- April 24, 2024

Notary Initialling: Clarifying Our Policy on Witnessing and Document Signatures at Walk-In Notary

At Walk-In Notary, our responsibility as Notaries Public is specialized and strictly defined under the law. We serve an important function in witnessing the signing of documents and creating certified copies of original documents. It’s crucial to recognize that our services do not extend to providing legal advice, assisting with document preparation, or reviewing the content of your documents for legal adequacy.

When it comes to signing documents, our role is to ensure that the signature on the document is made by the individual named in it. This process does not involve initialling by the notary, as initialling carries a specific legal implication — it signifies that the person initialling has read, understood, and agreed to the content on the respective page. As notaries, we are not party to the contents of the documents; our sole purpose is to verify the identity of the signers and their conscious act of signing. The only exception to this is that we do initial changes to a document, particularly if we are the ones that make the change.

Some clients have requested that we, as notaries, place our initials on documents to indicate that we have witnessed their own initialling of the pages. However, we do not fulfil this request for several reasons:

Initials are inherently ambiguous and cannot definitively be linked to a specific individual without additional evidence.

Initialling by a notary may be misinterpreted as an endorsement or agreement with the content, which is outside our role.

If it is necessary for a third party to have the initials on each page witnessed, we can accommodate this by notarizing the page with a clear statement specifying that we have witnessed the client’s initials. This formal declaration removes any ambiguity and provides a reliable record of the action taken.

Please be aware that notarizing initials on each page is a separate process from simply witnessing a signature, and may therefore be subject to additional procedures and fees.

We value the trust placed in us by our clients and strive to maintain the integrity of our notarial practice by adhering to these guidelines.

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