Post-Dated Notary Documents
It’s important to remember that part of your notarial responsibility is to check the date on the document and ensure you record the date of notarization in your notary journal. When you receive a document, the first thing you should do is scan it in its entirety to ensure there are no blank spaces, no missing pages and check for a date.
If the document itself is dated in the future, there is no law prohibiting you from notarizing the document. The date of notarization and the signature date need to be correct and recorded on the notarial certificate. Read on for more information on how to handle post-dated notary documents.
Is it legal for a Notary to post-date the notarial certificate?
Including a date on the document that the signer brings to you is not your responsibility; however, an adequately dated notarial certificate is a legal requirement of notary state laws. Although post-dates on a document are allowed, post-dating a notarial certificate is not. Under no circumstance should the date of the notarization be recorded with a pre-date or post-date different than the date the signer appeared before the notary and the notary performed the notarization. If you pre or post-date your signature, you risk the document being rejected and your actions questioned.
Correcting a date on the notarial certificate
If the notary on the certificate records an incorrect date, the notary can strike a line through the error and correct the certificate with the right date. This can only be done if the signer and the notary are in each other’s presence. If the notary has to correct a date, the notary should also initial the correction so it is clear that the notary made the correction. If the signer has left the notary’s presence, the signer will need to re-appear before the notary and a new notarization will need to occur.
The law does not require the notary to correct a completed document. If the notary discovers an error after completing the notary certificate, the notary should repeat the notarization of the signature on the document again. This includes completing the notarial certificate with the date of the new notarization act and completing a new journal entry. Always be sure to check your notary state laws when performing corrections.
What is the difference between the document date and signature date?
Sometimes you may encounter a document that has a date at the top, which may be the date that the document was created. It’s necessary for the notary to distinguish between the signature date and the document date. The date the signer witnesses the notary signing a document can’t have a future date. Any discrepancy between the signature date and notarization date could cause the document to be rejected.
It’s the notary’s responsibility to check the documents presented before them to ensure the document is completed and to check the dates to determine whether the notarization can be performed. If the document is post-dated with an effective date, the notary is fine to proceed with the notarization but make sure that the signer signs and dates the document with the date they appear before the notary.
The signature date and the notary certificate date should always match. If they don’t, the notary should not proceed with the notarization. Under no circumstance is the notary ever allowed to post-date the signature date or the date on the notary certificate. Always check with your specific notary state laws.
For more information on Notary documents, check out our category for Notary Documents.