Section 37(2) of the Notary Public Act provides that a notary public is not liable for the truth, form or contents of a record he or she notarizes. This protects a notary from civil and criminal liability if a court finds fault with a document's truth, form or contents.
However, a notary could be required to pay damages to someone whose damages are caused by the notary's negligence or misconduct when performing a notarial act. To minimize this risk:
- Always require document signers to appear before you at the time of notarization.
- Positively identify all document signers.
- Carefully complete the notarization including your name as it appears on your commission; the county of commission; commission expiration date; the statement "Acting in the County of ______" (if performing a notarial act in a county other than your county of commission); and the date of notarization.
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