I did a notary for a POA today, and it had a pre-printed acknowledgement on it. I messed up and crossed out the wrong sections. Later I went in and re-wrote in the words that should be there and initialed it. Is that correct? or should I have done something different? Normally I would re-print out the acknowledgement form, but this one was already pre-printed on the document. I am a California Notary if it makes a difference.
My gut feeling on this is what would happen if you were called to testify about that entry? (a) you did not falsify or perjure so you could testify affirmatively (b) you made a mistake but you corrected it and initialed it and your contact information is on the form for ANYONE who wanted to verify through you (so that is good), (c) you did not cause anyone to experience losses, relinquish rights, change status (other than what would have happened had the mistake not been made) and so if you were subpoenaed to testify about your notary act you could attest that the acknowledgement was executed albeit messy. So you are in the clear (and your journal entries reflect a completed notarial act). You did not make up any wording (play lawyer) and you did follow SOS requirements. You initialed the correction. When you say “later” I am assuming all in the same time frame between the time the signatory came before you and left (and not after the signatory left or unbeknown to the signatory as that would be a problem)(it is embedded in the document it must have stayed with the signatory after you finished). I always think in terms of “if I were subpoenaed and questioned how would I answer the question?” I have been judgings actions in that way since I was a Trooper when even spoken words may be revisited in court. Then, even verbally, everything can become an issue in court. ALways the big question is: what changed when you did that? Was there a loss of right or money or title or time or status? (is that helpful?)