Serving New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties  

Notary Do's and Don'ts


A Notary Public holds a position of Great Importance and Responsibility” 

When you Notarize: 

      Follow some simple steps to protect yourself. 

         Be sure all document signers personally appear.

         Ask to see proper identification from each document signer.

         Check to see that ALL blanks for FILLED IN and that NO alterations have made to the    document.

         Determine that the signer is aware of the meaning of the transaction and is signing willingly.

         Be sure the date of the document is NOT later than the date of the notarization.

         Obtain the information necessary for your journal.

         Have all parties sign your journal.

         Be sure the facts in the notarial certificate are accurate.

         Complete the notarial certificate.

         Keep the document content confidential

 

Do’s 

1.         DO require that the document signer and any witness identifying the signer be present at the time of the notarization.

2.         DO require proper identification from every person whose signature you notarize.

3.         DO keep your journal and notary stamp/seal in a locked place when not in use.

4.         DO maintain a journal with the complete details of each notarization you perform.

5.         DO immediately contact the Delaware Secretary of State (Notary Public Section) if you are required to turn over your Notary Journal or if you are served with a legal notice related to your actions as a Notary Public.  Please remember that the Notary Journal in Delaware is recommended and not required by the State of Delaware. 

Don’ts 

1.        Don’t notarize a signature if the signer does not appear before you, the notary.

2.        Don’t ever loan your Notary stamp/seal to another person even if you know that person well.

3.        Don’t notarize your own signature on any document.  You cannot act as Notary for yourself.

4.        Don’t perform any notarization when you are uncomfortable with the circumstances of the transaction or you believe that the transaction is not legitimate.  It is better to walk away from such a notarization that to risk being accused later of improper notarization.

Cautions 

In General, a Notary Public can be held financially responsible if:



1.        The Notary does not faithfully perform the duties required by law.

2.        Someone is damaged financially by the notary’s failure to comply with the law.

3.        The notary’s failure was the proximate cause of the financial loss.