I Made an Error During a Signing. How Do I Fix It?

If you realize that you have made an error, don’t panic. Most errors can be fixed but they do need to be corrected as soon as possible.

I made an error and am still at the signing:

If you have made an error in one of your notarial certificates, follow your state’s requirements for making corrections. In most cases, you just need to strike through the mistake, write in the correction, and initial/date.

If an error was made outside of your notarial certificate, for example if a signer wrote the incorrect date or signed in the wrong spot, the easiest thing to do is to pull the same document from their copy of the package. Have them correctly sign and date the fresh copy.

(If you do not have an extra copy of the document package at the signing, you will need to reprint and then return to make the correction at your own expense. This is one reason why it is recommended to always print a copy for the borrower.)

I made an error and realized after I had left the signing but before I shipped the document package:

Contact the signers immediately and ask if they are available to meet again to make the correction that same day.

If the signers will not be available again before you need to ship the documents, contact the signing service/title company who hired you to ask them how they would like you to proceed. Some may request that you send the rest of the package back, make the correction as soon as possible, and then ship or scan the corrected document(s). Other’s may ask you to hold on to the package and only ship it after the correction has been made.

I made an error but already shipped the document package:

When this happens, you will usually be contacted by the signing service or title company and informed of the error. Confirm that an error was made by requesting a photo copy of the document in question.

Review your state’s notarial laws before proceeding with a correction. Some states permit corrections to notarial certificates after the fact, but many do not. You may need to meet with the signer(s) again to make the correction.

NOTE: Many signing service and title company employees are not commissioned notaries and may not be familiar with notarial laws. They may ask you to make a correction in a way that would be against the law in your state. If this happens, it’s important that you explain that you can only make corrections in a way that is compliant with your state’s notarial laws. Do not budge in this situations. They may try hard to convince you but, remember, as a notary public your duty is to always follow your state’s notarial laws.

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