Notary Public Tips and Training


Read below for: Notarial Acts | Notary Stamps and Seals | Notary Public Oaths and Affirmations | Notary Public Unique Notarial Acts

Keep in mind that the legal required procedure of each notarial act differs from state to state.


Notarization of Incomplete Documents

Source: California Government Code section 8205

“A [California] notary public may not notarize a document that is incomplete. If presented with a document for notarization, which the notary public knows from his or her experience to be incomplete or is without doubt on its face incomplete, the notary public must refuse to notarize the document.”


Correcting a Notarial Act

Source: California Notary Public Handbook

“There are no provisions in the [California] law that allow for the correction of a completed notarial act. If a notary public discovers an error in a notarial act after completing the act, then the notary public should notarize the signature on the document again. All requirements for notarization are required for the new notarial act, including completing and attaching a new certificate containing the date of the new notarial act and completing a new journal entry.”


Certified Copies

“A [California] notary public may only certify copies of powers of attorneys under Probate Code section 4307 and his or her notary public journal.” (California Government Code sections 8205(a)(4), 8205(b)(1), and 8206(e))

“Certified copies of birth, fetal death, death, and marriage records may be made only by the State Registrar, by duly appointed and acting local registrars during their term of office, and by county recorders.” (Health & Safety Code section 103545)


Immigration Documents

Source: California Notary Public Handbook

“Contrary to popular belief, there is no [California] prohibition against notarizing immigration documents. [….] Only an attorney, a representative accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice, or a person who is registered by the California Secretary of State and bonded as an immigration or consultant under the Business and Professions Code may assist a client in completing immigration forms. (Business and Professions Code section 22440) A notary public may not charge any individual more than fifteen dollars ($15) for each set of forms, unless the notary public is also an attorney who is rendering professional services as an attorney. ([CA] Government Code section 8223)


Notary Stamps and Seals

General Stamp Info

What is a Notary Seal?

A notary seal is the impression made by the notary public’s ink stamp or paper-crimping embosser.

What is the Difference between a Notary “Seal” and a “Stamp”?

“Seal” and “stamp” are often used interchangeably. In some state legislation, the word “seal” is used to refer both to stamps and embossers. However, “seal” can also be used to indicate an embosser, as opposed to a stamp.

Notary seal stamps are usually pre-inked rubber, which stamp a page to leave an impression with the notary public’s state, commission number, and other identity-verifying materiel. Every state has their own unique notary stamp requirements. Some states require that a notary stamp be round, or contain the state seal.

Notary embossers are metal, and crimp or indent the paper with the identifying mark. Embossers create a dry, raised impression. Unlike notary stamps, which are usually rectangular, embossers leave a round impression. Embossers are not as common as stamps because their mark is not photographically reproducible unless paired with an inking highlighter.


How to Use Your Notary Seal Stamp

  1. Make sure your document is on a hard flat surface.
  2. Before notarizing, ALWAYS practice using your stamp at least once to ensure a clear, legal impression.
  3. Place the inked surface of your stamp on your document.
  4. DO NOT ANGLE YOUR STAMP
  5. Hold your stamp with your thumb and fingers. Using your palm can easily shift your stamp mid-impression.
  6. Press firmly, then release.

The impression should CLEARLY show all alphanumeric characters, the stamp border, and the state seal, if applicable.

Our preferred method is to take a Post-It and dab gently at the stamp.

If necessary, you can use rubbing alcohol on a paper towel.


How to Use Your Notary Embosser

  1. First, hold your embosser upright. Pull out the round embosser “plates” from the back of your embosser.
  2. Next, make sure the grooves on the bottom of the embosser plates are facing down. Then, squeeze the insert plates together and slide the insert into the front of your embosser.
  3. Metal tabs on the seal press will lock into the grooves on the bottom of the insert plates.
  1. Squeeze down on the handle. Slide the button on the side of the handle UP to LOCK.
  1. Squeeze down on the handle. Slide the button on the side of the handle DOWN to UNLOCK.

How to Re-Ink Your Notary Stamp

how to refill brother stamp ink

1. Remove the top of the stamp.

2. Use the ink bottle to add five drops of ink to each refill hole.

3. Put the top back on the stamp.

4. Immediately after refilling the ink, keep the stamp FACE DOWN until the ink begins to flow from the stamp.

trodat printy 4913 how to refill ink cartridge

1. Make sure the stamp is unlocked.

2. Compress the stamp enough to access the ink cartridge on the back of the stamp.

3. Slide lock on the back of the stamp.

4. Grip ink cartridge using the grip zones, and pull the ink cartridge out.

5. Slide a new ink cartridge into place.

how to refill psi 2264 ink


Notary Public Oaths and Affirmations

“Do you solemnly swear under the penalty of the laws of perjury, that the statements made in this document are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”

“Do you solemnly swear that the statements made in this documents are true and correct so help you God?”

“Do you solemnly affirm to the best of your knowledge under the laws of perjury, that the statements made in this document, are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”

“Do you solemnly affirm under the penalty of perjury that the information you have provided in these documents is true and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief?”

“Do you solemnly affirm that the statements made in this document are true and correct?”

“Do you solemnly swear that ___* is the person in the document; that ___* is personally known to you; that it’s your reasonable belief that the circumstance of ___*, as such that it would be very difficult or impossible for him/her to obtain another form of identification; that ___* does not possess any of the acceptable identification documents; and that you do not have a financial interest nor are you named in the document being acknowledged, so help you God?”

*name of the person making the acknowledgement

“Do you solemnly affirm that ___* is the person in the document; that ___* is personally known to you; that it’s your reasonable belief that the circumstances of ___*, as such that it would be very difficult or impossible for him/her to obtain another form of identification; that ___* does not possess any of the acceptable identification documents; and that you do not have a financial interest nor are you named in the document being acknowledged?”

*name of the person making the acknowledgement

“Do you solemnly swear that you saw ___* sign his/her/their name(s) to this document, or that the principal(s) acknowledged to you that he/she/they executed this document for the purpose therein stated, and that ___* requested that you subscribe your name to the instrument as a witness so help you God?”

*name of principal(s)

“Do you solemnly affirm that you saw ___* sign his/her/their name(s) to this document, or that the principal(s) acknowledged to you that he/she/they executed this document for the purpose therein stated, and that ___* requested that you subscribe your name to the instrument as a witness so help you God?”

*name of principal(s)

“I do solemnly swear under the laws and penalties of perjury that this is a true and genuine photocopy of the original document, so help me God.”

“I do affirm under the laws and penalties of perjury, that this is a true and genuine photocopy of the original document.”


Notary Public Unique Notarial Acts

“If a principal is unable to sign [their] own name, the principal may place a mark in lieu of a traditional signature on the document requiring the notarization.” (North Carolina G.S. 10B-20(d))

“When the signer of an instrument cannot write (sign) his or her own name, that person may sign the document by mark.” (California Civil Code section 14). 

California notaries public are required to ensure “the signer’s mark must be witnessed by two persons who must subscribe their own names as witnesses on the document. One witness should write the person’s name next to the person’s mark and then the witness should sign his or her name as a witness.”

North Carolina notaries public must write, beneath the mark, “Mark affixed by (name of signer by mark) in presence of undersigned notary.”