A problem document is a document your customer brings to you on which the notarial act is not clear.
The following guidelines will help you decide what to do with the document.
- If there is notarial wording on the document, perform the notarial act required by the wording. For example, if the document contains a statement by the customer, has a place for the customer to sign the statement, and contains the words “Sworn to and subscribed before me” or something similar, the notarial act is probably an affidavit.
- If there is no notarial wording on the document, ask the customer what act he or she wants. You are not permitted to tell the customer what notarial act they are to use. Doing so may be considered the unauthorized practice of law. However, you may describe the different notarial acts to help the customer decide what act he or she wants.
- If the customer cannot decide which notarial act is required, the customer may need to contact the maker or receiver of the document to get more information. If the customer cannot decide what act is required, you must refuse service.
When the customer decides on a notarial act:
- Ask the customer if you can add the proper notarial wording to the document.
- With the customer’s permission, add the venue and any required notarial wording (including the date).
- Complete the notarial act as you normally would.
If you are a PAN member and still have questions or concerns about the document you are notarizing, please call our customer service department at 800-944-8790 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.