You reach a deal, and both parties agree to everything before the ink hits the paper. Even though it can be hard to get to this point, an agreement between two parties is not always legal unless a notary is available to witness the signatures. That fine line at the bottom of the agreed upon document that holds the notary’s signature is important for many reasons. Always check your state for rules on including a line for the notary stamp to documents that do not have an official line for the notary’s signature.
What Is a Notary?
Handy and legal, a notary public is actually an agent of the state that you are signing the documents in. They bear witness to the signatures of each party as they sign off, and therefore agree, to the terms stated within the document. To finalize an agreement, the notary stamps the signature page of a contract with their specific seal and then signs the document legally along the dotted, or signature, line.
When the Line Is Lost
Often a document that needs a notary’s signature is one between families, co-workers, small business employees and employers. These can be rather informal and brief in their description of what the parties want to have notarized to make an agreement legal. This can often occur when one party needs a notarized statement to authorize a purchase or transfer of money, services or goods. The parties may not understand an official line is needed for the notary’s signature. A notary needs to ensure that both parties understand what certificate should be applied in order for the party asking for the document to be notarized. There is the acknowledgement certificate and jurat certificate.
How to Add a Line
A proper seal from a notary has the official stamp with a line, either hand drawn or typed into the last page of the document. The name should be spelled exactly as it is on the stamp and should not overlap any text or signatures on the document. Legibility is the key to legality. If the document is stuffed with text, it can be difficult for an orderly notary to find a suitable spot to affix their stamp. A separate notarial certificate can be used in this case. Make sure to include verbiage that states the notarial certificate is attached. Always initial any changes you may make in the original document as well as changes regarding notarization made by either of the parties. Note the number of pages and jot down notes about this separate notarial page in your official journal.
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