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June 25, 2019

What is so critical about crossing out the he/she/they?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:17 pm

FAQ of the day

The he-she-they being filled out is important because if someone fraudulently adds a name to the certificate making the people involved a they and no longer a he or a she, then it makes it a lot easier to make sense of the “he said/she said/they said” that will ensue.

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June 13, 2019

Notarize this page!

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 8:36 am

You are at a notarization and the instructions say, “Notarize this page.” However, there is no certificate wording on the page. What do you do now? The Notary may not choose the Notary act as that might be construed as UPL. So, just ask the client or signer what act they want and then attach the corresponding certificate to the document. That’s all.

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May 30, 2019

What defines what a signature is?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 10:44 am

I never stopped to think about this until today. What defines a signature? A signature is a type of a mark that is systemically used by a particular individual to identify themselves by name on a document. It is normally a cursive version of their name (do they still teach cursive to the youngins these days?) Some people might print their name in a unique way. Some disabled people might do a signature by x with some subscribing witness. Someone signed using Chinese characters with me as their Notary. And then there are the doctor scribble type signatures too. All of these are acceptable as signatures.

But, how do you know this is their genuine mark? Just check their drivers license and make sure the signature matches up. Sometimes signatures evolve as a person gets older. But the basic stroke style should be about the same. If it doesn’t match up, then you might be at risk notarizing that signature. The signature in Chinese characters I was a little apprehensive or as the Chinese say, “Zhao-ji” about, but I checked the ID and it matched.

In the old days in America, the upper class used to seal deals actually using seals, which is where the expression seems to have come from. They used candle was and a stamp of some sort to seal their business deals on pieces of paper. I saw that in a movie when someone sold a slave.

And in China some people use a square and very intricate seal with four characters on it sometimes written in their antiquated form. They are very beautiful and you can look them up online under the term, “traditional Chinese seal” and then look up images. They could be made from marble or wood, or many types of materials I guess.

But, once I notarized a movie producer from Israel. His signature was some sort of a line with a hook and a dot. He claims he signed million dollar deals with that signature. The only thing I had to say to him was, “You call that a signature?”

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May 26, 2019

X is now a gender and not a generation

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 10:55 am

The NNA wrote in their blog (and I think this is bad advice by the way) that you should not fill in the he/she/they in California if the gender on the ID says “x”. However, the whole point of the he/she/they is to deter fraud, so by not filling it in, you are inviting fraud (but, without the RSVP card). You no longer know if the person is singular or plural, x-etera. And then asking people to sign next to the “x” presents some other sensitivity issues now doesn’t it. On the other hand, what might make sense is to put in handwriting at the bottom of the acknowledgment that this is a notarization for a single person of gender neutral (or unknown gender) association. That way you have documented the gender and quantity of people. Or, the state could come up with a form that says he/she/x/they which in today’s times makes a lot more “xense.”

When I was growing up there was generation x. Now there is gender-ation x. Boy have things changed. I never thought I would live to see this day. And I have no say in the matter. By the way, I self-identify as being a South African Bushman — is there a spot on the form for that?

It would not surprise me if some millennial came up to one of these transgender people and said, “I self-identify as being a Notary Public.” Do you have a commission? What’s that?

We can change our appearance, but can we change our chromosomes?

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May 24, 2019

What would Ken Edelstein do?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 10:57 am

When I have a business problem, I ask, what would Donald Trump do?
When I have a love problem, I ask what our hero from back home in Massachusetts Mark Wahlberg would do?

But, what I have a notarial problem, (or when you do), when you ask your psychic to tune into the universe for answers, who should you channel?

How many notarizations must a man go through.
Before, you call him a man (or a “real notary”.)
How many seas must a sea dog swim (also referred to as a seal)
Before she basks on the beach
Yes, how many times must unpaid notary bills fly
Before those signing companies are forever banned?
The answer my friend is Ken Edelstein — the answer is Kenneth Edelstein.

However, Jeremy is writing this article not Ken. This article is inspired by a blog comment by someone who wanted to know what Ken would do in a particular situation.

So, please write your comments about how to handle particular situations, and in a few months, Ken might write some responses for you, but only if you ask nicely. And one more thing. Ken likes turkeys. I’ve never been able to figure that one out. Maybe it’s a New York thing. Hmmm.

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May 23, 2019

How weak are you with sob stories at the signing table?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 11:04 am

Many people will plead with you to do something illegal like notarizing without a signature or without a clear signature. The signer might be close to death or in the hospital or in jail. You might hear an unbelievable good sob story told with tears coming out of somebody’s eyes. The question you should ask yourself is, how badly do you want to end up in jail?

If your goal as a notary is to please the client, find another profession. Your goal should be to please the government and uphold all applicable laws. If you have any time or patience after that, then you can be nice to the clients. You are a No-tary, not a Yes-tary and you can get thrown in jail. So, please learn how to deal with sob stories. I had to deal with one with a dying elderly Chinese man who communicated by squeezing your hand once for yes and twice for no. The squeezing was so unclear I told them to get an attorney and that I didn’t want to get in trouble. Squeezing hands is not a language I speak. South African clicking? Now that’s a different story (songs only and no conversation — sorry.)

Your job is to feel sorry for your government trying to keep law and order. So, choose your allies carefully based on what they can do to you and not on the $10 they might pay you. The End!

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May 21, 2019

A lady Notary gets a request for backdating. Hear this brilliant solutions

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:05 am

This is a tip from one of our most seasoned Notaries that we’ve ever had. What season? Hmmm. Autumn! She got a request for backdating. She says it is hard to get the request in writing.

If it were me I would tell them — just put the job specifications in writing and I will deal with it accordingly.

That way I am not incriminating myself, but I sure as hell will report their (&*#) to the Sec of State once I get that instruction sheet telling me what date to put in my journal and on the documents. That is fraud central.

So, yet another great tip from one of our great Notaries relayed to you by me… the messenger!

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May 7, 2019

Can an individual mail a document to an Attorney to get notarized?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:00 pm

This question came from a blog comment.
The answer is that yes, you can mail a document to an Attorney to get notarized. However, the signer might need to be mailed as well, because you can’t notarize a signature on a document if there is no signer. The signer can sign in front of the Attorney if you like as well. What is more important is that the Attorney draft, recommend or review the document before it is signed.

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March 19, 2019

Is it a Federal crime to make a photocopy of a military ID card?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 9:56 am

I have heard that it is illegal to make a copy of a military identification card.
As a notary, you are not responsible for making copies as a general rule. Be especially cautious and vigelent with Military ID’s. We don’t want you getting in trouble.

Forum discussion on the topic.
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7249

Copying Miltary ID – is it allowed?
https://www.cbancnetwork.com/questions/view/2eb342a0-9c2e-43ec-b544-118859fad5a8?title=Copying%20Military%20ID-%20Is%20it%20Allowed?

DoDLive Link
http://www.dodlive.mil/2017/05/11/did-you-know-photocopying-a-government-id-is-illegal/

Notary Public 101 — Identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

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March 9, 2019

Why You Shouldn’t Use an Online Notary

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 9:30 am

Here we cover six important reasons for NOT using an online notary public.

We’re living in an era driven by technological advancements. Today, people are willing to use YouTube as a babysitter and tablets as their kids’ companions. Be it engaging games, interactive tools for education or workflow productivity, technology always lends a helping hand but this gives rise to a few questions: Does technology really help us? Does technology need to disrupt everything? How deep into our personal affairs should we let technology creep?

Here we cover six important reasons for NOT using an online notary public:

Far Less Secure than In-Person
Lack of personal appearance defeats the purpose of notarization. Period. How can a notary properly identify someone in the world of AI when they appear on a computer screen? Audio/Video can be made from anywhere through any means. As I write this article, I did a simple Google search for “video overlay app” and about 152 Million results popped up with detailed instructions.

Huge Potential for Fraud
Here’s the dirty secret that online notaries don’t want you to know. Online notary companies require you to upload a copy of your documents so that they can place their seal on them, you then download your “notarized” documents and print them out. But guess what? A copy of your most important legal documents are now somewhere on the online notary’s datacenter just waiting for a hacker to harvest them. And we all hear the same news story almost weekly, “XYC Company has had their data breached and millions of users data was compromised.” What if you were named the beneficiary in your late relatives estate documents that were notarized by an online notary, but all of a sudden, someone else shows up in court with a copy of those same documents but with their name on them as the beneficiary?!?!

Huge Potential for Identity Theft
Internet security is another big one. If you don’t have huge secure data servers processing the data you’re uploading to the online notary, your personal information (ie. your ID credentials and documents) are being thrown out onto the World Wide Web without recourse. Once that data is internet bound, there is no coming back from a potential cyber attack.

It Costs More
In the State of California, notaries may charge a fee of $15 per signature notarized. Online notaries charge almost twice that at $25 per signature notarized. If you have multiple documents with multiple signers, you’re going to spend a whole lot more with an online notary than with a local notary whom you actually get to meet in person and shake hands with. “Shop Local” also applies to notaries.

You Might Need a Do-Over
The receiving party may not accept an out of state notary seal. A little known fact is that it’s up to the receiving party to decide if they will accept the notarization or not. Online notaries only exist in VA, TX and NV at the moment and the receiving party doesn’t have to accept an out of state seal, particularly if the receiving party is a state government agency. You’ll then need to spend more money getting your document re-notarized by a local notary in your home state.

Unemployment
How are local notaries supposed to make a living? Currently there are approximately 164,000 notaries in California. Now, we have a huge corporate company coming into CA (with the infrastructure already in place) and swallowing up notary jobs leaving thousands out of work. Imagine how hard it will be to find a notary if notaries have been replaced by an app but you can’t get an internet connection!

Conclusion
Technology has brought radical changes to our lives. But, we will end up having more disadvantages than advantages if our society overuses technology. What’s your take on this? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

Author: Matt G Miller
Contributing Writer: Kyle Eisenberg
I was given permission to publish this article by Matt Miller although it looks like it had already been published on his personal blog.

You might also like:

How Notary work is similar to online dating
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15763

eNotary – electronic notarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21344

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