Notary Bulletin

How Do I ... Determine The Awareness Of Disabled Signers?

If you’re notarizing for disabled signer, the best way to determine if he or she is capable of understanding the transaction — and is a willing party to it — is to engage the signer in a conversation.

Notaries may also consult an expert, such as the signer’s physician or attorney, to help determine awareness. If such an expert indicates a signer comprehends the particulars of the notarization, you can use that recommendation in deciding whether to proceed, making sure to note the expert’s conclusions and your own observations in your journal.

The ultimate responsibility for determining awareness lies with the Notary. If the comments of a physician or attorney about a signer’s awareness are at odds with your personal observations, you are justified in declining to notarize.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

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