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When To Notarize Important Construction Documents

When To Notarize Important Construction Documents

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Construction documents include conditions of the contract, contract forms, drawings, and specifications. They serve as an application for a building permit and for the construction of the building.  Now, where does notarization come in?  Notarization commonly enters the scene in the construction payment documents. But when is it really required? Let’s find out. 

How To Decide When To Notarize Important Construction Documents

Notarization is important because it prevents forgery and ensures sound decisions. In the construction scene, however, there may be issues involving subcontractors as they’re sometimes asked to notarize payment documents. To straighten the kinks of the process, let’s delve into the decision process of notarization of construction documents. 

Do you need to?

Actually, it’s not necessary. It’s not a requirement for most states and a verbal contract is already legally enforceable in most states.  Despite that, there are advantages to getting your documents notarized. Mostly for “just-in-case” situations like the other party objecting to the agreement. Notarization also strengthens the contract and serves as extra proof of the agreement. 

Is there a need to notarize a payment application?

Again, not necessary, unless it’s explicitly stated in the contract. Considering how it’s not a binding document, there is no logical need to notarize a payment application. If it’s required in your contract, talk to your GC or the property owner to have it removed.

Is it necessary to have the change order notarized?

The premise of change orders depends on construction projects fluctuating in progress, having additions and deductions. An approved change order by itself becomes part of the original contract so there is no need to notarize it. 

For reference, you should find the description of work, change in cost, and signatures of both parties expressing agreement on the approved change order. 

Is it necessary to notarize a mechanics line?

This one is a bit more complicated. In 30 states, yes, you need to notarize a mechanics lien. One of these states is Florida. In Florida, there is a 90-day deadline to file for a mechanics line. The 90-day count starts from the last polishing labor or materials of the project. 
The claimant is required to give the property owner a copy of the lien within 15 days after filing the lien. It sounds like a hassle, doesn’t it? Makes you wonder how to become a Florida Notary to be able to assist people in this process. Furthermore, the enforcement of a mechanics line in Florida should be initiated within one year after the line has been filed. 
The deadline cannot be extended. 

Is it necessary to have a preliminary notice notarized?

It’s not really necessary but it depends on the state. There are states wherein the project’s preliminary notices should be filed instead of just being sent. If that’s the case, check if it also needs notarization. 
There are also states that do not require claimants to send a preliminary notice. In this case, you don’t need to notarize construction documents.
It’s safe to say that the notarization process can be seen on a case-to-case basis; some require it, some don’t, some have extra steps. In the end, it’s important to be familiar with the state law, the construction contract, and your GC or property owner’s preference before you notarize. 
 

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