Notary Bulletin

How Do I ... Use An Out-Of-State Acknowledgment?

Wording for acknowledgment certificates varies from state to state, with some states insisting that wording conform exactly to what the law mandates and other states giving vague, general guidance.

In general, an out-of-state acknowledgment certificate may be used if it substantially complies with the form prescribed by the law in your state. But check to make sure the certificate doesn't contain wording that conflicts with your state's statutes. California, for example, only permits Notaries to use its own statutory certificate wording if the notarized documents are being filed in state. Always read any preprinted certificate wording carefully to make sure it is acceptable for use in your state.

If certificate wording on a document doesn't meet state requirements, you must either write or type the approved wording on the document or attach a loose certificate containing acceptable wording.

Some clients may insist on the acknowledgment wording preprinted on the document and refuse to accept an attached loose certificate. But if the original wording does not comply with state law, you must replace it with wording that does.

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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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