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May 3, 2020

Colorado digital ID’s. Can other states accept them?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 9:37 am

In Colorado, residents may use a digital ID that they display on their iPhone. Notaries in that state may accept that as an ID. But, in California and Ohio, they are also accepting this type of ID providing it has all of the required information such as serial number, physical description, signature, photo, etc. Interesting. The world is really changing. Soon, I might be able to get a digital cat and feed it digital food.

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April 30, 2020

Does a signature need a signature line?

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

Does a signature require a signature line? Does a car need a road? Does a taco need a plate (or banana leaf?)

This question opens up a can of worms, especially since many signatures resemble worms. A signature does not require a signature line. But, it is customary to have a signature line that you sign upon. Many Notaries might be tempted to draw in a line in their own handwriting if there is no signature line on a document that needs to be notarized. Is this practicing law to alter a legal document? Or is the alteration such that it does not compromise the content or character of the document in any meaningful way? These are questions for an Attorney and I cannot answer them myself.

I have seen a particular document show up in many loan packages. It says, “This form must be notarized.” However, there is never any notary wording, or a signature line on the document. So, I would add an Acknowledgment form and have the person sign the document. If the borrower wanted to draw a signature line that is better – that way they are doing the tampering and not you.

A document that lacks a signature line is definitely unprofessional and not well thought out. But, technically, a document doesn’t require a signature line, strange or “misaligned” as that might sound.

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December 25, 2019

An alleged Notary forges a signature in Hawaii

An alleged Notary forged Puana’s name. Puana, a Hawaii resident and Notary, as relative of the victem named Kealoha was investigated by forensic experts to determine who signed the name. An alleged Alison Lee Wong was determined to have forged the signature, however, it was later found that there is no such person.

A person named Kealoha who was a former deputy prosecutor stated that her mailbox had been stolen, and that was the damage of this forgery case according to the news article that I am linking to below.

https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2019/06/08/hawaii-news/kealoha-corruption-trial-focuses-on-alleged-fake-notary/

This is a very odd and convoluted story. I hope you enjoy the link and can figure this one out! Aloha!

You might also like:

A forged notary seal ends someone with a prison sentence
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21355

I was forged (Ken’s experience)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13659

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November 14, 2019

Permission to travel for minors

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 5:46 am

I once created my own permission to travel for minors. The reason is that I wanted places for thumbprints of the various parties involved. I got feedback from repeat clients that the officials in Mexico liked my form because it was thorough and included lots of good forensic information. Here is what I put on my form.

1. Name of the authorizing party.
2. Name of who (name of child) they were authorizing to travel
3. Dates they authorized the child to be gone.
4. Name of the accompanying adult and their relationship to the child or family if any.
5. Places where the party would be traveling to.
6. Thumbprints of the authorizing party and optional prints of the child, and accompanying parties.

I (name of authorizing party) authorize (name of child) to travel to (name of place) accompanied by (name of guardian adult). They will leave (name of city leaving from) on (date) and return on (date). They will be traveling to (name of cities and country).

I do not remember the exact verbiage, but this covers the bases and all pertinent information if I am not mistaken. Traveling overseas as a child is a big deal. You want to make sure nobody is getting kidnapped and make sure nobody is suspicious of kidnapping.

You might also like:

What type of forms should a notary keep in their bag?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20011

Make your own notary certificate forms!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1759

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October 30, 2019

If you notarize a document, does that make it “legal”?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:50 pm

If you notarize a document, does that make the document in question legal or official?

As far as I know in my layperson opinion, if a document will be used in a legal transaction or in court, it might be said to be a legal document.

Notarizing a will, or other document just makes it notarized. Being notarized it might be acceptable to a particular document custodian or might be more relevant in court. Deeds and Power of Attorney document by definition need to be notarized to be effective or be recorded.

Oh yes, and if a document hits its 18th birthday, then it is definitely legal and the document custodian should alert Quagmire from Family Guy of the event too, particularly if the document is female.

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October 27, 2019

Are online notarizations illegal to protect outdated customs?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:48 pm

One blog commentator writes that online and webcam notarizations are illegal (in many jurisdictions) simply to protect the outdated customers of traditional Notaries. Since many Attorneys are Notaries, this in his opinion is a case of mob rules where the public loses. Hmm. Interesting thought.

Security is another issue. It is hard to know on a webcam if that is the actual person being notarized. People change their hairstyle and sometimes more than one person looks like the same person. As a former Notary, seeing people’s ID is not enough in my opinion. Women change their hair around so much they are often not recognizable.

I would feel more comfortable if Notaries had facial recognition technology so that we could really identify people. It would be like that movie from thirty years ago whose name escapes me where you walk into a store and a computer greets you by name due to the technology. How annoying and invasive. China is becoming like that, but then, they have 1.4 billion people (and counting) to take care of. On a brighter note, I think the urban folks have given up having children.

So, is the growth of online notarizations stifled by mob rule, a lust to preserve traditional practices, or for realistic and reasonable concerns about security?

You might also like:

Why you shouldn’t use an online notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22090

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

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October 4, 2019

Is it practicing law to explain a notary act?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:19 pm

Many Notaries think they are practicing law by explaining a notary act. Notaries are not allowed to choose a notary act on behalf of a client, but can they explain the requirements?

As a Notary, you have to have a signer sign in your physical presence for a Jurat, but not for an Acknowledgment (except in a few underpopulated states). So, are you practicing UPL or engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by explaining that distinction to a client?

For an Acknowledgment you do not have to sign in front of the Notary, although many lenders require the signer to do so. Is it UPL to explain that too?

Is it UPL to word an Oath for a client for their Affidavit? You kind of have to do that otherwise you cannot administer an Oath or Affirmation.

The fact is that your state authorizes you to do Notary work and perhaps even tests you on it. You are authorized do do all aspects of Notary work by law. You are not authorized to explain Mortgage documents but notary procedures are NOT Mortgage documents although they might be done to Mortgage documents.

How do you deal with this quandary?

You might also like:

Unauthorized practice of law in the notary industry
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21317

30 Point Course – what to explain and what not to
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14440

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September 22, 2019

When can you charge for an Oath?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 10:32 pm

If an Oath is a separate and independent notary act, you can charge for it as far as I know — I swear!

But, I believe (and please comment below if I am wrong) that you may not charge extra for an Oath on a Deposition, court appearance, or for credible witnesses.

When using credible witnesses for an Acknowledgment, you just charge for the Acknowledgment, but not for the credible witnesses. This is only for states that allow credible witnesses which is about 30 states more or less and you can look them up online.

You might also like:

When are you required by law to give Oaths?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21017

The Starbucks Oath Question
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21001

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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.

You might also like:

A Los Angeles detective seizes someone’s journal and complains about a blurry thumbprint.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22237

Penalties for notary misconduct
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

13 ways to get sued as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19614

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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?”

You might also like:

Can you notarize a signature in Chinese characters?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18784

The signature name affidavit — what is its purpose?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22541

Bikers on boats — Notaries heisting signatures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21160

What if the signature or notarization is in the middle of the document?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20525

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