Notary Bulletin

How Do I ... Take A Thumbprint?

While only two states — California and Illinois — require Notaries to record signers’ thumbprints for certain transactions, the NNA recommends that Notaries obtain a thumbprint from every signer because of its value in deterring fraud and providing evidence to law enforcement.

Have your signer touch a standard inking device with his or her right thumb and then touch the journal page to leave a print. Imprinting the right thumb is standard practice for law enforcement use, and as a biometric identifier in official IDs, such as driver’s licenses.

If your journal does not include a specific space for a thumbprint, then use the space indicated for “Additional Information,” provided that the thumbprint does not cross any intersecting lines or cover preprinted words.

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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.)

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