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March 4, 2019

Can a notary sign on a different day?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 9:27 am

Can a Notary sign on a different day?
What does this mean anyway? In the Notary world, there are different types of dates that have different types of names. As a signer, you might need to know some of these dates so you can communicate with Lenders, Attorneys and Notaries.

Transaction Date — The date a document is signed

Signature Date — The date a document is signed

Rescission Date — The day when you can no longer cancel a loan

Notarization Date — The date a document is notarized.

Document Date — The date inscribed within the document (which is generally arbitrary but could coincide with when it was supposed to be signed, drafted or notarized.)

Medjool Date — That’s the date you eat at one of those high class massage places that play old school medieval music and have a Moorish looking fountain in the middle of the spa.

Now that we are all experts in dates, a document can be notarized anytime after the document is signed if you are having the notary act called an Acknowledgment done. An Acknowledgment is an act where the signer appears before a Notary Public, and acknowledges having signed a particular document. The signer doesn’t have to sign in the presence of the notary for this act except in a very few states. The signer could sign one second before the notarization or ten years — it does not matter. Unfortunately, most Notaries are so ignorant of the laws affecting Acknowledgments, that they might require you to sign in their presence even when it is not legally required — which is itself is an illegal request on the part of the Notary. A Notary may not turn down a legal request for notarization.

So, there is the law, and then there is the Notary’s incorrect interpretation of the law. It might help to ask a local notary this question as it is state specific and open to (mis)interpretation, at least most of the time. I’m sorry to disappoint the readers here, but I regularly test Notaries on basic notary competence and the results are not promising and few Notaries are willing to study from out materials or any materials either. So, I feel your grief. But on a brighter note, you can celebrate a good notarization by having a medjool date. They are very healthy and good for your kidney qi according to Chinese holistic medicine.

You might also like:

Notarizing multi-page documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21423

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February 26, 2019

Notary Public Seal

Most states require a Notary Public to have a Notary Seal or Notary Stamp. This is normally a rectangular shaped seal.

The seal should have the Notary’s name, commission number, expiration date, county, and state. It would also have some type of border such as a straight line, milled, or serrated. The seal should be used with ink. Some states allow for a secondary non-inked embosser that leaves a raised impression on pieces of paper for security reasons as these cannot be fraudulently photocopied.

Your notary seal’s impression should not be smudgy or the document could be rejected by the county recorder’s office. Please be sure to re-ink your seal as necessary so your notary seal’s (notary stamp’s) impression does not get too light.

You might also like:

Notary seal information from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8337

A forged document vs. a forged notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10391

My stolen identity and the fraudulent notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20753

Miami-Vice, a shipment of illegal notary seals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19927

The seal-fixer
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16612

UFO Notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16533

The Steve Jobs Notary Smart-seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16522

Two and a half Notaries — the intercontinental notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10432

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February 22, 2019

Apostille – General Information

What is an Apostille?
An Apostille can be a document or certificate that is attached to a document notarized by a notary public, that is going to be sent OVERSEAS to a country that is not NOT a member of the HAGUE Convention. Or it can be an original document such as a Birth Certificate or Marriage Certificate that contains the original seal from the state that it originated from. In either case, the document is going to be sent overseas to places such as Mexico, Spain, Argentina, or India.

Where do I get an Apostille?
Apostilles are usually obtainable from a State Notary Division or a Secretary of State’s Office. Due to budget cuts, Secretary of State Offices are not always nearby, so it can be labor intensive to get to them.

How do I get an Apostille?
You might consider contacting an experienced notary who has been through the Apostille process many times. There are many notaries who fit this description, but you need to know how to find them. Or, you could contact your state’s Secretary of State yourself, and drive to them, and go through this process (which is like pulling teeth) yourself.

Q. Can you recommend a few notaries who are experts in the Apostille Process?
A. Yes, see the 2011 version of this blog article for recommendations.

You might also like:

What is an Apostille?
http://www.internationalapostille.com/what-is-an-apostille/

Department of State — Apostille Requirements
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/travel-legal-considerations/internl-judicial-asst/authentications-and-apostilles/apostille-requirements.html

2011 version of — How do I get an Apostille or Authentication?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1793

Using the correct notary certificate for an Apostille
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19902

Certified copy of an Apostille?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14923

Basic Notary Vocabulary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19495

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February 21, 2019

How many years is a Notary commission good for?

How long does a notary commission last? How many years is my notary commission good for? How many years is my term of office as a notary public?

The answer is that it varies from state to state.

An Alabama Notary commission is good for 4 years

An Arizona notary commission is good for 4 years

Arkansas notaries are commissioned for 10 years.
A California notary commission is good for 4 years.

A Colorado Notary commission is good for 4 years
A Florida notary commission is good for 4 years
An Illinois notary commission is good for 4 years

Louisiana notaries are commissioned for life and have the hardest training program of any state.

A New Jersey Notary Commission is good for 5 years
A Pennsylvania notary commission is good for 4 years
A Texas notary commission is good for 4 years
A Washington state notary commission is good for 4 years

But, some states have an unusually short term of office for notaries like Delaware which is only a 2 year term of office.

Some states have a short term of office, while others have a longer one.
The majority of states have a four year term, but a few have a five, six, seven, or even longer term.

Our forum article below covers even more states and their lengths of notary terms of office.
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3955

Penalties for notary misconduct, fraud and failure of duty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

How much does a Notary cost in 2019?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21308

Notary Public general information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20075

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February 20, 2019

Notarizing Multi-Page Documents

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 9:35 am

Should a Notary notarize every page of a document? How can a Notary or signer safeguard themselves from someone swapping pages in a document after the notarization has taken place? You need answers! Here they are!

1. A Notary Public notarizes signatures on documents, not pages on documents. A particular page or pages might have notary certificates within a document. Or, a certificate could be stapled to the back of a document. Ideally that certificate should identify the corresponding document. If you have a ten page document, there will most likely only be one, and possibly two pages with notary wording.

2. A prudent Notary Public carries what is called an inkless embosser that leaves a raised seal impression. This is in ADDITION to having the legally required inked seal that is used with blank ink. The embosser can be used to emboss every single page in a notarized document. I did exactly that on everything I notarized even if there were 100 pages. I did this for safety reasons. I did not want people to get away with switching pages after the fact and dragging me into court as a result of someone else not liking the idea that a page was swapped.

3. If a signer swaps a page from a notarized document, and that page was embossed, they can still swap the page. However, it will not be legal, and it will be very obvious to the Notary Public if investigated that the new page was not part of the original notarization as the notary embosses all pages — if the notary indeed was the type of notary who embossed all pages — like me!

4. Some people initial all pages. Initialing is a type of precaution. But, initials can be forged easily, and it is sometimes not easy to tell if they were forged.

5. If a document had a page swapped, the staple and staple area in the pages might show evidence of tampering. The degree of evidence depends on how skillful the fraud was at swapping pages. Luckly in my career of 6000 Notary appointments I did not have this issue.

6. If you need to add a page to an already notarized document. What can you do? You have to notarize the entire document all over again. I had that happen. What a pain. The signer wasn’t happy. Sorry — just following the law!

.

You might also like:

Notarizing Multi-Page Documents 2011 edition
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1706

Sending loose certificates is illegal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2470

Penalties for misconduct, fraud and failure of duty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

How often do Notaries end up in court?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19914

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February 19, 2019

Beneficial Interest

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 10:39 am

Beneficial interest, financial interest and conflict of interest are terms that a Notary Public should know.

Beneficial Interest
If a person is named in a document as someone who will receive some sorts of rights, privileges, or financial endowments, the could be said to have beneficial interest. Notaries are prohibited from Notarizing documents that they are named in as this constitutes beneficial interest which represents a conflict of interest. If you are a beneficiary in a document for perhaps a will, trust holdings, etc., then you would have beneficial interest.

Financial Interest
Someone who is named in a document to receive financial sums can be said to have financial interest.

Conflict of Interest
If you gain by having a document signed and you are the Notary, that means you have an interest in having the document signed which constitutes a conflict of interest. Notaries need to be impartial in their duties and should not have any conflict of interest.

Notarizing for Family Members
It is discouraged for a Notary to notarize for family members. It might not directly constitute a conflict of interest, but it looks questionable and it is better to have an outsider notarize signatures for family members as they are completely uninvolved (probably).

Interesting links

123notary Glossary — beneficial interest
http://www.123notary.com/glossary/?beneficial-interest

Investopedia — beneficial interest definition
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/beneficial-interest.asp

The 30 point course — beneficial interest
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14532

Just say No #3
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=376

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February 18, 2019

Notary Oath of Office Information

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 10:40 am

Some states require a Notary Public to take an Oath of Office. The verbiage of the Oath changes from state to state. What you need to know is that you have to swear under Oath to a statement in front of a Notary Public. This is normally done in the county clerk’s office. Then you file your Oath which is in the form of a document that has been signed, sworn to and notarized — you file that with your county clerk and pay a small fee for their service.

The oath and bond must be filed with the county clerk within 30 days of the beginning of your commission in California.

Here is some sample wording for a general Oath of Office

State of California
County of Los angeles
I, (name), do solmenly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear the faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the State of California, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to ender and during such tim as I hold the office of (name of office).

Signature _______________

Subscribed and sworn to before me (name of notary) by (name of affiant) this ___ date of month, year.

You might also like:

Filing your Oath & Bond in California
http://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/checklist/bond/

Notary Public Oath of Office information 2012 edition
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2545

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February 17, 2019

Can a Notary get in trouble?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 10:41 am

Can a Notary Public get in trouble? Can a Notary get in legal trouble? The answer is yes, but it might surprise you how it happens.

In my experience running a site where we have listed 55,000 Notaries to date, the only Notaries I have heard of who ended up in jail willfully engaged in very serious fraud involving real property. They falsified documents in order to steal property basically. This is the worst thing a notary can do and the penalties can be ten or more years in prison.

However there are other things a Notary can do where they might get fined, lose their commission, or get reprimanded.

1. A California Notary must maintain a journal to the standards of the state. The state of California audits Notary journals regularly by asking Notaries to mail in particular copies of pages of their journal If you are putting more than one document per journal entry, missing signatures, thumbprints (if applicable) or anything else, you can get a warning, get fined, or lose your commission for good. If you rely on your notary commission to make a living, obey the laws of the state — they will check up on you.

2. Falsifying a date in a notary certificate. Don’t do that. It is fraud. It might help your signer, and they might bribe you but you could lose your commission over that.

3. Omitting an Oath. Most Notaries think administering Oaths is a joke. If you get caught by a judge for failing to administer an Oath you could get fined, lose your commission, or possibly go to jail for perjury if you issued a written statement stating that an Oath had indeed been issued.

4. Goofing on your notary test with 123notary. The worst thing that can happen is that we might want you to study up and try again.

5. Sending a loose certificate in the mail. Very illegal, but people will ask you to do this. You can lose your commission over just one incident so don’t do it.

6. You might notarize someone who is John W Smith in the document but whose ID says John Smith and you might be notarizing the wrong person who is committing fraud.

But, there are other ways a Notary can get in trouble that are not the fault of the Notary.

1. Someone could give you a false ID and impersonate someone else. You might end up in court because of this, but as a witness not a defendant.

2. The FBI might investigate fraud that was done by a signer or someone impersonating you.

3. Someone can copy the impression of your notary seal and make a false certificate using it.

4. Someone you notarize might have a real ID, but have the same exact name as someone else and impersonate them.

5. An elderly person might be getting taken advantage that you notarized. They might not remember much in court so make sure your elder signers know what is going on. It is still risky if they know what is going on because by the time they get to court they might be completely senile.

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February 16, 2019

What is a document date?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 10:42 am

What is a document date on a document? Is the document date an important fact for Notaries to know? There is a great bit of confusion about this topic.

A document date is an arbitrary date that the document drafter adds or inscribes within the document. Although the document date is arbitrary, certain customs apply.

The document date is usually based on the date the document is either written, becomes effective, or is intended to be signed.

In real life, sometimes signings are postponed by a day or two because something came up. The main point to remember here is that there is no hard and fast rule as to what a document date is, can be or should be. To further research this point, I read through the first several dozen posts on Google about this topic and none of them address is clearly.

You might also like:

Document dates, signature dates, and rescission dates
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20189

Backdating from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2424

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February 14, 2019

Notarizing confidential marriage licenses

Notarizing confidential marriage licenses

Marriage licenses are normally issued by the county clerk’s office. There are agencies that can expedite the process of getting this license. The use of a wedding officiant is an efficient way to get your marriage license.

Many Notaries do weddings. But, finding them on 123notary is not always easy. We have many Notaries in Florida and South Carolina who do weddings. To find Notaries in other states to do confidential marriage licenses, you should visit google and enter the words:

Your state
Your city
confidential marriage license
wedding officiant
Notarizing

You might not be able to use all of those words in each search, but fool around with the words and you might find someone good who is not too far away.

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