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The Loose Certificate Guide: What Is It and How To Use It

A notarial certificate that is attached to the document is called a loose certificate.

how to attach a loose certificate

When there is no notarial wording on the document, you should attach a loose certificate. You can also try to write in the notarial wording on the document itself, you would write it in below the signature, because an attached loose certificate is not as secure as writing or typing the notarial information onto the document. If there is no room, then use a loose certificate. A loose certificate can also be attached when the notarial wording on the document is incorrect. The reason we urge you to try to write in the notarial wording on the document, is attaching your certificate comes with extra liability. The certificate can easily be removed from the document and attached to another or copied. When deciding if a loose certificate should be added, remember you cannot decide which notarial act should be completed. Ask the signer if they would like an acknowledgement or a jurat (you can explain to them what each means). You can show them sample certificates to help them decide, but unless you are a lawyer who can practice law in Florida, you are not allowed to offer your opinion or advice. Once a loose certificate is chosen, you complete it as you would the normal notarial act. Once, you have completed the notarial act with the loose certificate, staple it to the back of the document. You can note on the document a loose certificate is attached and vice versa on the loose certificate for extra security. We advise you state on the document, "see attached notarial certificate." On the loose certificate you can state the kind of document and how many pages it is as well as the date of the notarial act. Some notaries public will suggest, for extra security, placing the document needing the notarial act and the loose certificate side-by-side, placing the seal over both of them. By placing the seal over both, you will need both sheets of paper to have a whole impression, and it will be one step harder for someone to duplicate or separate the materials. Though, many notaries feel this increases the security of the documents it is not the best practice to divide the seal in half. It is not illegal in Florida to do so, it is merely frowned upon. Recording the notarial act in your record book, with a clear description of the document, will allow a record of the loose certificate and its connection to the particular document. When notarial wording is missing, many individuals will ask you which notarial act they need to be completed. Remember, you can show the signer the different notarial acts, but you cannot give advice to which one you should be completed. If they decide on the act, then proceed with determining if you can fit the notarial wording on the document or a loose certificate is needed, if the signer is unsure you can only advise them to call who is receiving the document or whomever created the document for clarification. The loose certificate can also be added to the notarization if an individual asks for a specific act that is different from the notarial wording on the document. For instance, if the individual asks you to complete an acknowledgement and the wording is for a jurat—after ensuring the individual understands what they are asking for—cross out the previous wording and attach a loose certificate with the correct information. If you ever encounter yourself in a situation where you are unsure, know NPU is here to answer your questions. Our customer care line can be reached at 800-821-0821.