The people who accuse us of having state specific questions are never specific about which questions are state specific. Such ambiguity over specifics. We change our questions over time and questions are now based on Notary Public 101, and not a particular state. We don’t even cater to California rules when we are in California. We test on good practicies, NOT state specific practices. It is up to you to know your state rules and I’m sure you do … (or not).
Here are some questions that might seem state specifics.
1. Proof of Execution — state specific
This act is done in about 45 states which is almost all. However, Notaries never do this act in real life. I don’t even know which states don’t have it. Some call it a verification upon proof or some other similar name. I ask this question not because of its practicality but to see if you even read my materials before the quiz. I think it is a waste of everyone’s time to quiz when you didn’t study.
2. John Smith — NOT state specific
We ask this question about good old John as a prudency question and not a legal question. Is it prudent under the circumstances to notarize the signature John W Smith on a document when the ID says John Smith.Most Notaries cannot give a straight answer — they change the circumstances to asking the signer for another ID. That makes it a completely different question. Whether your state requires an exact name match or not, it is still NOT PRUDENT if you can’t a prove a person’s identity. That is the whole reason for having notaries in the first place.
3. Fixing Notary Certificates — state specific
This one is very important and definitely state specific. We ask a question that California Notaries are not allowed to do simply because the folks in the other states still need to be tested on this. How do you fix a wrong county on a certificate? In California you have to use a clean new form or redo the notarization. In other states you can cross out and initial, but don’t have the borrower initial a notary form. This is critical information here. Maryland does not allow the use of loose certificates, and Oregon does not allow the Notary to make any changes to certificates or even add new ones as that might be considered UPL the way they see it in the drizzly state. Food for thought.
4. FBI Thumbprint Question — NOT state specific
If the FBI shows up on your doorstep investigating a notarization you did involving a fake ID, your fake info in your journal won’t cut it even if your state doesn’t require or permit thumbprints. The FBI is federal and has some bad guys to catch. They want a thumbprint whether your state allows you to have it or not. This is a Federal specific question as the FBI is federal and doesn’t care about your petty state rules. This question is NOT state specific because it does not ask what your state wants or allows or permits.
5. Journals – sounds state specific, but not the way we ask it.
Many states don’t require a journal, so my journal questions are not based on state rules, but on the rules of prudency which are universal. Your journal is your only evidence in court of what happened at a notarization. Not keeping one is like not wearing a seatbelt on the freeway. Eventually something will happen and there will be injuries. This is a good practices question and once again NOT state specific.
6. Oaths & Affirmations – not state specific, but…
Oaths & Affirmations Universal — like God himself. But, the 2018 California Notary manual no longer has a set fee if you do these as separate acts not connected to a deposition or jurat. Hmm. So, you can do these acts in California, but what would you charge?
If you have been asked any other annoying questions by us which you feel are state specific, please mention them in the comments section clearly and please be to the point without any tangents so that the readers can get to the point. And once again, none of our questions are based on California practices, but are based on best practices (which often overlap with what California practices are — but not always.)