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Notarial Awareness: Ensuring Signer Understanding

In the realm of notarial duties, it’s crucial to recognize that notaries aren’t diagnosticians, yet they play a pivotal role in determining a signer’s awareness. This blog delves into the importance of discerning a signer’s understanding and the responsibilities notaries bear in this regard.

Recognizing Signs of Confusion:

  1. Non-Medical Observation: While notaries aren’t medical professionals, they are keen observers. If a signer exhibits confusion or appears unsure about the document’s contents, it’s a red flag that demands attention.
  2. Clear Communication: Notaries must ensure clear communication throughout the notarization process. If a signer expresses uncertainty or asks questions, it’s the notary’s responsibility to address concerns and provide clarification.

Notarial Responsibilities:

  1. Refusing Notarization: If a notary suspects a signer lacks awareness or understanding, they have the right to refuse notarization. This ethical stance ensures the integrity of the notarial act.
  2. Asking Questions: Notaries should ask open-ended questions to gauge the signer’s comprehension. This proactive approach helps identify any potential issues before proceeding with the notarization.
  3. Documentation: Notaries should document any observations related to a signer’s awareness in their notarial record. This documentation serves as a legal record of the notarial act and the signer’s state of awareness.

Remote Online Notary Considerations:

  1. Video Observations: In the realm of remote online notarization (RON), notaries must leverage video technology to assess the signer’s awareness. A clear video feed allows notaries to make informed decisions regarding the signer’s understanding.
  2. Thorough Identification: Remote notaries should employ thorough identification processes to ensure they are notarizing for the intended signer, adding an extra layer of security.


While notaries may not hold a medical expertise, they carry the responsibility of ensuring a signer’s awareness during the notarization process. This commitment to diligence, clarity, and ethical decision-making is paramount. For notarial services that prioritize understanding and professionalism, consider reaching out to a trusted remote online notary or a traveling notary near you.

For notarial services that prioritize your understanding and security, contact our trusted team of Remote Online Notaries. Your convenience, our commitment

Author: Vandana

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