The Do’s and Don’ts of a Utah Notary Public
Being a Notary Public for the State of Utah is a great responsibility and we want you to feel confident at the time of a notarization! We know our test was a lot of material, and it may be hard to remember everything that was covered. Take a moment to review our Do’s & Don’ts; these will refresh your memory as well as offer some new insight to help you stay on top of your game as a Notary Public.
- Identify your signer using satisfactory evidence of identity. Don’t know what ‘satisfactory evidence of identity’ is? Check out the statute here.
- Make sure your signer is voluntarily signing the document (he or she should affirm or swear they are knowingly and voluntarily signing the document).
- Remember that personal appearance is required. This does not mean via Skype, or any other means of video communication. The signer must be there, in the flesh, before you.
- Stay impartial.
- When your commission expires, always destroy your certificate and seal.
- Keep and maintain your notarial seal (stamp), certificate and journal in a safe place.
- Know your Powers and Limitations. See the Notary law here.
- Keep a journal! It is the best way to legally protect yourself in the event of a lawsuit.
- Make sure the notarial language wording complies with Utah law.
- Always report lost or stolen seals, certificates and journals. You can find our contact information in the “Contact Us” tab.
- Contact our office if you have any questions about a notarization.
- Never just stamp and sign. Remember that a complete notarization requires notarial language, signature and your seal.
- Never notarize a document if the signer is not present.
- Never let other people use your seal. This is considered a Class B Misdemeanor, and is subjective to prosecution and revocation of your commission.
- Never offer legal advice to your signer or draft a document if you intend on notarizing the document. You need to be a licensed Utah attorney to do so.
- Never notarize a document with an expired commission.
- Leave your seal, journal and certificate with your employer upon termination of employment.
- Never complete a notarization with information known to be false.
- Notarize a document you are named in or stand to gain from financially.
- Copy certify public or publicly recorded documents.
- Notarize outside of the State of Utah; you can only perform a notarial act within the state.