Notaries Public are Public Officials bound by the laws of their State and not by anyone else, including an employer, friend, associate or family member.
The National Notary Association has published a list of recommended notary practices:
- Always follow state law that requires the signer to be in your physical presence every time you notarize without exception.
- Always have the signature on the document affixed or acknowledged in your presence.
- Always obtain identification that contains a photograph, physical description and signature.
- Always keep a chronological record of the notarial act, including the signature of the signer in your journal, which must be kept in your custody and control at all times.
- Always ask for a thumbprint of the signer in your journal to help protect against imposture.
- Always confirm that the signer is not being coerced and is willingly signing the documents you notarize.
- Always attach a Notary certificate if wording is not already printed on the document.
- Always notarize only documents that are complete and without blank spaces.
- Always use a seal when you notarize, and be sure to keep it in your custody and control at all times.
- Always refrain from giving advice to signers unless you have the professional training and credentials to do so.