While an acknowledgment is a common notarial act, it can often confuse even experienced notaries. An acknowledgement is when the notary confirms a signer’s signature and identity. When performing an acknowledgement, here are five things a notary should always do.
Before notarizing a document, make sure no pages are missing and no blank spaces exist. You’ll also want to check for a notary certificate, indicating the desire notarization. If you don’t see one, give the signer his or her options and provide the appropriate certificate.
Each state will have different ways to identify a signer. Check your state’s process and requirements and confirm your signer’s identity. The number one responsibility of a notary is to authenticate identity.
Before the document is signed, confirm the signer’s willingness and awareness to sign the document in question. If the document was signed previously, the signer must re-sign the document in your presence. Never violate the presence requirement.
In your notary journal, mark the information your state requires along with any other pertinent facts, such as how you identified the signer and the signer’s address.
Seal the notary certificate
Once you’ve completed the above steps, complete the notarization with your seal and signature.
Following these practices will help keep you organized and efficient when completing an acknowledge, leaving less room for simple mistakes that may hurt you later.
Do you have a process when completing an acknowledgment? What is it?