All you need to know about notary work
There is a lot to know about notary work. You should visit your state’s notary division website to learn what they want you to know about your state’s notary laws. Regardless of what state you are in, you need to know:
Who can become a notary?
Generally state residents who are 18 or older who don’t have a felony conviction or misdemeanor involving dishonesty. Some states allow residents of neighboring states to apply to be a notary as well.
What is the application process to become a notary?
Some states have online applications, while others require you to mail it in. Each state has a different application fee. Check your state’s notary division website for more information
What is the procedure to get my official notary seal?
Most states require the use of a notarial seal, but some states have authorization forms to get your seal.
How do I get my notary commission paperwork?
Most states will mail this to you. Many states require you to file an Oath and Bond at a county recorder’s office, or some other government office in your area.
Do I need to be bonded to be a notary?
Refer to your state’s notary division website for information
What notary acts do I need to know about?
Most states allow notaries to perform notarial acts such as:Acknowledgments, Jurats, Affirmations, Oaths, and Protests. Some states allow copy certifications for particular documents, and there are other types of notary acts as well that are particular to certain states. Please read your state’s notary division website to learn the details.
Do I need to keep a journal of notarial acts?
Most states require a journal, but even if they don’t, you should keep a journal for your records in case you are called into court. A well maintained journal is evidence that can be used in court, or keep you out of court. You will not remember someone you notarized five years ago, so keep good notes in your journal if something strange happens at the notarization.
How do I identify signers?
Generally, a current drivers’s license, state identification card, or password will do. The ID should be a current government issued photo-ID with a physical description, signature, serial number, and expiration date. Other forms of identification might be allowed, so please visit your state’s notary division website to learn the details of your state’s rules
Notary acts such as Jurats and Acknowledgments require notarial paperwork to accompany the act. Oaths often do not require a certificate though. Notary certificates come in pads, and you simply fill out the certificate with information about the document and the signer, the date you notarized the document and a few other pieces of information — then you stamp the certificate paper, and staple it to the document. The document itself might have the certificate on it which means that you do not have to attach a loose certificate.
What else do I need to know?
You could learn about how to use credible witnesses, signature by mark, and other types of notary procedures. You should learn how to take journal thumbprints for your security in identifying potential frauds. Become an expert on your state notary handbook (if your state has one). You are responsible for all laws pertaining to notaries in your state.
Can a notary notarize outside of their state?
There are some weird exceptions in two states, but as a general rule, you are not authorized to perform notary acts outside of your state boundaries. If you live near a border, consider getting commissioned in the neighboring state if that state will allow it.
How long is a notary term?
Notary terms can range from three years to life, however, the majority of states have a four or five year notary commission term.
How do I make money as a notary?
Become a mobile notary, get a loan signing course from 123notary.com, and advertise on our site to get business as a loan signer and mobile notary if your state allows loan signing!
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