Listed below are helpful tips to protect the notary, the notarized document and the document signer against later fraudulent alterations.
- The notary must see the signer's entire document and know what it is.
- The document signer should beware of any documents which have gaps or large blanks in the text.
- The document signer should beware of any document which has unsigned signature lines or signature blocks.
- Compare the notarization date with the document date. The date of notarization must coincide with or follow the document's date of signing. Never post-date or ante-date any oath or acknowledgment.
- Skim the document for blanks. Ask the signer to fill in all blanks or to write "Not Applicable" before you notarize.
- Line through incorrect items in ink. Write corrections above lined-out material. Write initials and date adjacent to the correction. Never use "white-out" products.
- Do not invade the party's privacy. Merely identify the document to be notarized (deed, contract, etc.). Record the type of document in your notary journal. Do not notarize a document you cannot identify.