No Journal Shortcuts for Notary Publics in California – Full Entries Required



California Notaries must complete full entry in the official journal for each notarial act performed. Use of “shortcuts” is no longer allowed, including affixing ditto marks to indicate repeated information or having the principal sign once along a diagonal line for multiple entries

“Government Code Section8206 requires that the notary public’s journal include all the information for ‘each official act.’ Therefore, each act would include the date, time, type of official act, character of Instrument, signature, type of identification, fee and thumbprint (if applicable) on a separate line for each act” (California Secretary of State Interpretation, Nov. 13, 2009).

 * published in the 2010-2011 Supplement to the U.S. Notary Reference Manual by the National Notary Association.

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Is the Notary Signing Agent responsible for the pre-dated dates of the loan documents?



Loan documents usually contain three dates: the dated date, which is usually the day the documents are drawn; the signing date, which can be the same as the dated date and is usually the same as the date being notarized; the recording date, which is the date the recordable documents are recorded in the proper county recorders office.

 As a Notary Public, you are responsible for making sure the documents are completed, therefore, if a date is requested, it must be filled in. In many states, you must also record the dated dates of the documents in your notary journal. All Jurats and Acknowledgments must be dated the day that the parties are appearing before you … no exceptions !!!

What if the documents are post dated? What if the dated pre-dates of the documents are later than your signing date?

The Secretary of State of California and the National Notary Association have both stated very clearly that it is not illegal to notarize a document prior to its pre-dated date. As a Notary Public you are, in addition to other duties, responsible for the documents completeness, the borrower’s competency, identity, and that they appear before you on the date as shown on your Jurats or Acknowledgments. There is nothing that says you can not notarize a document prior to its pre-dated date.

From an escrow and lenders perspective, however a document signed prior to its dated date is unacceptable and can cause costly delays and even the loss of the entire loan.

What do you do? Always check the pre-dated date on the Note and Deed of Trust when you receive a loan package. If you notice the dates are for a later date, contact the signing service or escrow company that contracted your services. If you are already at a signing, adjourn the signing right away, contact the applicable parties and set up another appointment for the date that the documents have been dated. There is a significant difference between the pre-dated date and the effective date. If the documents say “effective” or opposed to “dated” a certain date then it is okay to proceed.

Are you a notary public who only points and signs, or are you a professional Signing Agent who specializes in the signing of real estate and loan documents? Look at the papers and know what you are asking the parties to sign and the consequences of not doing it correctly.

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Rome wasn’t built in a day, but notaries have been recording it since the beginning.



Wikipedia has some fairly interesting information on the history of notaries; including that they date back to at least ancient Rome.

Notaries Public (also called “notaries”, “notarial officers”, or “public notaries”) hold an office which can trace its origins back to ancient Rome, when they were called scribae (“scribe”), tabellius (“writer”), or notarius (“notary”).

As a notary you are a member of what may be the oldest continuing branch of the legal profession. Read more excerpts about the history of notaries via the following link.

Wikipedia – Notary Public

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Changes to Arizona Notary Statutes



According to the Arizona Department of State and effective July 29, 2010, two notary statues have been changed for the state. Changes include the following excerpt:

“notaries public will no longer be required to affix the date of the notary’s commission expiration to documents on which the notary executes a notarial act”

There are also some changes to the list of acceptable documents as proof of an individual’s identity.

Read the full notice via the following link.

Arizona Secretary of State – Notary News

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How to take the frustration out of signing documents for Provident Funding loans



Because Provident Funding is known for their lack of flexibility when signing documents, we’re providing the following requirements to help ease the process and ensure a smooth signing.  Please be very careful when completing a signing for Provident, any mistakes on the signing will result in a resign and a reduction in the notary fee.

Provident Funding Requirements

  • All loan documents MUST be printed on 8 ½ X 11 paper.  Please NO 8 ½ X 14
  • Cross outs or corrections are NOT allowed on any of the documents. If a change needs to be made, swap the document with the customer’s copy to re-execute it.
  • If anything is wrong (names, address, etc.) the signing is adjourned. There can be no manual changes made; the documents will need to be re-drawn.
  • Changes CANNOT be made to the notary jurats or acknowledgements – attach a new jurat or acknowledgment if anything needs to be changed.
  • The borrower MUST write their own Dates and Sign consistent through out the entire file.
  • The borrower MUST write their own Dates on The Notice of Right to Cancel – all dates must be by their own hand and pen – both borrowers MUST use their own pen – no swapping or changing at any time during the signing.
  • AKA Statement – Cross-outs are NOT acceptable.  They may write their dispute on the document, but NO cross-outs.

At this time, Central Signing Service will no longer pay for additional trips or redraw fees due to these instructions not being followed. We are Provident approved and have a large bulk of the business so please let us know if you are not able to meet these standards.

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Updated Notary Public Reference Manual for Arizona



The state of Arizona has released the most recent revision to their Notary Public Reference Manual and notaries in that area may want to take note of the changes. Revisions in this new edition include how to apply with the secretary of state’s office, how to purchase a notary bond, information about a notary’s commission, and a notary’s duties as a public official. You can check out these change by going to the manual via the following link.

Arizona Notary Public Reference Manual [PDF]

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Decrease costly delays and duplicate signings via these E-doc printing tips



Due to the increased numbers of transaction that are now being transmitted electronically, we want to share the following information and best practices when printing your edocs.

Tips for Printing Documents:

You should not assume that the documents have been scanned over to you correctly. First review the documents before printing them to determine the size for which they are to be printed.

  1. If they are scanned all 8 ½ X 11 (letter)– they need to be printed on the appropriate sized paper
  2. If they are all 8 ½ X 14 (legal) – then they need to be printed on Legal
  3. If they are mixed and scanned as mixed, then print them on mixed pages if you have a multiple page printer. If not, print them all on legal, but make sure they do not shrink and they do not print in the middle of the page so that the bottoms can not be cut off.
  4. All Provident Funding Documents must be on 8 ½ X 11 – no exceptions

You can tell how they are scanned in and expected to print by reviewing the documents prior to printing so you can prepare your printer accordingly.

Always print a tester page by selecting just one page to print. You can choose the first page or a middle page just by entering the page number to be printed on the print selection page instead of choosing to print “All”. An example of a print screen is shown below. If the page is not printing correctly, is shrinking or too large, you can play with a couple of options:

  1. Page Scaling option: Fit to printable area
  2. Auto Rotate and Center (try selecting or un-selecting)
  3. Choose paper source by PDF paper size (this is a common one to select if you pages are being printed on the correct size paper BUT are being shrunk) By selecting this it auto adjust to a larger size to print properly on the correct size paper.
  4. Go to the Properties Tab and be sure you are selecting the correct size paper when printing.
  5. See Example of print screen on Page 2

You can try all these options while only printing a test page or two to be sure it’s working before printing the entire package, saving you time, paper and ink which all equals a savings in money.

When all else fails – DO NOT go sign a package that has the tops or bottoms cut off, or documents printed on legal that are shrunk to less than letter size, barely readable, too light or missing pages.  If this occurs, we will have to call and have it done over again.

If you are still having difficulties, please call our office directly for assistance during working hours or use our after hours support.

Often times the documents are scanned over 10.12 X 14.33. You can verify this by looking at the size as indicated on the screen shot on the right hand side. In this case you need to select “Choose paper source by PDF page size” and make sure you’re also set for legal sized paper.

We hope these tips will help you to print your edocs and avoid delays and duplicate signings.

Tips for Printing Documents:

You can not assume that the documents have been scanned over to you correctly. You must first review the documents before printing them to determine the size for which they are to be printed.

A. If they are scanned all 8 ½ X 11 (letter)– they need to be printed on the appropriate sized paper

B. If they are all 8 ½ X 14 (legal) – then they need to be printed on Legal

C. If they are mixed and scanned as mixed, then print them on mixed pages if you have a multiple page printer. If not, print them all on legal, but make sure they do not shrink and they do not print in the middle of the page so that the bottoms can not be cut off.

D. All Provident Funding Documents must be on 8 ½ X 11 – no exceptions

You can tell how they are scanned in and expected to print by reviewing the documents prior to printing so you can prepare your printer accordingly.

Always print a tester page by selecting just one page to print. You can choose the first page or a middle page just by entering the page number to be printed on the print selection page instead of choosing to print “All”. An example of a print screen is shown below. If the page is not printing correctly, is shrinking or too large, you can play with a couple of options:

A. Page Scaling option: Fit to printable area

B. Auto Rotate and Center (try selecting or un-selecting)

C. Choose paper source by PDF paper size (this is a common one to select if you pages are being printed on the correct size paper BUT are being shrunk) By selecting this it auto adjust to a larger size to print properly on the correct size paper.

D. Go to the Properties Tab and be sure you are selecting the correct size paper when printing.

E. See Example of print screen on Page 2

You can try all these while only printing a test page or two to be sure it’s working before printing the entire package, saving you time, paper and ink which all equals a savings in money.

When all else fails – DO NOT go sign a package that has the tops or bottoms cut off, or documents printed on legal that are shrunk to less than letter size, barely readable, too light or missing pages.. I will guarantee that we will be calling to have it done over again.

If you are still having difficulties, call out office direct for assistance during working hours or using our after hours support.

Often times the documents are scanned over 10.12 X 14.33. You can verify this by looking at the size as indicated on the screen shot on the right hand side. In this case you need to select “Choose paper source by PDF page size” and make sure you’re also set for legal sized paper.

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