Notary Public Training Course

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The Notary Process

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PROCESS FOR ADMINISTERING AN OATH OF OFFICE

A notary is authorized to administer an oath of office to an elected official. In order to properly administer an oath of office:

  • the elected person should be physically present
  • the notary must administer the correct oath of office to the elected official
  • the elected official should sign the oath of office in the presence of the notary
  • the notary public must sign, date, and affix their seal to the oath of office
  • at least two (2) original oaths should be executed by the elected official and the notary so that one (1) can be provided to the correct public office

PROCESS FOR ACKNOWLEDGING A SIGNATURE

The form and content of each notarial act on an instrument to be recorded in the public records, including the court system, must include the following:

  • an acknowledgment
  • a signature (or mark) of each party to the document
  • the signature of the notary
  • the notary’s seal of office by either ink stamp or embossed impression

PLACE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Any signature acknowledged by you as a notary public must be executed within the State of Alabama and in your physical presence unless utilizing two-way audio-video communication (to be discussed later).


IDENTIFICATION

Positive Identification can be made by any of the following:

  • personal knowledge of the identity of the person appearing before you
  • presentation of a photo identification issued by a governmental entity or agency such as a driver’s license or passport
  • Before you complete the notarization, make sure the person signing appears to be competent, has capacity to sign the document and is signing the document knowingly and voluntarily. You can refuse to perform the notarization if you do not believe the signer meets these requirements.

Only allow the person to sign AFTER you have positively identified the person signing the document.


THE NOTARY JOURNAL

It is highly recommended but not required that you maintain a notary journal. If you are using a notary journal, now would be the suggested time to add the entry. You should include the following:

  • the date and time of the notarization
  • the type of notarial act performed
  • a description of the document
  • the type of identification used
  • the fee charged
  • the printed name and address of the signer
  • the signer’s signature

COMPLETING THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Finally, you will complete the notarization by signing your name and affixing your seal.

Your signature must match the name on your official notary stamp.


FEES FOR NOTARIAL ACTS

You are permitted a “reasonable fee” not to exceed ten dollars ($10.00) for each notarial act performed.

Please note that if you are a state, county, or municipal employee you may not charge a fee for any notarial act performed during your public service unless provided by law.


PROHIBITIONS AGAINST ACKNOWLEDGMENT

A notary may not perform an acknowledgment in any transaction where you have a pecuniary (relating to money) interest.

A notary should not take an acknowledgment, or a verification, or proof, or administer an oath or affirmation if the notary reasonably believes it to be false.

There is no prohibition in Alabama against notarizing documents for spouses or immediate family members. However, it is best practice not to do so as it can give rise to allegations of self-dealing.