Tennessee Notary Basics

The State of Tennessee, both through its laws and through the Attorney General’s legal opinions, seems to focus on low requirements for those who interact with the public and on minimizing the harm of what might otherwise be official misdeeds.

What I mean here is that the Notary Public is not required to use any specific wording for Jurats or Acknowledgments, as long as the words used convey the necessary facts, but any defective wording won’t invalidate the document’s Notarization if it is clear what the Notary was trying to do (an Acknowledgment or Jurat).

Also, the Notary is expected to put their Commission expiration date on the document, but the lack of such information does not invalidate the Notarization UNLESS it is determined that the Notary’s commission was expired (or not yet in effect) when the Notarization took place.

In other words, you, as a Tennessee Notary could be sued if you perform your duties improperly, but the actual harm to the suing party could be reduced by the fact that the Notarization may be valid even if you did it incorrectly. Any reduction in harm could reduce the amount of damages awarded if they win their suit.

In order to avoid legal expenses and other problems for the public or for yourself, it is always a Best Practice to follow the rules and laws to the best of your ability and to get legal advice from an attorney in your area if you have questions.

 

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About Tim Gatewood

55+, male, widowed (May 2016). Mobile notary public and signing agent, freelance writer, and ordained minister. Science fiction and fantasy fan, willing servant to cats, avid reader and collector of books and other stuff. Please see my websites (including this blog and others) for more info on me and what I think about the issues of the day.
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