What Notary Can’t Do

There are few things that Notary Public can’t do in his capacity:

  • We cannot officiate if the document signer is not physically present.

  • We cannot sign and seal a blank notarial certificate.

  • We cannot give you any advice or opinions given by an attorney—this is unlicensed practice of law.

  • Notaries in New York State have no authority to certify copies of documents (for instance, “I hereby certify that this is a true and correct copy…” ). However, we may sign a form of an affidavit on a copy where the document’s custodian signs and swears to the document (usually a government-issued picture ID). This can suffice as a notarized copy in most instances but is not a certified copy.

  • We may not certify the accuracy of a translation – we may take the oath of a person who swears the translation is accurate.

  • We cannot insert or fill in information for the signers.

  • We cannot advise the signer as to exactly what their answers should be to questions.

  • We cannot backdate or forward the date of notarization.

  • We cannot proceed with notarization if the signer cannot be positively identified through personal knowledge or satisfactory identification evidence.

  • We cannot prepare or choose the documents for signing.

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