5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in the Notarization Process
Nov 03, 2020 03:28 PM EST
(Photo : depositphotos)
As a lawyer or business professional, you probably understand how crucial the notarization process is. Careless mistakes in the notarization process can have profound financial implications or lead to unending legal battles, crippling your business. Therefore, it's critical to understand possible errors that can cost you in the long-run. That way, you'll be better prepared and can avoid these slip-ups as much as possible. With a proactive approach to potential contention, you can keep your business out of financially-debilitating legal problems.
If you currently own or are employed by an insurance company, real estate firm, or car dealership, you should familiarize yourself with the five common notarization mistakes. By studying these potential mishaps, you can ensure your notarizations run seamlessly.
Not considering specialization
The process of choosing a notary is quite different from selecting other professional advisors. A notary often deals with sensitive documents, requiring specialized knowledge in a given field. Furthermore, notaries must understand the essential laws and requirements necessary to sign these pertinent documents. Therefore, find a notary with the required qualifications, including substantial field knowledge and experience, a friendly demeanor, and a professional approach. Additionally, a business should scout for a notary who possesses the necessary licenses.
Depending on your circumstances, whether you're forming an LLC or want to sign a business agreement, finding a skilled notary in your area of interest is crucial. To ensure you partner with a qualified candidate, inquire about a notary's field knowledge and experience in notarizing similar documents.
Proper record-keeping is critical in ensuring everything runs smoothly. To ensure that all signed contracts remain valid and meet legal obligations, file these documents for easy retrieval. Additionally, be sure that signers have completed these notarized documents correctly. The paperwork in question should contain information about the signer, such as the signature, name of the signer, the name of the document signed, the fees charged, and the type of identification document used.
While a notary public will act on your behalf and verify that these documents have the correct date and time of notarization, protecting your own interests is vital, especially with time-sensitive document approvals. That said, check the notary public's work and verbally confirm with him or her before proceeding. This strategy is a great way to maintain the notarized documents' validity and prevent unnecessary financial and legal implications.
Not confirming the identity of the signer
When your notary provides you with the notarized documents, you must perform an identity check. If the law in your county or state permits, ensure the identity used is specified. Confirming that the person who signed the document used valid identification can spare you from unnecessary legal processes in the future.
For optimal security, ensure that the notary you choose counter checks the picture on the provided document with the signer's facial features. Professional notaries know that they should check several facial features, including the chin shape, eye color, and nose. Confirming the signer's identity can help ensure the process is legit and help a business dodge costly mistakes.
A notary public's responsibilities involve authenticating what's in the document on the signer's behalf. One of the most common mistakes made during the notarization process is failing to allow the signer to present themselves before the notary.
To ensure the notarization process abides by the set code of ethics, avoid asking your notary to compromise standards. Examples include asking your notary public to notarize incomplete documents with blanks or those containing false information. It's equally unethical to request that a notary allow a signer to sign the relevant paperwork even if they aren't physically present. Remember that while a few states may allow for remote signing, the practice is prohibited in other areas of the country.
If your notary allows for signing under these circumstances, legal issues might emerge. Besides affecting the notary's commission, this practice can compromise your documents' validity, negatively impacting your reputation and the document's level of protection.
Whatever your situation, it's always essential to ensure a signer is present during the notarization process. As an additional safety precaution, avoid all notaries who are willing to notarize compromised documents with an excuse of saving time or money.
Not prioritizing excellent customer service
Finding a notary with an unwavering commitment to excellent customer service can make this process much simpler. In any situation, you should feel free to ask your notary critical questions about the language and jargon used in the document.
The right notary ought to be patient with you and address all your questions and concerns with kindness and consideration. A trustworthy notary public should also provide you with an upfront estimate, outlining all applicable expenses for the work that needs to be completed. To further ensure the notarization process runs smoothly, avoid those notary publics who make you feel rushed or try to coerce you into signing documents.
Upon signing an agreement with the notary, make sure you clearly understand your documents' meaning and purpose. In case they don't execute your documents as per the agreement, these notaries should be able to provide a clear roadmap of the next steps.
As a final step, ask your notary public of choice if they can provide additional services if need be. For instance, you may need mobile notary services when working with strict deadlines or juggling multiple projects. If this notary is unable to meet your evolving needs, consider looking elsewhere for notarization services.