document signing date must be the same of before the date of notarization..IT CAN NOT BE AFTER.
- For the official act of “Jurat”, the document signing date and the date of the notarization must be the same. IT CAN NOT BE BEFORE OR AFTER.
- The Notary ensures the document has the notarial wording required for the notarization. Keep in mind states wording vary. If applicable a loose certificate will be used to meet the wording requirement.
- The Notary fills in all the information needed for the Journal Entry in the Log Book.
- All signers sign the Log Book.
- Payment is provided as agreed upon.
- At this point, the notarization takes place.
- All signers sing and date the document.
- The Notary then signs and applies the notarial seal to the document.
- The notarization is complete.
Keep the following in mind to ensure your Notary experience goes smooth!
· ID / Identity Document
Bring a current valid ID (identity document) – In Virginia, this means it can not be expired.
NOTE: Virginia also requires an acceptable ID (identity document) have a photograph and a signature.
The fundamental elements of an acceptable ID (identity document) are surprisingly uniform…
- They are government issued
- Have a photograph
- Have a description and address
- A date of issue
- ID number
- A signature
Satisfactory Forms of ID (identity document)
- Unexpired driver’s License or official non-drivers ID (identity document) from any State in the USA
- Unexpired US Passport
- Unexpired foreign passport
- Certificate of United States citizenship
- Certificate of naturalization
- Alien registration card with photograph
- U.S. military ID (identity document)
Unacceptable Forms of ID (identity document)
- Birth Certificate
- Social Security card or other card without a photograph
- Informal introduction of a signer by a person not willing to swear to the signer’s identity under oath and sign the Notary’s Journal
- Marriage License
- Use a spouse as a “Credible Witness”
- Depending on how many documents you will need notarized, be prepared to spend at the minimum 15 minutes for a notarization. A Notary has to follow sound best practices when conducting any transaction causing the time to increase depending on the difficulty of the notarization.
- Do not ask for legal advice or advice on how to fill out your document. TIP: BEFORE you visit a Notary and to expedite your notarization, the best course of action is to contact the issuing agency or the receiving agency for guidance. Notaries are not attorneys and will be in trouble if they provide any legal advice.
- Know what your needs are. EX: Jurat, Acknowledgement, etc… The Notary can not make this decision on your behalf. TIP: BEFORE you visit a Notary and to expedite your notarization, the best course of action is to contact the issuing agency or the receiving agency for guidance.
- If you require a document notarized that “STATES” you are acting in a specific capacity EX: “President of Corporation X” or “Attorney in Fact for Jack Black”, please be prepared to provide proof of your capacity. Keep in mind a business card with a corporate title is not considered “Proof”. Also be prepared to sign under the capacity you are claiming. EX: Neo Matrix, Attorney in Fact for Jack Black.
- A Virginia notary may “REFUSE” to notarize a document for any reason
2015 Island Girl Notary