A local resident whose car was damaged due to a pothole on Highway I-85, called into the GreenvilleNotary.com phone lines at approximately 2:40pm for a State of South Carolina Department of Transportation Damage Claim Form. Although the signing involved just one (1) sheet of paper, it took longer than the normal run-of-the-mill signing because the resident wanted to ensure that he was filling out the information correctly. Did you know that, as a notary public, it is against the law to notarize on a document that is not fully filled out by the signing party before us? As a notary or a layperson you may say, “Well, I thought you weren’t supposed to care what lies within the document.” While this is true, the reason why we must have a document that is completed is because of the big ‘F’. Fraud is not pretty, nor would you, as a notary, want to end up in a courtroom because you notarized a signature on behalf of a document party to an instance of fraud. Notarizing on a document full of blanks is tantamount to signing a blank check.
Therefore, beware of documents that have “blank spaces”, ensure those blank spaces are filled in with either the information requested, or if necessary N/A (not applicable). There are some choice documents that you will notarize on that have spaces that are blank for recording purposes, for example, deed documents. In this case, it is commonplace to leave this section blank. To learn more, I urge you as either a notary or layperson to seek assistance from your Secretary of State or an attorney familiar with the notary laws in your state.
Assignment completed by Certified Notary Public Sonita M. Leak at GreenvilleNotary.com Headquarters.