How dangerous is it to be a mobile notary? We have written other blog articles on the topic. The answer is — not very dangerous. But, there are some dangers and the trick is to know how to safeguard yourself.
If you go to a bad area at night, that is mildly dangerous. You are more likely to get hit by a truck than have a problem in a bad neighborhood, but you know how people feel. Speaking of which, I actually got bumped by an 18 wheeler. No damage was done because the angels were protecting me — thanks angels! It was on a highway in stop and go traffic. I was stopped, but he took his foot off the brakes as he was daydreaming and bumped me at half a mile per hour.
2. Crazy people
The only serious issue we had with a notary was the one who was pushed down a short flight of stairs because the borrower didn’t like his APR. That was one Notary out of 65,000 we have listed in our history. So, the risk level is low, unless… someone doesn’t like their APR. Go over the stats by phone before you get to the signing. Also, if at a signing, make sure you either know your escape route, or make sure you are bigger than the other people there — or both.
You are more in danger from animals. Humans who can’t behave are already generally in prison. But, someone could have a crazy pet who bites you or chews on your clothing, or pees on your leg. It it happened to you, it would not be the first time. There was another story about a pit bull running wild in a neighborhood and a borrower came out of his house with his gun drawn when the notary came. He had to explain what happened to the notary who was going to protect himself by brandishing his embossing seal.
Accidents are a fact of life, flat tires, breakdowns. People can die in accidents. We haven’t had any notaries die of accidents or anything other than cancer or old age, but it could happen.
5. Court Cases
Notaries don’t discuss this much on forums, but 1 in 7 long term notaries who is active has had to appear before a judge because of a notarization they did. There were two notaries in Oklahoma who lost their commission because they failed to administer an obligatory Oath to their clients for an Affidavit they notarized. They are lucky they didn’t get locked up. One notary in Sacramento committed identity fraud and got locked up. In total we have had two criminal Notaries who engaged in purposeful fraud and got locked up. Two out of 65,000 is not that bad, not to mention another who allegedly stole OxyCodene from a signer and was not arrested.
No Notary has died of Covid19, or even gotten sick on the job as far as we know. They went overboard taking ridiculously over-kill type precautions that ruin the fun of notarizing. Many notarized outside or wearing suffocation inducing N-95 masks to be “safe.” How safe are you being if you can’t breathe? Others sat 10 feet away from the others or did notarizations on their trunk or in their car. Such insanity is just plain insane, but nobody got sick to our knowledge. In fact, only a handful of Notaries reported having been sick with Covid19 to us and they got better after a few weeks and didn’t have any serious symptoms other than losing their sense of taste. In those interior states, the food is so bland that losing your sense of taste won’t affect you that much.
I just made up this disease, it is not as bad as “Stamp Elbow” but is the next worst thing. It is an infectious disease that only Notaries get. I’m not sure what the symptoms are as this is an imaginary disease. I’ll think about it.
8. Getting sued for using someone’s business name
This almost happened to a client. But, the person who trademarked the name came after my server company which created a huge headache. I have no problem removing a business name from our site, but do you have to call in the national guard over such a small issue?
So, what is the most dangerous of all the things that can happen to a Notary? I would say that the legal risks are a huge risk. Although if you are very cautious about how you do your work and avoid hospital signings you will lower your risk. Crazy people would be next as we have a serious injury recorded. I would then say that animals are the next most dangerous although they normally don’t kill you. Many Notaries feel “safe” because they are wearing an N-95 mask, but that only protects you 50% from a disease that hasn’t killed any Notaries known to us so far. But, it will not make you safe from court cases, animals, or crazy humans. So, let’s focus on real dangers and not ones that you have been brainwashed into believing are the only threats to your existence.