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October 27, 2016

Becoming a Mom-tary

Believe it or not, the secretary of state doesn’t have a handbook for becoming a Mom-tary. But, if you scare your clients a lot you might be more of a Mom-ster. If you behave like a mom to all you might be a Mom-tary Public. And if you never give out your secrets perhaps a Mum-tery. But, if you live in California, you could become a Mom-tary in Monterey (near the cannery).

Being a Notary is a good job for a mom because the work offers flexibility. On the other hand, being a mom is a full-time job and you never know when your baby will need your full attention.

You can’t cancel a signing because your baby is vomiting. You can’t cancel a signing because your baby hit his/her head. You can’t cancel a signing because your baby’s babysitter didn’t show up. And you can’t bring your two year old to a signing. Worse yet, the most unprofessional thing you can do if have your two year old screaming when you answer the phone. What typical moms do is to let their two year old scream during a critical business call, not apologize, and not go into a quieter room. The result is that they lose a lot of critical business. It’s unprofessional and grossly inconsiderate. Just because you like screaming doesn’t mean that others do.

Ideally, you should have another family member who is dependable watch your baby while you go out at night to do signings. But, I’ll leave that up to you. Being a mom is a full-time job, so unless you have part-time help, you cannot be a part-time Notary (or Mom-tary)

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November 3, 2013

Notary Seal Information from A to Z

Filed under: Become a Notary — admin @ 1:43 am

Notary Seal Information

Some states require a commissioned notary public to have a notary seal / notary stamp while other states do not. Each state has rigid requirements for the exact dimensions of the seal, the color of ink, the border of the seal, as well as what wording is on the seal.

The notary name on the seal
Typically, the name of the notary as it appears on their notary commission should be identical to the name on the seal. Some notaries have nicknames or name variations. Female notaries often get married and change their names as well.This is a source of confusion. If you change your name, you might be required to get a new notary commission and seal in many states. Please contact your state’s notary division if you are planning on changing your name.

Information on the seal
Most states require the notary’s name, the words Notary Public, the words State of ____, the Notary commission number, and the commission expiration date.

Embosser or regular seal?
Some states allow the use of an embosser which looks like a metal clamp. Some embossers are used without ink as a secondary seal (allowed in many states — ask your notary division for details)

Storage of your notary seal
Rules vary from state to state, but it is required in some states that your current journal and notary seal be kept under lock and key.

Types of seal borders
Seals might have a serrated or milled edge border. Some states mght allow a rectangle made of
four straight lines to be the border.

Seal Maintenance
Be careful with your notary seal as they can be damaged from misuse. Keep replacement ink in stock just in case your seal needs to be re-inked. It is common for an active notary to add replacement ink to their seal once a year or so. Many states require the destruction of a notary seal at the end of a notary’s term so that it will not be used fraudulently.

Seal Impressions
The notary public should take care to leave a clear seal impression when doing notary work. If the seal is too light, smudgy, or has missing corners, the notarization could be rejected by a county recorder, bank, lender, or other agency.

Do all notary acts require a seal?
Most notary acts do, such as Acknowledgments and Jurats. But, sometimes you will need to do an Oath with no accompanying paperwork. Make a note in your journal that you are administering an Oath. Have the Affiant (Oath-Taker) sign your journal, and administer the Oath. There is no seal required for an Oath by itsself. However, if the Oath is part of some other notary procedure such as a Jurat, or swearing in credible witnesses, then the notary paperwork being used would need to be stamped.

States that require a notary seal
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

States that do not require a notary seal
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan., New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont These states have specific requirements if you choose to use a seal anyway.

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June 22, 2012

Notary Public Oath of Office Information

Notary Public Oath of Office Information 

Each state has a different procedure for becoming a notary.  But, it is common for states to require a newly commissioned notary public to purchase a bond and file it with the county recorder. When the notary comes to the recorder’s office to file their bond, it is also common for them to have to take an Oath of Office, and file their oath at the county recorder’s office as well.  California requires notaries to file two completed copies of their oath with the county recorder. Remember not to sign the Oath documentation until the clerk at the county clerk tells you to!
 
The Oath of Office
Generally, the Oath will be a piece of paper with a quick statement that you swear to. You will need to raise your right hand and swear or affirm under oath that you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and you will have to agree to the terms in the document.  You need to sign in the presence of the clerk, and then the clerk will affix their stamp to the Oath paperwork.
 
Verbiage for the Notary Oath of Office
Here is some sample wording from Michigan’s Department of State:
 
Do you solemnly swear that you will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State, and that you will discharge the duties of the office of Notary Public in and for said County to the best of your ability?

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December 7, 2011

Has anyone failed the notary exam?

Has anyone failed the notary exam? 

Each different state has a different notary application and different standards for who can become a notary. Generally you need to be a legal resident of the state in question, or at least working in that state.  You need to be 18 years of age or older as well, and not be a felon.  But, testing standards vary state to state. But, you might ask, “What do I do if I fail the notary exam?”
 
Louisiana notary exam
Louisiana has a tough test, and weird commission standards. You are commissioned for life there, but you can only work in one Parish, unless you have a special commission that allows you to work in several reciprocal Parishes (how complicated).  Most states allow statewide jurisdiction.
 
California notary exam… 

The California test used to be reasonably passable, but in recent years, it has become tougher and tougher and the result is that fewer people are becoming notaries.  There is a proctored examination and it is timed as well. Good luck and make sure to take the six hour required course from a state approved vendor
 
New York notary exam..
New York
also has a notary exam.  I have heard that it is not as hard as California’s, but you should study hard in any case.
 
Failing the test?
If you fail your state’s notary exam, each state has different rules for when you can take it again.  BTW, many states don’t have a notary exam to begin with, but they should, because there is a lot to know about this line of work, and the states should make sure that people know what they are doing.  Even people who pass the test still don’t have a clue how to deal with many daily and practical situations.  Most states will allow you to take the exam again.  The main point is to study hard and review a lot before attempting the test.  Also, take a seminar, even if you have to take it twice.  You will absorb what you were taught there, and need that knowledge for the life of your commission. 
 
Is there a fee for taking the exam again?
Most if not all states will want to charge you and make you fill out more paperwork to take the notary exam another time.  So, find out how they want you to make your check out, and where to go.

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