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September 24, 2016

Can a Washington Notary notarize in Idaho?

As a general rule, a Notary can notarize in any county of their state of commission. A few states have some bizarre exceptions to this rule for Deeds of properties that are in the Notary’s home state. Louisiana also has a weird rule that you can only notarize in Parishes that you are commissioned in or ones with reciprocal agreements unless you have statewide jurisdiction. What does it have to be so complicated? And why can’t they have counties like normal states?

A Washington State Notary Public may Notarize in any part of the state of Washington. However, it is allowed for a Washington Notary Public to get dual commissioned as an Oregon Notary Public or an Idaho Notary Public which is very practical if you live near a state border. Notaries in Vancouver, WA often get dual commission in Oregon so that they can service a larger area. Additionally, Notaries in Spokane, WA often become dual commissioned in Idaho as an Idaho Notary Public as well.

If you are in a pinch, and someone out of state needs your Notary services, you can meet them right at your state’s border (on your side of the border) and Notarize them there. It rarely matters what state a person is notarized in, but you could lose your commission if caught notarizing outside of your state’s borders!

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August 30, 2013

Alabama Notary Acknowledgment Verbiage

To become an Alabama notary, you must be at least 18 years old and a state resident who can read, write, and understand English. Your record must be free of felony convictions unless you were pardoned and had your civil and political rights restored. The Alabama notary commission is valid for four years. A sample application to become an Alabama notary can be found here: http://jeffconline.jccal.org/probatecourt/docs/NotaryApplication.pdf An interesting fact is that, while notaries may administer oaths and take acknowledgments, they are not authorized to execute jurats or affidavits. [I do not understand this at all.]

Notary wording for an Acknowledgment in Alabama: (Alabama Acknowledgment Wording)

Acknowledgment for Individual

THE STATE OF ALABAMA
______________________COUNTY

I, a Notary Public, hereby certify that _______________________________________ whose name is signed to the foregoing instrument or conveyance, and who is known to me, acknowledged before me on this day that, being informed of the contents of the conveyance, he/she/they executed the same voluntarily on the day the same bears date.

Given under my hand this _____________ day of _____________, A. D. 20____.
____________________________________

Notary Public
Print Name __________________________
My commission expires:
__________________

REFERENCE:

(Code 1852, §1279; Code 1867, §1548; Code 1876, §2158; Code 1886, §1802; Code 1896, §996; Code 1907, §3361; Code 1923, §6845; Code 1940, T. 47, §30; Acts 1951, No. 85, p. 301.)

Ala. Code § 35-4-23 (1975) Effect of Witness Compliance

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April 11, 2012

New Hampshire Commissioner of Deeds Information

New Hampshire Commissioner of Deeds Information

The State of New Hampshire, a congenial state, still appoints Commissioners of Deeds for a fee of $75 for a 5-year commission.  The application can be done online and is submitted to the Governor and Executive Council.  In 4-6 weeks, you will recieve your appointment and will need to sign and take your oath before a judge, who will then sign your commission.  When your oath is returned and filed, you will be able to act as a Commissioner of Deeds.  In other words, you will have the right to:

  • administer oaths in New Hampshire and elsewhere for documents to be used in New Hampshire
  • take depositions and affidavits
  • take acknowledgments on deeds and instruments

It is recommended that you use an official seal, even though New Hampshire state law does not require it.   The Commisioner of Deeds may charge a fee of $10 for each witness, oath, or certifications, and may charge between $5 and $50 for depositions.  The general requirement is that you be a resident of the State of New Hampshire; no minimum age is given, but it is assumed to be at least 18, as for a notary.  The Secretary of State website information is clear and simple, and also includes an online handbook–at least for Notaries.

Please visit our New Hampshire Notary Public Search Results!

You might also like:

What is a Magistrate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1887

What is a Justice of the Peace?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=103

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December 6, 2011

Can I be a Maryland notary if I live in DC?

Can I be a Maryland Notary if I live in DC?

Notary Public DC
It is very common for Maryland residents to have a Washington DC Notary Public commission and be a Notary Public in DC. It is also common for Washington DC residents to become a Maryland notary publicVirginia notaries also commonly get dual commissioned in Washington DC.  Just contact the state notary division that you want to apply to and ask them what their conditions are for applying for a notary public commission.  It’s common for a state to require you to be working or doing some type of business in their state.  However, offering a mobile notary service to their state / territory / district is a type of business, so you should be acceptable.
 
Notary Public Maryland
Here is the contact information for the Maryland notary public division
http://www.sos.state.md.us/Notary/Notary.aspx

 
Notary Public Virginia
Here is the contact information for the Virginia notary public division.
http://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/Notary/notary.cfm?
 
Find a mobile notary in DC! 
Just visit the advanced search page on www.123notary.com and you will have many notaries to choose from!

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December 1, 2011

Can a Georgia notary notarize a Florida property document?

Can a Georgia notary notarize a Florida property document?

Loan signings are common across the United States.  Any notary in any state can notarize almost any document within the confines of their state, but the document can be from out of state, or out of the country.  Notaries should refrain from notarizing copies of vital records, and Wills are generally avoided in many states as well.  Just as long as a Georgia Notary has their two feet in Georgia, it is okay to notarize a Florida document, or a loan signing for a property in Florida. 
 
Non-attorney Georgia Notaries are prohibited from doing loan signings for properties in Georgia, but, I don’t know any restriction for them as far as notarizing loan documents (packages that generally include Deeds of Trust, Mortgages, Grant Deeds, Quit Claim Deeds, Notes, Notice of Right to Cancel, etc.) that are from Florida, or some other state.
 
A Florida notary can also notarize documents that are to be recorded out of state.
 
One critical piece of information is that the county recorder in the state that a document is going to be recorded — have standards.  They might insist on their state’s notary wording to be on the notary certificate.  They can reject a document if the notary wording is not up to their standards, or if there is a smudgy seal, etc.  That is the job of the person who prepares the documents, and not the responsibility of the notary. A Georgia notary public, or any notary for that matter is allowed to make legal decisions for their clients which includes what type of wording to use, document drafting, or choosing the type of notarization to do, i.e. acknowledgment, jurat, protest, etc.

You might also like:

Letter to Florida Notary Division
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19896

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

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

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December 5, 2010

Arizona Notary Laws vs. Other States

Arizona notary law and laws that vary from state to state. 
It’s difficult to post about notary procedure on Twitter and Facebook.  No matter how universal a notary law seems, it can differ across state boundaries and the interpretation can differ among individuals too.
 
Credible witnesses
Arizona notary law specifies the term, “Credible person” , which is a way of saying credible identifying witness.  In Arizona, one credible witness who knows the notary as well as knowing the signer may be used to identify the signer.  Different states have different rules for credible witnesses. 90% of states allow them, but some states allow two witnesses who the notary doesn’t know, while others allow only one. California allows one CW if the notary knows them OR two if the notary doesn’t know them.
 
Foreign language signers
An Arizona notary must be able to communicate directly with the signer. Many other states have this same rule.  But, there are a few states where an interpreter may be used between the notary and the signer. 
 
Marriages?
There are a few states where notaries can get a special credential such as Justice of the Peace and perform marriages.  An Arizona notary public unfortunately can not perform a marriage — at least not one that would be legally binding. So, forever hold your peace!
 
Appear before?
In Arizona’s electronic notary rules for electric notaries (which is a separate office from a regular Arizona notary), there USED TO BE conditions where the  signer can be notarized without appearing before the notary for that particular signature.  Read our blog about Arizona electronic signatures for details.  This rule has been changed and signers must appear before the notary according to

Click here
 
Arizona Notary Bond?
Arizona notary bonds must only be for $5000.  Most other states require a larger bond than that.  In California, the bond must be $15,000 for example.
 
Seals and journals
An Arizona notary must use a seal and journal.  This seems fairly elementary, but many states do not require the use of both a seal and a journal. 
 
Marriage or adoption?
Arizona notary law prohibits notarizing for anyone who you are married to or related to by adoption.
 
Legal advice?
An Arizona notary public should not give legal advice and not prepare documents for clients.  Some states prohibit the preparation of legal documents only, while AZ prohibits the preparation of any document. The prohibition of notaries from giving legal advice is standard across the board though.
 
Term
An Arizona notary commission’s term is four years.   A four year term is very common, although the number of years can really vary from state to state.

Please visit our Arizona Notary page!

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November 3, 2010

Notary Public – Ohio odd rules

Ohio Notary odd rules and practices

If you are interested in oddities of notary laws in various states, rules for Ohio Notaries can sometimes be odd.  Here are some odd Ohio Notary rules / Ohio Notary Laws.

Here are a few examples.

(1) Signature by X
Many states allow signature by mark where the signer signs with an X. This is generally for very elderly signers who can’t sign their name properly. In California and many other states, two signing witnesses are required for this act. If you are an Ohio Notary, you can use a specially worded acknowledgment called a “Signature by mark acknowledgment”. I think this wording is helpful, because it helps to remind the notary what this odd procedure entails. Notaries do signatures by mark very infrequently and most don’t even know how to do it. The wording is:

State of Ohio
County of __________________

On the ____ day of ____, _______, before me, the undersigned notary public, personally appeared __________, personally known to me or proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person who made and acknowledged his/her mark on the within instrument in my presence, and in the presence of the two persons indicated below who have signed the within instrument as witnesses, one of whom, ________________________, also wrote the name of the signer by mark near the mark.

Witness my hand and official seal

_____________________ (Seal of Ohio Notary)

(2) Attorney in Fact Acknowledgment
An Ohio notary public can also use the form called an Attorney-in-fact acknowledgment individual. This particular form has he/she, his/her, etc., and is meant for an individual signer, not a duo, or multiple signers.

(3) Corporate Acknowledgment
There is also a corporate acknowledgment that Ohio notaries can use which documents the corporate position of the signer. I inserted the term (capacity), meaning the person’s job title. Here is the official Ohio notary verbiage  / Ohio notary wording:

State of Ohio
County of ____________

On__________, 20__, before me, the undersigned notary public, personally appeared _____________,
personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person who executed the instrument as the ___________________ (capacity) of _____________ (name of corporation), a corporation, and acknowledged to me that such a corporation executed the within instrument pursuant to its by-laws, or a resolution of its board of directors, and that the seal that is affixed to the within instrument is the corporate seal of the said corporation. Witness my hand and official seal.

_________________________ (Seal of Ohio Notary )

(4) The term of office
An Ohio Notary Term of Office is five years. This is roughly the national average for number of years of a notary commission.

(5) An Ohio notary can take depositions
— can transcribe a testimony in a law suit in court.

(6) Credible Witnesses in Ohio
A credible witness can identify a signer for an Ohio Notary. However, no oath is necessary for the credible witness. Many other states require the credible witness to raise their hand and swear under oath to the identity of the signer.

You might also like:

Credible Witnesses when ID and docs have different names

Become an Ohio Notary public

Can a notary be a witness?

Ohio Notary Stories from the Edge

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November 1, 2010

Michigan Notary Public odd rules and issues

Michigan Notary Public oddities and issues

Notary Bond
A prospective Michigan Notary must have a $10,000 bond. But, the odd part is that they must purchase and file this bond within 90 days prior to submitting their Michigan Notary commission application paperwork. This bond must be filed with their local county clerk and an oath of office must be administered as part of the procedure. There is a $10 fee to record the new Michigan Notary’s Oath.

Birthday
The Michigan Notary’s term of office ends on their birthday. Their term is between six and seven years. It begins upon the date specified by the state, and ends on the Notary’s birthday roughly six and a half years later.
Here is the Michigan Notary code: A Notary public may reside in, move to, and perform notarial acts anywhere in this state from the date of appointment until the date of the Notary’s birthday occuring not less than six years and not more than seven years after the date of his or her appointment unless the appointment is cancelled.

Unique Forms
Michigan Notaries can use specialized forms for Notary acts that most other states don’t have. There is an acknowledgment for copartnership. There is another acknowledgment for limited partnership. There is also a corporate acknowledgment to notarize the president of a corporation. There is an acknowledgment for a limited liability company, an acknowledgment for a public officer, and an acknowledgment for a trustee, personal representative, corporation (for any agent or officer), partnership, or attorney in fact; public officer, trustee, or personal representative.

Maintenance of Records
A person, or the personal representative of a person who is deceased, who performed a notarial act, while commissioned as a Notary Public under this act shall maintain all the records of that notarial act for at least five years after the date of that notarial act.

Remote Places
Michigan notaries on the upper peninsula will find that there are only a handful of mobile notaries in this territory which spans hundreds of miles. Notaries in U.P. might be asked to travel more than one hundred miles on a regular basis. Lets hope you get paid for mileage.

You might also like:

Identification requirements for being notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

Information about various notary procedures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2268

How to complain about a notary public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2179

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October 21, 2010

Massachusetts Notary Odd Information

Massachusetts notary odd rules and conditions.

A Massachusetts notary has restrictions about signing loans since Massachusetts is an attorney state. But, many Massachusetts notaries still sign loans. In Georgia, notaries never sign in-state loans in my experience because the rule about non-attorney notaries not being allowed to sign loans is more strictly enforced.

Massachusetts is the only territory in the United States that is a commonwealth, not a state, but we call it a state in any case.

The secretary of the commonwealth does not regulate the activities of Massachusetts notaries. A Massachusetts notary public is regulated by the governor.

Massachusetts notary fees are pitifully low.
A protest for over $500 – the notary can charge a fee off $1.00, or 50 cents for a protest for a lower value. These fees are suitable for the 1800’s, but a modern day notary can not make a living making pennies for their work.

A 50 cent fee for recording a protest is allowed. A fee of 75 cents is allowed for noting the non-acceptance of a non-payment for a bill of exchange. For each notice of non-acceptance or non-payment of a bill of exchange, order, draft, check, or note, given to the party liable for the payment thereof – a fee of 25 cents.

The whole cost of a protest including all notices and record: $2 for amounts $500 or more, or $1.50 for protests under $500. Costs for noting, including recording and notices shall not exceed $1.25.

Interesting witnessing rule
A Massachusetts notary public may ONLY witness documents while physically present in Massachusetts at the time of the notarization.

The Governor recommends:
Common places to look for a Massachusetts notary include city and town halls, courts, banks, law offices, insurance companies, drug stores / pharmacies, and in the phone book. I wish the governmor would also recommend 123notary.com. I think that the Massachetts notary materials on state websites were written more than ten years ago.

What is the purpose of the executive order?
Up until the effective date of the Executive Order, there had been no guidance for Massachusetts notaries public about what to do and how to do it. The Executive Order provides that information. In addition, there have been no safeguards in place to help prevent fraud, forgeries, and other misconduct by a small but significant number of notaries. The Executive Order provides notice to notaries as to what behavior constitutes misconduct, and then allows the Governor to remove or decline to re-appoint notaries who are engaging in misconduct.

Which Massachusetts Notary is required to keep a journal?Non-attorney Massachusetts notaries are required to keep a journal. But, shouldn’t the attorneys keep one too? Paralegals are exempt from keeping a journal too. Records are records, and everyone should keep records in my humble opinion.
A Massachusetts notary public who is employed by a bank can…
“Conducting a real estate closing involves the practice of law in Massachusetts. Thus, non-attorney notaries public may not conduct real estate closings. A notary public who is employed by a bank may notarize a document in conjunction with the closing of his or her employer’s real estate loans. Also, a non-attorney notary public who works for a bank may notarize bank documents relating to an equity line of credit or a refinance mortgage, absent other violation of the Executive Order.”.. from the Governor’s website.

Term of office
A Massachusetts notary holds their office for seven years.

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October 14, 2010

New Hampshire notary public eccentric rules

New Hampshire Notary Public eccentric laws.

Introduction
A notary public in New Hampshire has different possibilities than a notary in most other states. The rules for a New Hampshire notary are different and its interesting to learn about. New Hampshire notaries can become a justice of the peace, or commissioner of deeds in addition to having normal notary capabilities.

Justice of the peace
Anybody who wishes to apply to become a Justice of the peace must be a resident of New Hampshire and have been a registered voter in New Hampshire for at least 3 years before the date of the application. The applicant must sign a written statement with an accompaning oath as to whether or not they have ever been convicted by a crime that has not been annulled by a court, other than a minor traffic violation. Two justices of the peace and one registered voter of New Hampshire must endorse the application for appointment. The applicant also needs to complete a State Police records check form. There is a $75 fee for a five-year commission.

Become a notary, justice, or commissioner in NH
To become a New Hampshire notary public or New Hampshire justice of the peace or New Hampshire commissioner of deeds, you apply to the Secretary of state’s office — state house, room 204, Concord, NH 03301 or email to elections@sos.state.nh.us

The term of a New Hampshire justice of the peace is five years from the date that the Governer and Council confirms your appointment. The new New Hampshire justice of the peace must sign and take their oath of office in the presence of two Notaries public or justices of the peace, or one notary public and one justice of the peace. Then, the oath must be returned to the secretary of state’s office as soon as possible. The recently appointed New Hampshire justice of the peace should keep their commission in their records. Additionally, an index card must be signed and returned to the superior court of the county in which the person resides.

Justice of the peace – capacities
A New Hampshire Justice of the Peace has some capacities similar to a New Hampshire notary. Both designations allow the officer to do acknowledgments, but do not require an official seal when doing so. However, the state recommends using an official seal when performing duties specific to a New Hampshire Justice of the Peace.

In addition to acknowledgments, a New Hampshire justice of the peace can do all the same acts as a regular New Hampshire notary public such as Oaths, Affirmations, Jurats, Depositions, Copy certifications, and Protests.

The two special acts that a justice of the peace can do that notaries in most states can not do are: officially witnessing signatures and performing marriages. Florida notaries can also perform marriages with a special designation.

New Hampshire Commissioner of deeds
The powers of a New Hampshire commissioner of deeds are actually less than those of a New Hampshire notary or justice of the peace. The commissioner of deeds can administer oaths BOTH IN AND OUT OF New Hampshire, for documents that will be used in New Hampshire. They can take depositiosn and affidavits, plus acknowledgments. However, the NH Secretary of State’s website gives no accounting of whether they can do Jurats, Protests, Copy certifications, or other typical New Hampshire notary acts.

New Hampshire notary public application
If you are at least 18, and a resident of NH, you can apply to the secretary of state in NH to become a New Hampshire notary public. There is a $75 fee, and the commission is good for five years. Please visit http://www.sos.nh.gov/notary.html for more details.

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