Top Five Notary Problems We See When Reviewing Legal Documents in Virginia

It is very common in the legal and financial worlds for signature documents to require a notary certification.  A notary is a public official who acts as an unbiased witness to the identity the signature of the person who comes before the notary. The key function of a notary is to be certain that the person appearing before the notary is who that person claims to be.  Notaries are essential to the practice of law. They make sure that wills, affidavits, power of attorneys, acknowledgment letters of an estate, real estate documents, among many other things are lawful and valid. Without them, these documents often hold no value.

One reason that notarizing documents is so important is because, if done incorrectly, it can void the whole document. There are several ways that notarizing a document can go awry.  The top five issues we see are:

  1. Missing notary information such as commission expiration date and notary registration number
  2. An unreadable notary stamp (The stamp must include the words “Notary Public” and “Commonwealth of Virginia” in order to be valid)
  3. Missing the location of where the notary was when the document was signed
  4. Missing the name of each person who is being notarized
  5. The notary commission being expired at the time of signature

Any of these issues may void the entire document and would therefore make the document unenforceable in the eyes of the law. The good news is that there are some instances where an issue in notarization can be fixed. Each state has their own laws for what can be done to fix a mistake.

If you need a legal document reviewed or have an issue with a previously notarized document please feel free to email us at or call us at (804) 423.1382.  We would like to help.