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Ensuring Integrity: 5 Illegal Actions Notaries Must Never Commit

Notaries play a vital role in upholding the authenticity and legality of documents. With this responsibility comes a duty to adhere strictly to legal and ethical standards. In this guide, we’ll highlight five illegal actions that notaries must never commit. Whether you’re a North Carolina mobile notary or a New York mobile notary, understanding and avoiding these actions is crucial to maintaining the integrity of notarial services.

  1. Unauthorized Practice of Law: Notaries are not attorneys, and as such, they must refrain from offering legal advice or services beyond their notarial duties. Providing legal guidance or drafting legal documents is considered the unauthorized practice of law, a serious offense that can lead to legal consequences.
  2. Failure to Verify Signer Identity: Verifying the identity of the signer is a fundamental duty of a notary. Failing to properly identify the individual signing the document is not only a breach of notarial duty but can also result in the acceptance of fraudulent transactions.
  3. Backdating or Postdating Documents: Altering the date on a document to make it appear as if the notarization occurred on a different date is strictly prohibited. This act is illegal and can lead to severe penalties, including the revocation of the notary’s commission.
  4. Notarizing Incomplete or Blank Documents: Notaries must never notarize incomplete or blank documents. The document must be fully filled out and presented in its entirety before notarization. Failure to adhere to this principle compromises the integrity of the notarial process.
  5. Self-Notarization: Notaries are explicitly prohibited from notarizing their signatures or any document in which they have a personal interest. This includes documents that may financially benefit the notary directly. Self-notarization undermines the impartiality essential to the notarial role.

Compliance for Mobile Notaries in North Carolina and New York:

  1. Stay Informed: Mobile notaries in North Carolina and New York must stay informed about the specific laws and regulations governing notarial acts in their respective states. Regularly review updates to ensure compliance.
  2. Continued Education: Engage in continued education to stay abreast of changes in notarial laws and best practices. This commitment to learning helps mobile notaries enhance their knowledge and skills.
  3. Adopt Best Practices: Implement best practices in identity verification, document examination, and record-keeping to ensure the highest standard of notarial service.


Adhering to legal and ethical standards is paramount for notaries in North Carolina and New York. By avoiding these five illegal actions, mobile notaries can uphold the integrity of their profession, instilling trust in clients and contributing to the legitimacy of the notarial process.

Author: Vandana

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