Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Does This Notarization Require A Thumbprint?

As a California Notary, I’m often called upon to notarize general “Release of Lien” documents. Although they are not “specific property” judgment liens, we sometimes send these documents to title companies as part of real estate transactions. As it is my co-workers’ signatures that I am notarizing, am I still required to get a thumbprint? - D.H., Solano County, CA

Yes, you should record your co-workers thumbprint in your journal. California law now requires that any document affecting real property must include the signer(s) thumbprint. If you are not sure if a specific document affects real property or not, it is recommended to obtain the thumbprint to cover yourself from any potential liability.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. — The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

Additional Resources:
Make Sure You’re Covered: E&O Insurance
Have More Burning Questions? Contact the NNA Hotline

Related Articles:
NNA Bulletin: New Thumbprint Requirements For Real Estate Documents
NNA Bulletin: How Do I…Take A Thumbprint?

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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.

(888) 876-0827

Monday through Friday:
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST

Saturdays: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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