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Monday, September 19, 2011

Photographically Reproducible Seal Impressions

Photographically Reproducible Seal Impressions
ASN Hot Tip, June 2008-#1
The Situation:  A somewhat irate client came into a notary’s office with a document over which the notary had performed a notarial act a week ago. The client told the notary that the document was rejected by the document recipient because they had to make photocopies of the document that showed the notary’s official seal.
The Notary's Dilemma:  The notary's state authorizes notaries to use a metal embosser as an official seal. The raised embossment that the notary made on the notarial certificate of this document did not show up as part of a photocopy of the document.
More and more states are requiring that the notary’s official seal on a notarial certificate be photographically reproducible. When a notary uses an ink stamp as her official seal, it is usually in black ink and will show up on a photocopy of the document. (Utah requires purple ink and Tennessee requires a color other than black or yellow.)
Metal embossers that leave a raised imprint on the notarial certificate are permitted for use as an official seal by some states. However, the raised imprint by itself will not show up on a photocopy of the document.
The Solution:  If a notary uses a metal embosser as her official seal, she should carefully darken the very top of the raised embossment so that the seal will be visible on a photocopy of the document. Fortunately, there is the seal impression inker. It is a round ink pad with a tab on the back. The notary holds the impression inker by the tab and gently lowers it onto the raised embossment. A slight turn of the pad inks the top of the raised impression.
Even if your state has no particular regulation on notary seals being photographically reproducible, be aware that once it leaves you, the document bearing your notarial certificate could be subject to many circumstances requiring it to be photocopied. ASN recommends, therefore, that if you use an embosser as your official notarial seal, you should also make it a habit to darken the raised seal embossment with a seal impression inker.
At this time, these states require that the notary’s seal be photographically reproducible:
Alaska              Arizona           Arkansas           California
Delaware           Idaho              Illinois                Indiana
Kansas             Michigan         Minnesota          Mississippi
Missouri            Nebraska        Nevada               North Carolina
North Dakota     Oregon           Pennsylvania       Tennessee
Texas               Utah               Virginia               Washington
West Virginia     Wyoming
Questions, comments on this Hot Tip?  Email

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