This request was made by the adoption agency for a couple who are adopting an international child. The country allowing the adoption wants to be sure all the notarized documents for the adoption are not tampered or manipulated. As a result, they requested that documents with multiple pages be fanned and the notary stamp imprinted. The California Secretary of State does not allow notary publics to fulfill this request. If we do, the Secretary of State will reject the documents during the apostille or certification process. County recorders offices will reject such documents too. This means a delay, more time, energy and probably money to fix the problem.
Last year, a business client’s notary imprinted her notary stamp on fanned pages of a notarized document. It was for a business in a foreign country who also wanted to be sure pages of the documents were not tampered. The document required an apostille from the Secretary of State, who rejected the document because the notary stamp was affixed to the document without the correct notarial wording.
“Many documents that are acknowledged may later be recorded. A document may not be accepted by the recorder if the notary public seal is illegible. Notaries public are cautioned to make sure that the notary public stamp leaves a clear impression. All the elements must be discernible. The seal should not be placed over signatures or over any printed matter on the document. An illegible or improperly placed seal may result in rejection of the document for recordation and result in inconveniences and extra expenses for all those involved.” page 7, Notary Public Handbook 2011, California Secretary of State
“….a notary public seal and signature cannot be affixed to a document without the correct notarial wording.” page 11, Notary Public Handbook 2011, California Secretary of State
To meet the California Secretary of State and the adoption agency requirements, I embossed the pages of multiple page documents that did not include the notarial wording and notary stamp. This assures the foreign country and the adoption agency that no one tampered with the notarized documents. My clients were relieved there was a way to comply with the Secretary of State’s and with the adoption agency requirements, so their documents could be apostilled and sent to the adoption agency on schedule. Then, they could adopt their new daughter by the end of this year.
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