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October 5, 2018

Index of posts about Notary Acts

Here is my index of posts about various Notary acts including Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, and more.



Notary Public 101 — Basic Notary Acts

Oaths — how notaries completely screw them up

Airline meals versus Oaths & Affirmations (very interesting and informative)

How do I get an Apostille or Authentication?

Notary Public 101 — quick review pointers (includes notary act info)



Affirmations — pleasing politically correct people while offending everyone else

Should you use book wording for Oaths or improvise?

Oaths and the art of improvisation

Notary perjury and Oaths



Notary Acknowledgment Wording

Notary loses $4000 because fraud adds name to Acknowledgment certificate

California Acknowledgment Wording explained

Optional information on Acknowledgment Certificate



Interesting and uncommon Notary acts

Information about various notary procedures

Which Notary act does not require the personal appearance of the signer?


September 16, 2018

Index of posts about Journals

Here is our index of posts about Notary journals

Notary Public 101 — Journals
This is a more comprehensive guide to understanding using Notary journals although we do have supplemental reading as well.

Notary Journals from A to Z

Everything you need to know about journals

How many journal entries do you create if you have two signers each signing three notarized documents?

Do you keep a journal to please your state, a judge, the FBI or 123notary?

Journals with check boxes

Do journals need to be kept under lock and key?

What is someone signs the wrong line in my notary book?

Journal abbreviation keys

Filling out your journal before the appointment?

Five things a Notary must do

Why keep a journal?

NNA is a great place for 1-stop notary shopping especially journals


September 9, 2018

Index of posts about Notary Certificates

Here is a quick index of our posts about notary certificates. I hope it is useful. They are in order of how useful the posts are rather than chronological order.

Notary Public 101 — certificates

10 tight points on loose certificates

Do you notarize loose certificates as a Notary?

What is a venue in a Notary certificate?

What forms should a Notary keep in his/her bag?

Optional information in acknowledgment certificates

Sending loose certificates in the mail is illegal.

Notary Certificate Wording section by section

Signing Agent Best Practices 63 Points

Notary Certificates, Wording & Notary Verbiage

Make your own Notary certificate forms.

Notary Acknowledgment Wording

Can you send a loose acknowledgment, you should hear the answers

If the Lender has the notary change a date on the acknowledgment

Marcy Attaches a certificate (educational comedy)


September 6, 2018

The Mickey Mouse Oath

Filed under: Notary Acts & Certificates — admin @ 10:11 am

Many people don’t listen well. When I ask them to administer an Oath to me that I know Mickey Mouse, they administer an Oath to me asking if I am Mickey Mouse. In such a case, they should say, “Raise your right paw.”

I want to just let Notaries know — in all 50 states, Notaries are expected to be able to administer Oaths. There are Oaths for credible witnesses, oral statements, court appearances, and Oaths as to the truthfulness of documents. Please learn how to do all of these Oaths perfectly and practice so that you will know what to do when the time comes.


September 5, 2018

An idea for safeguarding used notary journals

If you are a California Notary, you are required to safeguard your current journal and keep it under lock and key as well as your Notary seal. However, the used journals that stack up in your closet are not required to be locked up. This poses a problem. What if there is a fire, flood, or you lose them, or they get stolen?

I talked to my father, a retired programmer and retired Attorney. He thought the books should be returned to the county clerk. I told him that would be a bad idea because sometimes there are inquiries about journal entries and the county clerk might be sluggish about responding to queries.

Another solution could be to have local lock boxes for Notaries spread out throughout each big county. That way the Notary can keep their journals safe in a lock box exclusive to them, but have access without having to drive more than a few minutes. They could put copy machines in those storage facilities too. It is an expensive idea, but safeguards the integrity of our profession. What do you think?


September 4, 2018

Who does what in an Acknowledgment?

Notary Acknowledgments

What baffles me is that virtually none of our Notaries on our site can adequately describe any Notary act without Carmen or myself teaching them one by one. I cannot teach everyone by hand and I do not get paid for that either. So, here is my dissertation on how Acknowledgment procedure is typically misinterpreted by Notaries which can lead to legal issues.

QUESTION — What is an Acknowledgment?

1. The signer verifies that the document is correct
2. The Notary verifies that the document is correct
3. The Notary must witness the document being signed (only a few states require this)
4. The Notary acknowledges that the signer signed
5. “You” acknowledge the signature — who is “you?” Is it the Notary or the signer? Ambiguous and therefore not correct.
6. The signer must swear to the truthfulness of th document. (you must be thinking of a Jurat.

Some states such as Massachusetts have laws regarding signing under duress and require the signer to state, claim or swear (not sure which) that they signed a notarized document on their own free will. I do not know state Notary laws and you have to be responsible for knowing the laws of the state(s) you are commissioned in. Please do not confuse swearing that you signed a document on your own free will with swearing to the truthfulness of the document, because one of those two Oaths does not constitute or substitute the other as they are two separate and unique practices.

An Acknowledgment is a Notary act where a signer appears before a Notary Public, and acknowledges (sometimes nonverbally which is convoluted but true) that they signed a particular instrument (document) by virtue of the fact that they say, “please notarize this.” The Notary then identifies the signer normally by virtue of a current government photo ID, credible witnesses, or sometimes personal knowledge. The Notary does NOT verify if the document is correct. The Notary checks to make sure the signature on the document matches the signature in the ID and Notary journal. All three should match. The Notary then certifies that the signer appear before him/her, was positively identified, and that the signer Acknowledged signing the document. The Notary does not acknowledge or verify anything other than the fact that the signature matches their ID and the Notary journal (common misconception). The verb for the action of the Notary could be construed as “certifying” by virtue of the fact that the Notary’s job is to fill out an Acknowledgment “certificate” form for the Notary act.

1. The signer APPEARS before the Notary.
2. The signer ACKNOWLEDGES having signed a document (past tense, does not have to sign before the Notary.)
3. The Notary checks the signer’s IDENTIFICATION, or uses credible witnesses, or personal knowledge depending on state laws where you are.
4. The Notary has the signer sign a JOURNAL ENTRY. Not all states require a journal but you should keep on for legal reasons.
5. The Notary COMPARES the signature on the document, journal and ID for consistency.
6. The Notary fills out an Acknowledgment Certificate certifying that:
(a) The signer personally appeared
(b) Was proven to be the person named in the document
(c) The signer acknowledged having signed the document.

Once again, the signer does not verify the document is true. The signer does not verify signing the document, they ACKNOWLEDGE having signed the document. The document (in most states) can be signed prior to appearing before the Notary. The Notary does not verify the document is true.


You might also like:

The new acknowledgment form for transgender people

Notary Acknowledgment Wording

Notary Public 101’s guide to Notary Acts


September 1, 2018

How much does a Notary cost in 2018 & 2019?

Filed under: Public Interest — Tags: — admin @ 11:04 am

How much do Notaries charge?
How much can a Notary charge?
How much is a Notary?

Notary fees are regulated by the laws of the various fifty states. So, each state has a different rate that a Notary can charge and a different procedure for a Notary to get a Notary commission. In addition to charging officially designated maximum Notary fees, many Notaries on our directory travel to their clients and charge travel fees in addition to waiting fees if you keep them waiting too long. It is common for Notaries to have a fixed price for loan signing packages that range from $75 to $150 per signing which is a price that might include printing eDocuments. But, let’s try to give you a better idea of what particular states offer as Notary fees.

Please keep in mind that there are also fees for Oaths & Affirmations which are done in all states that I am aware of. There are also more obscure Notary acts done in particular states that are not done in all states.

How much can an Alabama Notary charge?
$5 for an Acknowledgment or Jurat.

How much can an Alaska Notary charge?
There is no set fee but I heard that in remote areas Notaries get paid in moose or salmon (generally fresh).

How much can an Arizona Notary charge?
An AZ Notary may charge $10 per Acknowledgment (for the first signer) and $10 per Jurat.
Fees changed as of March 2018 up from $2 per signature.

How much can a California Notary charge?
A California Notary Public may charge $15 per Acknolwedged signature or per Jurat. There are other types of fees, but those are the most common.

How much can a Florida Notary charge?
A Florida Notary Public may charge $10 per Acknowledgment, however the price is fixed no matter how many signatures are on the notarized document. Jurats would also be $10.

How much can an Illinois Notary charge?
An Illinois Notary may charge a whopping $1 per Acknowledged signature or for a Jurat.

How much can an Indiana Notary charge?
$2 per Acknowledgment or Jurat

How much can a Maryland Notary charge?
A Maryland Notary may charge $4 per Acknowledgment or Jurat

How much can a Michigan Notary charge?
A Michigan Notary may charge up to $10 per Jurat or Acknowledged signature.

How much can a Minnesota Notary charge?
Generally $2 per Acknowledgment or Jurat

How much can a New Jersey Notary charge?
A New Jersey Notary can charge $2.50 per Acknowledgment, Jurat, or Oath

How much can a New York Notary charge?
A New York Notary may only charge $2 per Acknowledged signature or Jurat or for each sworn witness.

How much can a North Carolina Notary charge?
A North Carolina Notary may charge $5 per principal signature on an Acknowledgment or Jurat.

How much can a Pennsylvania Notary Public charge?
A Pennsylvania Notary may charge $5 for the first Acknowledged signature and $2 for each subsequent signature. Jurats are $5 per piece.

How much can a Texas Notary charge?
A Texas Notary Public may charge $6 for the first Acknowledged signature and $1 for each additional plus $6 for administering an Oath.

How much can a Virginia Notary Public charge?
A Virginia Notary may charge $5 for each Acknowledged signature or Jurat.

HELP, my state was not on the list…
No problem, just click on the FIND A NOTARY link and look up your state. We have pricing for all states documented in our website.

NOTE: Prices are subject to change. If our pricing has become outdated for any particular state, do not comment on this blog, rather, email us at and politely inform us of the price change.

For states not mentioned or updates in the future, please refer to

You might also like:

See our information about Acknowledgments (string)

Index of posts about general Notary information

Basic Notary acts

What does a Notary cost in 2016?


August 30, 2018

Notary Public Information

Notary Public

If you would like general information about the Notary world, read this! There are many things to know about the Notary world from how to become a Notary, how to find one, and the particular types of jobs and Notary acts Notaries do (or commit.) We will try to elaborate on all of this information below.


Become a Notary Public

To become a Notary Public requires contacting your state’s Notary division. Most states have rules for who can become a Notary.


No felons allowed!
You generally have to be free of felony convictions or of convictions of crimes that involve moral turpitude such as fraud.

Residency requirements
You should be a legal resident of the state you want to be commissioned in as a general rule, although some states allow residents of neighboring states who work in state.

No citizenship requirements
You generally do not need to be a US citizen, although you should be able to read, write and speak English well.

You need to be 18 or older in most if not all states.

State Notary Divisions Contact Info


What do Notaries do?
Notaries can perform a short variety of Notarial acts which can differ from state to state. These acts include performing Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, Proofs, and some states allow Copy Certification of Powers of Attorneys or other documents, Witnessing, Safety Deposit Openings, Protests for non-payment of bills and more. Let’s focus on understanding the more universal acts first.

Acknowledgments — A Notary Public may notarize an Acknowledged signature which is a signature that a signer acknowledged signing. This involves the signer presenting a signed document to the notary, signing the Notary’s journal, and presenting current government issued photo ID to the Notary. The rules may differ from state to state, but this is a general description. Read more…

Jurats — A Notary Public may execute a Jurat which would involve the signer or Affiant (one who swears under Oath or signs an Affidavit) to sign and swear to the document in the presence of the Notary Public. Read more…

Oaths — Notaries can administer (supervise) Oaths as well. Oaths are by definition part of the Jurat procedure for Oaths on documents. But, Oaths can also be done for remote court attendance for Florida Courts by Notaries and Oaths on oral statements. Read more…

Affirmations — Affirmations are similar to Oaths. Affirmations are also formal statements made under the legal penalty of perjury, but do not use the traditional verb “swear” or the term “under God.” In an Affirmation you affirm on your honor rather than to a higher power. Read more…

Proofs of Execution — Proofs are an unusual Notary act that cannot generally be done for important documents. But, the signer can sign in front of a subscribing witness (a person who sees them sign) and then the witness can appear before the Notary and have the Notary fill out a certificate indicating the same. Read more..


Notary FAQ


Q. How long is a Notary term?
A. The term for Notary Public is generally from 3 to 10 years and is up to the state. Louisiana commissions Notaries for life.

How long is a Notary term? —

Q. What is a Notary’s jurisdiction?
A. Normally, a Notary can notarize in any county of the state(s) they are commissioned in. Louisiana commissions either statewide or to their home parishes plus reciprocal parishes. There are a few exceptions nationally to this rule, and military Notaries have a very different type of jurisdiction that you can look up.

Q. Can a Notary get in trouble?
A. Notaries who break the law, make errors filling out forms, or don’t keep a journal can get in big trouble with the law, and even be treated like a suspect in identity fraud if they don’t leave a good paper trail. Notaries who cause damages to parties by upholding the law can get in trouble too if they don’t clearly explain the reason why they cannot offer services.

Q. What do I need to be notarized?
A. As a general rule, a current government issued Photo-ID, and a statement or document to be notarized is all you need.

Q. How much does a Notary cost?
A. Notary fees are set by the states and Notaries can run anywhere from 25 cents to $15. You can look up Notary fees on state notary division websites. I believe that all states except North Carolina keep their information open to the public.

How much can a notary charge —

Q. How much does a Mobile Notary cost?
A. Some states have rules for how much a person can charge for travel fee. But, generally rates run from $25 to $60 for mobile fees plus the cost of the actual notarization.

Q. Can a notary notarize in a jail?
A. Yes, but you need to make sure the inmate can be identified in a way acceptable to the state where he/she is incarcerated.

Jail Notary Jobs from A to Z —


Additional Helpful Links

Notary Public 101

How to become a successful Mobile Notary from scratch

Signing Agent Best Practices: 63 Points

Seven error free ways to identify a signer

Notary Vocbulary in our Glossary



August 19, 2018

Index for posts about general Notary information

Filed under: Public Interest — Tags: , — admin @ 2:18 am

Notary Public 101 — a comprenhensive guide to Notary best practices

Notary information for beginners — best links to articles

See our string on “Notary Public”

What is a Notary Public?

Where can i find a Spanish speaking Notary?

How much does a notary cost?

10 risks to being a mobile notary public

Basic Notary vocabulary

All you need to know about notary work

How much does a Notary charge?

How do I get a Spanish language document notarized?

How do I find a Vietnamese speaking Notary?


January 29, 2018

Journal abbreviation keys

Filed under: Journals,Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:50 am

Many people take the easy way out with their journal. Journal keeping is seen as just an arduous task with no higher meaning. Many people feel that they can do a shoddy job doing their journal since it is not required in their state. However, if you are in front of a judge you need a clearly filled out journal whether your state requires it or not.

Many Notaries use the check box journal. I recommend against this. The check box journal says, “E&O” as one of the names of a document. If the real document says, “Errors and Omissions Compliance Agreement” that is a completely different document. E&O is an abbreviateion for the first three words, but what about the last two words? Don’t take liberties.

Then there are other Notaries who just write, “10 Grant Deeds.” If you are ever in court, you need to know which Grant Deed is in question and if you really notarized it. Keeping escrow numbers, names of parties involved and addresses helps to narrow it down.

DOT could be a good abbreviation for Deed of Trust. However, if you are in court years later what will the judge say? What if you have bad handwriting and use abbreviations?

My philosophy is to keep an abbreviation key in the inner cover of each journal you use. I had 70 journals in my career so I could have a lot of keys. You can have a key that says:

DOT = Deed of Trust
AFF = Affidavit
E&O Comp Agree = Errors & Omissions Compliance Agreement.
Corr Agree = Correction Agreement.

This way you have a system that is documented just in case.
Or, just write the entire name of the document out. Or you could only abbreviate Deeds of Trust since they are so common and not abbreviate the others just to keep reading the journal more straight forward.

The worst thing you can do is to write, “Loan Docs.” When you put the names of documents in your journal, each document is legally separate, and the fact they are part of a package does not make them legally all have the title, “Loan Documents.” Each document has a name that must be entered in your journal if you notarize it.

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