Common Notary Mistakes to Avoid

From an outsider’s perspective, the job of a notary public may seem simple enough; the notary witnesses and authenticates various documents as a safety measure to prevent fraud. The notary observes the signature taking place, checks the signer’s identify, and then stamps his or her seal on the document. But there are some common mistakes made by notaries that places the document at risk for being invalid.

Can a Notary Complete an I-9 Form?

The I-9 form (also known as the Employment Eligibility Verification form) is used by employers to verify employees’ identity and eligibility to work in the U.S. In 1986, The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) went into effect, requiring all employers to verify their employees identify and work eligibility using the I-9 form. All employees hired after November 6, 1986 must submit an I-9 before they are legally allowed to begin work. The employee is responsible for completing Section 1 of the form, and the employer is responsible for completing Section 2.

Can a Notary Backdate a Document?

Nearly every notary public will find themselves in a position where they are asked to backdate a document. For instance, a client may ask his or her Notary Signing Agent (NSA) to write an earlier date in the “date” field to lock in a lower mortgage rate. If the mortgage isn’t complete by a specified date, the borrower could lose the mortgage rate, so they attempt to persuade the notary public to include a date prior to the actual signing.

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