A notary from Washington County traveled to Jefferson County to notarize documents for residents of a nursing home. On the first document – an affidavit – the notary became confused as to the proper venue. Should it be Washington County where she took her oath of office or Jefferson County where the notarization was taking place?
A customer walked into a notary service in Lancaster County to have documents notarized. The documents were from a company located in Maryland. The preprinted venue read, “State of Maryland, County of Baltimore.” The notary wondered what was the proper venue – the county in Maryland where the original documents were drawn up or Lancaster County?
“The venue is the part of the notary wording that describes where the notarization is taking place,” says Brian Crocker, instructor with the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries (PAN). “It is okay if your venue county is different than the county indicated on your rubber stamp seal.”
The venue includes the words “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” or “State of Pennsylvania” and “County of” followed by the name of the county where the notarial act takes place.
In the first notary’s situation, the correct venue is Jefferson County where the notarization took place. For the Lancaster County scenario, the existing venue needs to be corrected. Maryland must be changed to Pennsylvania and Baltimore must be changed to Lancaster.
“The venue is always going to be where the notarization takes place, no matter where the notary took his or her oath of office,” Crocker says. “If a preprinted venue is used and is incorrect, draw a single line through the incorrect information and write the correct information in the nearest available space.”
If you have notarial questions, call PAN at 800-944-8790 or visit our Web site at www.notary.org.