What Would You Do: The Case Of The Absent Signer

The Notary Hotline receives hundreds of calls daily from Notaries nationwide who find themselves in challenging situations. To boost your knowledge of Notary best practices, we’ve created a series of scenarios based on actual situations and ask a simple question: What would you do?

In this scenario, a client needs you to notarize his boss’ signature on an affidavit. The only problem is, the boss had to leave the country on business and needs the document notarized before he returns. Your client insists that the signature belongs to his boss because he personally stood there while his boss signed the document.

“I understand there is a way this can be notarized because I saw him sign it,” the client says. “I’ll sign whatever is necessary.” What would you do?

What Would You Do?

Members of the NNA community frequently share accounts of encountering dubious or improper notarial practices, and it is not always clear how they should respond. In this case, in this situation, you are dealing with an absent signer. Requiring the signer to personally appear before you at the time of the notarization is one of the most important elements of your duties. But is there anything you can do to help your client while obeying the laws and rules of your state? Or must you send the client away?

To participate in this week’s “What Would You Do?” scenario, share your answers in the comments section below. We may mention your response in next week’s Bulletin, when we offer the best possible answer(s) to this notarial challenge.

Michael Lewis is Managing Editor of member publications for the National Notary Association.


Try me.

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