Dilemmas of a Washington Notary
We have many notaries on board 123notary.com including over one hundred Washington Notary listings. We have notaries all over the state of Washington in every part of the state. But, Washington is an unusual state. First of all it is a coastal state with many inlets and islands. Part of Washington is only accessible by land to Canada, and not to the states! Fortunately, there is such a thing as an express pass, so that Washington state residents can pass quickly in and out of Canada.
One of the Washington notaries on our site lives near a cluster of islands which are part of Island County. She told me that signing companies didn’t pay her enough to get on the ferry to go to the islands to notarize documents. Its very time consuming and expensive to take the ferry.
I am not a Washington notary or Washington resident, but I took the ferry from Vancouver city to Vancouver Island in Canada in 2006 which is very near Washington, and using a similar ferry system. It was fun for me since I was a tourist, but very time consuming. For two hours there was nothing to do except indulge in a massage chair or overly expensive high fat buffet. Transportation is slow out there, so bring a book and allow some time.
Transportation in the mountains is hard for the Washington Notary providers we have on board. Fifty miles as the crow flies can take three hours on the windy mountain roads near the Canadian border. Additionally, near the Idaho and Oregon border, distances are vast, and Washington notaries really need to spend a lot of time getting around there.
Another fun area is the Western coast of Washington. Olympic State Park is a fun tourist destination with some of the rarest rain forests that are not located in the tropics not to mention huckleberry dark chocolate treats sold at gift stores. But, picture what a Washington notary public has to do to get around in those parts. It takes hours just to go from one county to the next, and the population of humans is very sparse although squirrels are plentiful.
In short, we have many notaries in Seattle and the Seattle area where the population is clustered closely. But, in remote areas of Washington State, it can take a notary hours to get around. Travel is hard, but its very scenic. In my experience, the part of the United States that could be confused for Germany would easily be the Western parts of Washington state and parts of Oregon too. The trees and landscapes are very similar (not the language). The foliage transforms abruptly upon reaching the Canadian border for some unknown reason though. Maple trees suddlenly appear in mass! How odd. Is metaphysics to blame for this? I can’t figure this one out!
There are various types of notarial acts, and the rules and types of acts vary from state to state. In this blog entry, I’ll go over all of the types of notary acts that I can find information about, and introduce some of the points that differ from state to state. The states associated with each specific act are NOT necessarily the ONLY states associated with those acts, but are the state(s) that we are referencing.
An acknowledgment is the most common notary act and accounts for roughly 80% of all notarizations with Jurats being in second place. Many states allow notaries to charge a maximum fee per notarized signature, while Florida’s fees are based on how many times you affix your stamp when executing an acknowledgment.
An affirmation is a type of Oath where there is no mention of a higher power (God).
Attesting to a Document’s Validity (AR)
This is a notary act that is peculiar to Arkansas. I don’t recall seeing this as a possible notary act in any other state. Please visit our Arkansas Notary page for more information.
Authentication, Apostilles, and Magistracies (General)
These are general notary public procedures common to most states. However, less than 1% of notaries know how to do such notary acts, and you normally have to contact your state notary public division to learn the rules. The process of getting one of these generally takes a minimum of a few days, and the price is usually high.
Certified Copies (WA)(CA)
Some states allow Certified copies of powers of attorney such as California. Other states often allow a notary to make certified copies of any type of document. New York doesn’t allow any type of certified copies. The type of documents that a notary may certify copies of vary from state to state. Washington allows a notary to charge $10 per certified copy of any document for example.
Copies of Journal Entries
California notary law allows a small fee of 30 cents per entry for notaries to charge if a member of the public needs a copy of a specific journal entry. The notary should be careful to make sure that all other transactions recorded in the journal do not show up on the photocopy sent to the individual making the inquiry to protect people’s privacy.
Depositions – Certifying Depositions (AR)
Most states use the term, “Take a deposition” while Arkansas allows notaries to certify a Deposition. Some states allow a fee for the Deposition and then another fee for each oath to each witness. Rules vary from state to state.
Document Copy Charges (CO)
Colorado notary law allows a notary to make copies of documents and charge for this act. This act ensures that the copied document is a real copy and not a different document or one that is slightly altered. If you are in another state that doesn’t have this type of notary act, its still advisable to witness the photocopying of documents that are to be certified as copies. Its also not a bad idea to make a notation on the document that you witnessed it being photocopied even though thats not an official act outside of Colorado that we are aware of.
Rules for e-notarizations differ from state to state. The main point is to use an electronic journal to record transactions and for the documents to be online or electronic documents. e-signings are signings where some of the documents are online while others are printed out. A regular journal is used when doing an e-signing although the signature on the document is electronic.
This is the second most popular notary act. A Jurat requires the signer to sign the document before the notary and to take an Oath before the notary as well regarding the document or verbiage. Several years ago, Jurats did not require identification in many states, but as of 2011, almost all states require the signer / affiant to be positively identified for this notary act.
Marine Protest (RI)
Rhode Island is the only state we have seen to have a separate fee for a marine Protest. A Protest is an act where
someone Protests non-payment of a bill. A Marine protest or sea protest is a statement where a captain or officer can include relevant details about the ship, voyage, cargo, drafts, date of departure, date of arrival in next port. This type of act is used if unfavorable weather conditions were encountered. The Marine protest will protect the vessel and their owners from further claims brought forward by charterers, shippers, and cargo receivers.
Non-Certified Copies (VA)
Virginia allows for notaries to make copies that are not certified. A non-certified copy if for information only and is not accepted for legal purposes such as school enrollment or applying for a drivers license or passport.
Most if not all states allow notaries to take Oaths. An Oath is a solemn promise or statement where the affiant swears that they are telling the truth.
Photocopying & Supervising Photocopying (AR)
In Arkansas, a notary can get paid to photocopy documents or supervise the photocopy of documents.
Proof of Execution
This notary act requires a subscribing witness who sees the principal sign a document. The subscribing witness appears before the notary public. This act is the only notary act where the actual signer doesn’t appear before the notary.
This type of notary act is where an individual protests the nonacceptance or non-payment of money owed.
Safe Deposit Openings (NY)
Here is a unique notary act only allowed in New York and Florida that we are aware of. The notary must witness the opening of a safe deposit box and record the contents of the box in a certificate, but not in their journal. Please click on the link to read the details.
Taking a Renunciation of dower or Inheritance (SC)
Please see the South Carolina notary division’s website for details on this unique notary act.
Verification – Taking a verification upon an Oath or Affirmation (DE)(PA)
Please consult the Delaware or Pennsylvania’s notary division website for more information on this unique act.
Weddings (ME), (SC), (FL)
Notaries in Maine, South Carolina, and Florida can solemnize weddings. Notaries need to be familiar with the procedure and proper wedding etiquette to provide this type of service.
Witnessing an Absentee Ballot (FL)
Notaries are not allowed to charge for this notary act in Florida, or California.
Witnessing or Attesting to a Signature (DE)
Attesting to a signature simply means witnessing a signature, and then signing your own name to document that fact that you witnessed a signature. Delaware is one state of many that considers being a witness an official notary act.