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Business Services Division

Business Services Division > Notary > Functions of a Notary > Official Notary Guide > Duties and Responsibilities Duties and Responsibilities

Before taking acknowledgement or oath of any person, the notary public shall ascertain whether the person executing the instrument knows the contents of the instrument. If the person does not know the contents, the notary shall take steps to ensure the person knows the contents before taking the oath or acknowledgement.

In the event a notary public does not know the person presenting the instrument for notarization, the notary should do the following:

  1. Ask the person for identification (driver's license), or
  2. Have another person identify the party requesting notarization.
  3. If neither option is available or satisfactory, the notary may ask the person to take an oath as to his/her identity.
  4. If these attempts at identification are unsuccessful, the notary may refuse service for his/her own protection.

A notary public shall at the time of signing the certificate of acknowledgement, oath, or instrument, append to the instrument the date of expiration of his/her commission, his/her county of residence, and the date the instrument was notarized.

Each notary, in addition to affixing his name, expiration date, and seal, shall print or type his name immediately beneath his signature on a certificate of acknowledgement, jurat, or other official document, unless his name appears in one of the following places:

  1. In printed form on the document; or
  2. As part of his stamp in such form as to be legible when the document is photocopied.

The notary also shall indicate his county of residence on the document. (Ind. Code 33-42-2-9)

When notarizing documents for the purposes of recording, the notary public must ensure the following:

  1. The name of each person (typed, printed, or stamped) executing the instrument is immediately beneath the signature
  2. That the person's name written in the body of the instrument matches the signature
  3. That the name of each witness (typed, printed, or stamped) is beneath the signature
  4. That the name of the notary (typed, printed, or stamped) is beneath the signature

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