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Posted by: C. Nichols on Jul 1, 2020

By Fredric L. Young, Green & Green Lawyers

Dayton Bar Association Co-Chair Judges Section on Notaries Public

(This article first appeared in the Dayton Bar Briefs Magazine in September 2019. Thanks to the Dayton Bar Association and Frederic L. Young for permission to repost!)

Notaries public are an important part of our legal system.  They play a critical role in depositions, presentation of affidavits, transfers of property, financial documentation, and the list goes on.  The processes for obtaining and monitoring commissions for notaries public in Ohio have been largely unchanged for decades, but those processes often differed county by county, until S.B. 263 (also identified as the Notary Public Modernization Act) was signed by Governor John Kasich on December 18, 2018. The commissioning process has been centralized, notaries public face more stringent reporting requirements, and a new concept, online notarization, is now permitted. 

Posted by: C. Nichols on Apr 27, 2020

10 Step Checklist to Notarizing an Ohio Document: #1

#1 -

#2 - Examine the document. Though you as the notary are not generally concerned with what's in the document, you want to ensure that there are no changes or blanks left unfilled. If there are blanks, cross them out and have the signer initial.

#3 - Make sure the signer understands the document and its intention.

#4 - Make sure that the date on the document is no later than the date of notarization.

#5 - Ensure that all signers appear before you. If all parties cannot all be present, your notarization should reflect only those who appeared in your presence. Those not present will have to obtain a separate notarization for their signatures.

#6 - Make sure that all signers to the document that you are notarizing sign your notary journal exactly as they signed the document.

#7 - Obtain all necessary information in your journal for accurate records

#8 - Be sure the facts in the notarial certificate are accurate.

#9 - For an "Acknowledgement" - Have all signers sign the document or if signed previously, acknowledge that it was previously signed. If the signer must acknowledge that it was signed previously, ask them aloud "do you acknowledge that this is your signature and that you understand and willfully signed this document?"

#10 - Keep the contents of the document confidential.

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