June 2012 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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June 30, 2012

Can a notary public act as a witness?

Filed under: Witnessing — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:13 pm

Can a notary public act as a witness? 

We already have a very thorough blog entry entitled:
 
Can a notary be a witness?
 
That contains all pertinent details regarding notary witness requirements and procedures.  To sum it up, a notary can act as a witness in any state in their capacity as an individual.   However, in Delaware, and Washington State, and perhaps a few other states, a notary can do witnessing as an official notary act, and charge an official fee set by the state for their services.
 
Is it better to hire a notary to be a witness?
Since notaries work exclusively with signers, signatures, documents, foms, certificates, etc., many people feel that notaries are better equipt to handle the (not so vigorous) responsibilities associated with being a witness.  Additionally, notaries have been screened by their state and are more likely to be honest upstanding citizens — or at least that is what many of us like to think.  The reality is that some notaries have no idea what they are doing, while others are very particular about witnessing, and documenting information in conjunction with witnessing. 
 
Why would it matter who you picked as a witness?
If someone witnesses a document signing or a Will signing, it doesn’t matter much who they are provided they are at least 18 years of age.  On the other hand, if the witness ever needs to be contacted after the fact, it is good if the witness has lived in the same place for a long time so you know where to reach them.  If your witness works for the circus or lives in a caravan and moves around a lot, you might never see them again. Having a witness who is a notary might help if they provide some extra documentation for you. Additionally, a mobile notary supposedly knows how to show up at the appointed place at the appointed time and might be more reliable with logistics.

You might also like:

Types of witnesses in the Notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=5664

Credible Witnesses from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=452

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June 22, 2012

Notary Public Oath of Office Information

Notary Public Oath of Office Information 

Each state has a different procedure for becoming a notary.  But, it is common for states to require a newly commissioned notary public to purchase a bond and file it with the county recorder. When the notary comes to the recorder’s office to file their bond, it is also common for them to have to take an Oath of Office, and file their oath at the county recorder’s office as well.  California requires notaries to file two completed copies of their oath with the county recorder. Remember not to sign the Oath documentation until the clerk at the county clerk tells you to!
 
The Oath of Office
Generally, the Oath will be a piece of paper with a quick statement that you swear to. You will need to raise your right hand and swear or affirm under oath that you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and you will have to agree to the terms in the document.  You need to sign in the presence of the clerk, and then the clerk will affix their stamp to the Oath paperwork.
 
Verbiage for the Notary Oath of Office
Here is some sample wording from Michigan’s Department of State:
 
Do you solemnly swear that you will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State, and that you will discharge the duties of the office of Notary Public in and for said County to the best of your ability?

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Has anyone failed the notary public exam?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1999

Vampire notaries: 24 hour service
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4094

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June 19, 2012

Texas, Utah, and Virginia e-notary rules

Texas e-notary rules
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/faqs2300.shtml#np23
Any Texas Notary Public may perform an electronic notarization.  An e-notarization must meet the requirements of any other notarization such as personal appearance of the signer.  The electronic seal must meet the same requirements as a conventional seal. All parties must agree to have the notarization done electronically.  Please refer to Texas code (law) 322.011
 
Utah e-notary rules
http://notary.utah.gov/ – please click on the 2010-2011 Study Guide section 3.
Based on the Utah Notary Handbook, notarizing of an electronic signature requires personal appearance and certification of a signature made voluntarily.  No other information was given.
 
Virginia e-notary rules
We are including this information on separate post.  Please visit the link below to see that information. The information we have about Virginia e-notarizations is by far the most thorough that we were able to find for any state in the United States. Please see Virginia e-notary rules for more information.

You might also like:

The pros and cons of eNotarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3672

What can an e-notary do?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2706

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June 13, 2012

Florida e-notary rules

Florida e-notary rules
http://notaries.dos.state.fl.us/education/elecnot.html
The information in this link is very hard to follow or understand.  It looks like all Florida notary public applicants must be trained in notary rules as well as e-notarizations before they can be commissioned at all. I didn’t see any restrictions as to who could do e-notarizations, so I will assume (perhaps incorrectly) due to the lack of clarification that any Florida notary with an electronic journal can perform an e-notary act.
 
Here is an interesting excerpt:
“Notarization and Acknowledgment
(a) If a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, the requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized by applicable law to perform those acts, together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record. Neither a rubber stamp nor an impression type seal is required for an electronic notarization.
(b) A first-time applicant for a notary commission must submit proof that the applicant has, within 1 year prior to the application, completed at least 3 hours of interactive or classroom instruction, including electronic notarization, and covering the duties of the notary public. Courses satisfying this section may be offered by any public or private sector person or entity registered with the Executive Office of the Governor and must include a core curriculum approved by that office.”

You might also like:

What can an e-notary do?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2706

The pros and cons of eNotarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3672

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June 11, 2012

Which states allow e-notarizations?

What states allow e-notarizations or e-notaries?
 
The status of being an electronic notary is a very new and very misunderstood profession or office.  To be an e-Notary, so you can do e-Notarizations, is often a completely different type of commission in many states.  Another fact to understand is that e-Notarizations can not (or can not always) be done for Deeds or other documents that effect real property.  The biggest issue that bothers notaries about e-Notarizations is that the signer doesn’t always have to appear before the notary to receive an e-Notarization.  The first time a signer is notarized, they should appear before the notary, but in some states, the subsequent e-notarizations  may or may not require physical presence. 
 
e-Notarizations require the use of an electronic journal (ENJOA).  The signature of the signer would go in that journal.
 
An e-signing is normally done with a physical journal and done in the presence of a notary public.  The documents might be signed online, or at least most of them signed online. However, the signer woudl still appear before the notary public and sign a physical journal of notarial acts.
 
Here are the states that currently allow e-notarizations. The rules for e-Notarizations might be very different from state to state.
California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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20 stories about animals at signings

Filed under: Pets at Signings — Tags: , — admin @ 3:40 am

20 hilarious posts about pets & animals
Dogs, cats, snakes, cockroaches, and neighbors (classified as pets for the time being).
These are all time classics on our forum and blog. Tell us which ones are your favorites!

Wolf Dogs at a signing
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5297

The cat jumped on the keyboard
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5294

Neighbors and signings, what can go wrong
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4732

A dog falls asleep on a notary’s briefcase
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5234

The dog peed on me and the docs
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4524

A signing with Corky the dog
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4530

The woman and the shoe
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4521

Farmyard signing
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4520

Cockroaches and more
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2741

Pets at signings
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4041

Humor at signings
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=950

The cat lady
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4531

Funniest signings from facebook
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4094

Pets and signings
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=955

Checking for Pets in my bag?
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=224

Funniest things that happen at signings
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=55

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June 5, 2012

How to find a bilingual notary public

How to find a bilingual notary public

How to find a bilingual notary public Many states prohibit a notary public from providing notary services to someone who they can not communicate DIRECTLY with. This means no translators allowed. Therefor, if you have a signer who does not speak English, you will need a bilingual notary public to notarize their signature.

Notaries who advertise as bilingual.
Many notaries advertise themselves as bilingual. Some don’t even specify which two languages that they speak that makes them bilingual. Most people would guess that the pair of languages would be Spanish and English. You will find native speakers of Spanish, children of Latin American immigrants, and home-grown Anglos who will claim to be bilingual — but not all claims were created equal. Some people are proficient in both languages enough to be a certified translator. Some can speak, but can’t write. Many can communicate on a simple level in their second language as well. The notaries you have to watch out for are the ones who know only a few words of Spanish and promote themselves as bilingual notaries to get a few extra jobs, when they clearly are causing more trouble than anything else. Test your bilingual notary out on the phone If a notary claims to be bilingual, half of them have a translator in the back room who is not always there and not always available. That is a semi-fraudulent claim of blingualness if you ask me! Others can not function in the language if your question goes beyond, “How are you, and what is your name?”. Talk to your bilingual notary on the phone and see how capable they really are. Test them before you book them in your calendar. How do I find a bilingual notary public? 123notary.com has a wide selection of bilingual notaries speaking every language from Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, (American) Sign Language, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Zulu (not necessarily in that order). Just do a search, and on the upper right hand side of the page you can filter your search by typing in the name of the language. There are actually speakers of many more languages than mentioned above, but those are the common ones. We even had one or two notaries who spoke Chaldean, Tigrean, and Twi among other languages. Don’t use the term Notario Publico The Spanish term Notario Publico is very different from the American position of Notary Public. Notaries are forbidden from using the Spanish term in their advertising in most states. American notaries are forbidden from giving legal advice and are of a much more common position than a Latin American Notario which is a position almost as high as an attorney.

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Notarizing your foreign language document
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2768

Notary Procedure for Affidavit of Support Documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1421

Bilingual Notaries, how often are they needed?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=238

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June 3, 2012

A New California Notary Law

A New California Notary Law

A new law regarding California notaries went into effect on January 1, 2012. One of three main changes to California notary law in 2012 is that a subscribing witness may not sign a Power of Attorney in California in a case where a signer is too frail or unwell to appear before a notary. In other words, it is now clearly mandated that a person giving someone else Power of Attorney in California must be well enough to appear personally before a California notary. There are situations in which an actual signer can’t appear before the notary and a subscribing witness may be used, but this is not as strong as having a California notary take an acknowledgement, and ought not to be allowed in most situations. In matters involving finance and property, California previously made clear that important documents such as mortgages and securities may not be signed by a subscribing witness; instead, the acknowledgment must be taken by the notary with the proper signer present. In 2012, California has now wisely added POA to the list of documents that may not be signed by a subscribing witness.

The second of the changes to California notary law in 2012 setsforth the rule that only California notaries who work for the financial institution concerned may demand payment or accept payment on “foreign bills of exchange” for the institution –and only these California notaries may protest for nonpayment. The third change in the law makes clear that these notaries who work for financial institutions will of course no longer be paid a fee for such services—as an independent notary would have been. The world of banking has its own notaries for all occasions, California notary law reminds us.

Tweets:
(1) A new 2012 California notary law – subscribing witnesses may no longer sign Power of Attorney in certain cases.
(2) Important documents such as Mortgages & Securities may not be signed by subscribing witnesses.

You might also like:

California notary issues
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3528

California Acknowledgment and Jurat Information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1786

Power of Attorney Signings
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1627

Find a notary in Fremont, CA
http://www.123notary.com/notary-result.asp?state=CA&super=&county=162&sub=3&n=Fremont%20City&cc=1&

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