On a daily basis, our agents field calls from notaries asking for procedural advice. For this reason, we have assembled the quick tips below to assist with basic notarizations. For more involved documents however, reference manuals are essential and should be in every notary’s tool box.  Manuals with state specific guidelines are available at The Dotted Line Shop.  We encourage all notaries to take one of these reference manuals along to every notarization.

E&O Insurance

You Can Be Sued – So PROTECT Yourself


Case Details: It was a routine transaction, and there was no way the notary could have known the signers’ identifications were fraudulent – but they were. In the eyes of the court, the notary was at fault. This time the penalty was $8,000 in damages and $3,500 in court costs. Unfair? Sure. But, for a notary public in a litigious society like ours, it’s just part of the territory.




  • Errors & Omissions Insurance protects YOU. The notary bond protects YOUR CUSTOMER.
  • You will be personally liable for any lawsuit brought against you as a notary without E&O insurance.
  • For a small premium, all damages and legal costs are covered up to the policy limit. *Exclusions may apply.

RON Platform

Once you become a Remote Online Notary, Notary Hub by Everything Legal has everything you need in a RON service provider. The Notary Hub platform is easy to use, convenient, secure, legal, and trusted. Connect with a customer anywhere, anytime, without the need for a physical meeting.

Notary Procedures

Before Starting a Notarization…

As a notary, you can notarize a signature on a document if the following conditions are met:

  • The person whose signature is being notarized is in the presence of the notary public at the time the signature is notarized.
  • The document is complete.
  • The person signing the document is mentally competent and understands what he/she is signing.
  • The notary is not a party to the transaction – or mother, father, son, daughter, or spouse to the signer.

Before Finishing a Notarization…

  • The notary public must specify in the certificate of acknowledgment what type of identification was relied upon, and whether or not an oath was taken.
  • Valid identification must be obtained from each person whose signature is to be notarized. Proper identification is necessary since legal consequences of an error are severe. The following examples are good forms of identification:
    • Personal acquaintance of the notary
    • Driver’s license
    • Passport
    • Photo identification card issued (within the past five years) by a state or branch of the federal government
  • A notary public must specify in the certificate, when two or more signatures are to be notarized, which signature is being notarized. It will be presumed that absent these specifics, notarization by the notary public is for all signatures on the document.
  • When notarizing a document, it is important that the state, county, and date be completed before the acknowledgment and seal are affixed.


A Notary Public CAN…

  1. Supervise the making of a photocopy from an original document and attest to the trueness of that copy, provided the document is not a vital or public record (such as birth certificates & marriage licenses). If the document is a Florida vital record, a certified copy can be requested from Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. Please see their website for more information.
  2. Act as a notary anywhere within your State.
  3. Charge a fee per notarial signature on a document if allowed by the State's law.
  4. Notarize foreign documents as long as the notary is confident that the signer can read and understand the document being signed.
  5. Notarize documents from another state or country. Documents leaving the state or country typically require an Apostille or Certificate of Notarial Authority (authentication).
  6. Affix the optional embossed seal (for decorative purposes only) in conjunction with the required Florida rubber stamp seal. The rubber stamp seal must be affixed in photographically reproducible black ink, however, to be legal by state law.

A Notary Public CAN NOT...

  1. Notarize a document unless the signer personally appears before the notary public at the time of the notarization.
  2. Notarize a document outside of your State.
  3. Notarize a document that has blank spaces therein.
  4. Post date or antedate any acknowledgement on a document.
  5. Notarize his or her own signature.
  6. Notarize a document if the notary public has a financial interest in or is a party to the underlying document.


  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT - The declaration of a person described and who has executed a written instrument that he executed same.

  • ADDENDUM - A separate written addition to a contract or agreement.

  • AFFIANT - A person who makes and subscribes his signature to an affidavit.

  • AFFIDAVIT - A signed statement, duly sworn to by the the affiant, attesting to the truth, to the best of his knowledge, of the facts in a document.

  • ATTEST - To certify as true.

  • ATTORNEY-IN-FACT - A person legally authorized to execute specific types of instruments for another person, corporation, etc.

  • DEPOSITION - The written testimony of a witness taken out of court under oath before a notary or other person authorized to take it.

  • EXECUTOR - A person names in a will to carry out the provisions of the will.

  • FELONY - A crime punishable by death or imprisonment in state prison.

  • FRAUD - A cheat; an act of trickery to delude a person into a false sense of well-being, enabling another person to gain dishonestly.

  • JURAT - “Sworn to before me this _______ day of ______, 20__.”

  • LIEN - A lien is placed on property to establish prior rights and indicates a debt.

  • MISDEMEANOR - Any crime other than a felony.

  • PERJURY - A false swearing under oath.

Notary Essentials