Notarizing Mylar Plat Maps
People ask to have documents notarized in Idaho every day. Some of them are more common than others. Mylar plat maps are less common, but we do receive requests to notarize them. This post provides an overview of what a plat map is, why it needs to be printed on mylar, how we notarize plat maps, and why they are notarized.
What is a Plat Map?
A plat map is a type of map that shows how plats or tracts of land are divided in your Idaho county. Drawn at scale, it records important things you need to know including where rights of way, flood zones, easements, nearby streets, and boundaries are located. Civil engineers draft these maps when a development is constructed and the plat map gets approved by the planning department that the development is located in.
Essentially, it shows the makeup of the plots in a particular neighborhood, county township, or county. Not all properties are plated. Usually, land that is described by subdivision lot numbers is plated whereas land that is described using geographical references is not.
Plat maps are used by title companies in real estate as part of a title search and title insurance to make sure that the seller is entitled to sell the property in the transaction and the buyer is purchasing the property that they are buying.
Why Do Plat Maps Need to Be Printed on Mylar?
Plat maps are printed on mylar, which is made with a polyester film called BoPET. Mylar is transparent, durable, and it has high tensile strength because it is stretched in two directions. This means that it can be stretched for a long period of time without breaking. Mylar is one of the most widely used polyester films and the term is commonly used to refer to plastic film in general.
At first glance, it might seem that printing on mylar seems unnecessary because there are paper maps. But many counties in Idaho and across the US require subdivision maps to be submitted on mylar or linen, and paper because they need to be archived and must withstand the test of time. Paper is subject to aging, breakdown, and ripping. Mylar is much more durable by comparison and will be available for use when it is needed.
Who Requests a Plat Map Notarization?
Plat map notarizations may be requested by a title company, surveyor, or the developer of the subdivision.
How to Notarize a Plat Map
Because Mylar is made out of a polyester film, it’s not going to have the same consistency as paper. This means that the traditional ink used for a notary stamp will smear if applied to the mylar. Some states, like Oregon for example, do not require a plat map to be stamped. However, if your state does require the plat map to be signed and stamped, you will need different ink.
It is recommended that the plat map be signed using a permanent marker or another type of ink that does not smear. If the plat map requires a notary seal to be applied, the notary should purchase permanent ink that is compatible with their stamp, such as an industrial ink pad. This type of ink may need to be ordered from a specialty store due to the nature of the application.
If the plat map in question does need to be notarized, notaries can use a solvent cleaning spray to clean up any excess ink with a cotton swab. Even though notarizing a plat map is uncommon, the same rules still apply. The notary seal must be clearly legible, and it cannot smear. If it does, the map will be rejected by the county recorder’s office.
A notary may still be asked to notarize a plat map without having to apply the stamp to the map itself. The county recorder’s office will specify if the plat map should be accompanied by a loose certificate. If so, complete the loose certificate required, and it will be filed along with the map.
Do not be afraid to ask questions when notarizing a plat map. Make sure that it meets the requirements set forth by the county where the map will be filed when it is notarized. This will save your client time, hassle, and another notarization appointment.
Idaho Notary Signing Agent is ready to assist clients in Ada County, ID with the signing of specialty documents, loan signings, and general notary work.