December 2012 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

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December 31, 2012

Borrower etiquette from A to Z

Filed under: Comprehensive Guides,Etiquette — Tags: , — admin @ 10:16 am

Borrower etiquette from A to Z

A year or more ago I wrote a blog about notary etiquette from A to Z. The topic arose from a very interesting and detailed discussion about where it is polite to park. The discussion went on and on, and everybody made really interesting points! But, a discussion on NR broke out about borrower etiquette, and I’m surprised that I didn’t publish this topic first, since I love the topic of etiquette (even though I don’t have very good etiquetee myself). In any case, there are many points to consider in borrower etiquette — so, here they are.


(1) Make sure you finish your meal and clean up your kitchen before the notary arrives. Make sure the smell of your cooking is somehow ventilated.

(2) Make sure you have communicated adequately with the LENDER before the notary arrives. You should be off the phone, and have listened to all of your messages before the notary arrives, especially messages (if any) from your trustworthy lender.

(3) Have all dogs, cats, snakes, birds, cockroaches, vermin, and other creatures behind a securely closed door at least 30 minutes before the signing — for good luck. Many notaries do not like dogs jumping on them. Additionally, if there is an angry or over-zealous dog in the driveway, the notary might be afraid to get of of his/her/their car.

(4) Tell your children not to come into the room of the signing. If they must come, then make sure they are quiet, dressed, and don’t make any sudden movements. Please find a way to deal with screaming babies too as that can be very distracting during a signing.

(5) The TV, radio, and all other noise should be silent during the signing so that people can focus and not make mistakes

(6) There should be a clean surface for the signing, preferably a dining room table. The ENTIRE surface should be free of any clutter and have been cleaned with 409, or Fantastic, etc., immediately prior to the signing.

(7) Make sure that all of the parties involved in the signing are there 30 minutes in advance and have their ID’s ready.

(8) Make sure you know what your rate and APR are supposed to be BEFORE the notary shows you the corresponding pages with that information.


(9) Leave your outside lights on for night signings, so the notary can intuitively know which house to go to.

(10) It is polite and helpful to let the notary know where to park


(11) Offer the notary a drink right away. Most borrowers are cheap and inconsiderate — it takes them 30 minutes to figure out that, “Oh, did you want something to drink?” And then, they offer you tap water. Why not offer the notary something of a higher quality such as fruit juice, soda, or coffee? Unless you are so poor that you are dying of malnutrition, it is cheap behavior to only offer tap water.

(12) Keep drinks off the table. We have had in-depth discussions about spillage, and what happens when you spill your latte on the deed of trust. Check our forum and blog for older discussions on this topic. Keep the drinks on a chair, or an adjascent table.

(13) Don’t read documents for two hours. The notary came for a signing appointment, not a reading appointment. Your borrower’s copies are for reading. Behave in such a way that the signing will take 45 minutes or less. Read the key points, and the rest can be read on your own time.

(14) Don’t blame the notary for the faults of the lender doing the old bait and switch, or for other problems you have with the lender.

(15) Don’t make phone calls or leave the room during the signing except to go to the bathroom.

(16) Smoking during the signing shouldn’t happen. If it is a really long signing, and after an hour you need a smoking break, perhaps one quick smoking break might be reasonable.

(17) (State specific for MT and TN) It is poor etiquette to expose a gun or other weapon at the signing, or to discuss guns. Notaries usually don’t feel comfortable around guns — at least the notaries that I know!

(18) Don’t discuss politics, gender issues, or anything else controversial at the signing.

(19) Don’t have an argument with your spouse, kids, or anyone else at the signing.

(20) Sign your name as it is typed below the signature line — don’t argue with the notary about this. This should have been discussed with the lender a long time ago.

(21) Don’t make a fuss about being thumbprinted

(22) After it is all said and done, visit the notary’s page on and write a very glowing review about how wonderful and capable the notary was.

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December 26, 2012

The Reluctant Husband

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: , — admin @ 8:16 am

I received a call from a Title Company I do a lot of signings for. The Appt. was set for that Thursday @ 5 p.m. It consisted of about 35 minute travel time to get to the borrowers home. Title had told me this was a two part signing. The borrowers were signing with their son whom was and had signed all the documents in another state. I was also informed by Title that there were no Notary Acknowledgement documents for the borrowers (parents that were signing) therefor, I needed to copy and take enough acknowledgement forms to attach to ALL documents that required Notary Acknowledgement.

I printed 2 sets of documents . The son’s that had been signed and notarized,then the set for the borrower parents. Each set consisted of about 135 pages!! I thought WOW! This is gonna take a while!!! I arrived at the borrowers home around 5 mins. before appointed time. I proceeded to door and knocked. No one came to door! It was a full view glass storm door, and I could see a gentleman setting in a glass enclosed room smoking a cigarette and watching T.V. He proceeded to watch T.V. as if I wasn’t even there! I thought, if I can see him in plain site then he can see me! So I knocked again a little louder the second time (I thought maybe he’s hard of hearing )! Again no response. Finally the female borrower came to the door. She proceeded to let me in. I followed her to the kitchen where she designated the signing would take place. Her husband’s glass room was right there off the kitchen. Big glass panels. He could see see us in there! He still proceeded to smoke and watch T.V.

I Told the wife I need to see Original non-expired photo ID and also collect the copies to compare original with copies and retain copies to go back to Title with the documents. I always explain these procedures to the borrowers when calling to confirm the Appointment. She left the room and returned with her valid driver’s license and copies of her and her husband’s ID. I said I will also need to see your Husband’s original ID to compare to the copy. She went to glass door opened it and said “She needs to see your Drivers license also. He pulled his wallet out took it out and gave to her . She brought it to me! I was thinking this is so weird! These people are strange!!!! To say the least. But I was friendly, courteous and professional!

While all this was going on I had gotten all the documents, notary acknowledgments, stamp etc., out of briefcase. By this time 20 minutes had already passed! I told her your Husband will need to come and join us as the documents had to be signed by him also! She got up and walked over to the kitchen sink and started running water! Her Husband was still setting in glass room watching T.V and chain smoking! She filled the sink loaded it with dishes that she had neatly stacked on kitchen counter. I thought “What the h_ _ _ is she doing! I again said, “We need your husband in here as he also needs to sign the documents”. She said, “I know, but I wash my dishes every night at this time so when I get my dishes washed I will have him join us!” I remained in my professional MODE being thankful they were NOT mind readers!! They wouldn’t have liked it! LOL! She finished her dishes then went to door told her Husband in very rude tone, “YOU NEED TO GET IN HERE AND SIGN THESE TOO!” He came in. By this time it was close to 6 pm. I had already been there an hour and hadn’t even got started on signing! We went thru the Sons 135 pages first and they signed where their required signatures were needed! Took over an hr. just on that package due to hubby leaving for smokes breaks in his glass room! Then came the package that had to be signed with me filling in all the info on the acknowledgement’s. We were about 30 mins. into signing and Wife says please excuse me for a moment. She left the room and I heard water running in what I thought had to be a bathroom behind me. She returned to table (water was still running) She signed a few more documents and again said “please excuse me for a moment”. She again left the room and again Hubby headed to his glass smoking room. So, there I sat thinking, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH THESE WEIRDOS!” So I sat and filled in the city and state on notary documents and printed their names under the signature lines so they would be partly ready anyway!! After about 30 minutes, here she comes hair wet and PJ’s on. She said, “ITAKE MY BATH THE SAME TIME EVERY NIGHT AND IT WAS MY BATH TIME!!!!” At this point I just wanted to pack it all up and leave!!! Hubby was still chain smoking! I said you need to get your Husband back in here so we can get this signing concluded. She told him to come back in!! Well all in all I left at 8:45 !!! I have NEVER been so GLAD to get away from a signing!! I still can not believe that this NIGHTMARE of a signing was for real!!! But, OH YES it was VERY MUCH A REALITY NIGHTMARE!!!!!!! When getting in my car and leaving,I called Title which of course were gone for the eve. I contacted them the next day and told them ALL about the whole ordeal!!! They were FLOORED!!! And of course apologetic. I told them if these borrowers EVER need another signing done that I would NOT BE AVAILABLE!!! They laughed! But I’M SERIOUS. NO WAY WILL I EVER GO BACK THERE!!! I’m so thankful that these kind of signings are RARE! But I’m sure every signing agent has at least ONE UNFORGETTABLE SIGNING NIGHTMARE!! I feel very sorry for any that have several! LOL!!!!!

This story was written by Glenda Heffren


December 24, 2012

I make mistakes too!

Filed under: Carmen Towles,Notary Mistakes — Tags: , — admin @ 6:57 am

The most dreaded thing happened to me after all these years. I get a call from one of my regulars of many years now asking me when I can come through. She has a fee notarizations for herself and her husband. The own an architect firm. We set up a time for the following day. I arrive about 10 minutes early which is what I always try to do. She pleasantly sits me down in our usual conference room, excuses herself and leaves briefly to get the documents. She comes back into the room and hands me one document in particular from a stack that immediately looks familiar. It was a document that I had previously notarized the week before. She goes on (while handing it to me stating that the county clerk had rejected it. I am thinking WHAT!?!?! Are you serious??…cant be so. But unfortunately is was so. It seems in my haste I had forgotten to put the ‘notary public’ after my name. (For those of you in other states this is now a mandatory requirement for all California notaries.) And of course the county clerk had rejected it. They had attached a nice little note with instructions for me to fix it. Which of course I did.

I was thinking ( and I told my client ) ‘I am so sorry, I cant imagine what was going on in my head’ to forget to do this, I assure her that after all that I certainly know better”. ‘But I am human’ as she told me. “We all make mistakes”. But this mistake in my eyes was unacceptable and now I have inconvenienced the client. They have to go back to the county clerk. So to make amends I adjusted my fee. I would have liked (at no charge) to offer to take it to the courthouse for them…but didn’t think of it until later in the day.

So remember to check your work. ALWAYS! Try not to let outside influences distract you. This can easily happen but It can cost you jobs and regular clients. I am sure they will call me back. But I really felt bad about my error. I know better but for me this was a wake up call. I was careless and did not check my work. And ultimately, I could have paid for it by losing a valuable client Or even worse yet it could have been a time sensitive document and because of my error they could have lost their valuable client and/or they could have missed a deadline and I could have gotten sued…god forbid. So don’t forget to check BEFORE you leave them. Doesn’t matter if it is one document or 20. make sure you have done your job. We can’t afford mistakes!

Until the next time, be safe!

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December 23, 2012

The end of the world has been postponed

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: — admin @ 9:02 am

The end of the world has been postponed

According to the Mayan calendar, December 23rd 2012 is the last day that the world will exist. If you are reading this, then perhaps the Mayans were wrong. If the world were over, then you wouldn’t be able to read this article.

The medium
In any case, I have a psychic friend who is a medium. I asked him to help me communicate with a great guru who passed on many years ago. This guru communicates regularly with a lady in France who is a medium as well, and books have been written on what this guru has to say about the state of affairs of the planet, and the future. He predicted that America would become a land of paupers, and that we would be fighting over water. He predicted that the rich countries would become poor, while poor countries would rise up. He also predicted that whites would become much less powerful while other races would gain tremendous power. Obama is a testament to this prediction.

A quick session
In any case, in the quick talk my medium had with this guru, the guru told me that the world would indeed come to an end, but not for another 15-20 years, unless there were some huge shift in human consciousness. He said that there would be some sort of nuclear war at that point, and that most humans would perish from the damage and the fall-out. He said that it would be easier and nicer to die very quickly, so it seems that living in Los Angeles is the perfect place since North Korea has us at the top of their list!

Is it all believable?
Many of you will question the ability of the medium used, or even the existance of this guru spirit, or the existance of spirits to begin with. Future predictions are always subject to change, so nothing is written in stone (or enriched uranium for that matter). There is no tangible way to prove the skill of the medium either, except that I wouldn’t be paying him if he didn’t have a good track record (and I am frugal). This particular guru spirit has come to me in dreams to convey short messages to me, so I have reason (by my method of reasoning at least) to believe in his existance. He is my guru’s guru, so I have been following him for two decades, so I BETTER believe in him!

What now?
Even if the world doesn’t end by nuclear war, food is in shorter supply every year. Food prices are always higher, and as water is in scarcer supply, and fuel in shorter supply, food prices and prices for transportation of food will rise to the point that many are either starving or fighting for food. Water sources from rivers and aquafers has been drying up and will continue for the next 50 years until there is virtually nothing left. In the Middle East they have already reached the nothing left point. A pole shift is expected to happen which could throw the entire planet out of orbit. Additionally, a huge 30 mile diameter rock called wormwood is expected to fly within spitting distance of Earth in 2028 as well — and that could end us with mega-tsunamis from the gravitational pull on the water in the oceans. The level of pollution, and global warming could cause the Ross ice shelf to melt which would mean that 1.5 billion people’s homes around the globe would suddenly be under water. More and more pollution contaminates what we breathe and eat which can also cause our demise. Either way you slice the cake, life on earth has between ten and forty years to go without at least half of the planet’s population dying off.

The only way to save the planet
Moderation and a sudden increase in spirituality are the only ways to save the planet. I have learned that notaries are not a good audience for spiritual talk. I also learned that most humans are incapable of thinking about spirituality without connecting it to the limited beliefs of their sect which divides them against other god-believers with ideological differences — and people tend to cling on much harder to their differences than they cling to their belief in god. Only through a huge increase in spiritual devotion can earth be saved. Moderation is also necessary. People need to stop having babies. The world can not sustain so many people. Having babies seems nice and natural, but these new mouths to feed will cause starvation and war soon after they are born by causing an increase in competition for resources.

Less babies, less pollution, less cutting down trees are absolute essentials. The world can sustainable keep roughly one billion humans, but having more than that creates too much of a burden with pollution and trees being cut down to create building materials and farmland.

What can you do?
You are only karmically responsible for your own actions, so don’t worry too much! Just try to be a good person, live in moderation and with devotion. You can pray that you get reincarnated on a nice planet after you die. After 2030 or 2040, Earth will probably not be inhabitable for more than 10 to 100 million humans which is less than 2% of the current population. There will not be enough bodies for you to reincarnate into here. But, I heard that planet Nublek is being prepared for a sudden influx of human earthling souls. I have no idea how nice Nublek is, so we better hope the the best!

What am I going to do?
On December 24th, I plan on going down the street where there is a huge Guatemalan neighborhood. I am going to tell each of them one by one that their ancestors (The Mayans) were WRONG.. I am going to say, “Look at me, I am still here, the Mayan calendar is WRONG! The world is still here”. Wish me luck!!!

Note added 10-14-2013
With the US government shut-down, the horrible cyclone in India, civil war in Syria, unrest in Egypt, it looks like the world is slowly coming to an end. It is more of a slow-motion end of the world that could last another twenty years until completion!


December 21, 2012

When to dump a signing

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular Overall 2012 — Tags: , — admin @ 1:31 am

When to Dump a Signing

Dumping (backing out of or adjourning) a signing is to be avoided at (almost) all costs. However, that “almost” does allow for some exceptions. As Signing Agents many people are depending on us to perform on time, flawlessly, and without fail. Unfortunately, that is sometimes an unrealistic goal and we must occasionally face the reality that not all assignments that we accept can be completed. It’s just good manners and proper professionalism to give a much notice as possible prior to taking this drastic action.

In the real world we serve “two masters”. The first is our client; the one who we “hope” will be paying for our services. The other is ourselves. I don’t know of any agents who are doing signings as a hobby. They do it for the money – to make a living. Thus, it becomes necessary to balance the moral obligation (to complete the assignment) against the need to earn a fee. We all know it is reprehensible to dump an assignment to accept a more lucrative one; similarly it is wrong to “overbook” and “run late” disappointing the borrowers, title companies, etc.

However, there are times when the warning signs clearly indicate disaster ahead. As a I VERY rarely “dump” a signing – but it does happen. Most of us have had situations where we could not notarize (no ID, name mismatch, etc.) document(s). Similarly, there are times when we should retreat from a (probably) doomed signing assignment.

We work in a free market economy. Signing Agents and their employers both wish to maximize profits. That is right and proper. But, there are ethical limits – flagrant “mis-truths” – designed to exploit the party on the other side – can and do occur.

When you get a signing assignment request, get as much information as possible. Always log the caller’s name and company as well as their phone number. Once the logistics (date, time, edoc?, faxing?, and fee are resolved – Immediately ask for the name of the borrower and their phone number too. If you “have” the assignment the caller should be willing to give you the borrower information, if not, they might be putting you “on the hook” – and then start shopping for a lower priced agent – with you as a “fallback”. The “other side” does not like to have borrowers contacted by multiple notaries.

Most of our assignments are edoc. We have calendars and plan to optimize our day; processing as much as is practical. When accepts an edoc, I generally tell the caller that I need an hour to print and review the docs; and an additional hour; due to NYC traffic, to get to the assignment. I allow a reasonable time to process the package and often have an obligation scheduled subsequently. I understand that late docs are often unavoidable; however that does not mean that I should “blow away” my other obligation. I inform my client of a “cutoff” time by which the docs (including final HUD) must be in my inbox if I am to proceed. Of course if I can wait, I do. But not at the expense of the innocent party scheduled to follow.

There is also an issue with “known non-payers” and “unrated” clients. I can’t check the history of callers while driving a car. I accept the assignment, and do my “due diligence” as to their payment history when I can. If they have a bad payment history on Rotary or 123, or no history at all – it’s “up front” on PayPal, or the assignment is deleted from my calendar. Most of my clients accept the argument that when my credentials (A+ BBB, 123 feedback, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) are solid; and theirs are negative or non-existent – it’s logical for them to “trust me” (by prepaying) rather than me “trust them” to send a check.

Another warning sign to me is the unavailability of a valid contact number for the borrower. In almost every case this has lead to disaster. If it’s not an ID mismatch, it’s a wrong meeting address or date/time error. I have a policy of not printing the edoc until I am able to confirm the ID, location (including the often overlooked company name & floor/room), date and time. As I write this I have a job “pending” where I was given two contact numbers. One was for a totally different person the other was out of service. I emailed the Signing

Service with a very reasonable deadline for me to receive a correct borrower phone number.

We have all heard the term “bait and switch”. It also applies to what we do. When the job is described as “A” and becomes “Z” – it’s time to re-discuss the fee. Not for little issues, not to nitpick about 100 pages being 125 pages. But, if the scheduler says “no faxing” and when the docs arrive they want the entire 125 pages faxed – that’s a real issue. Sometimes a “tiny” refi can arrive as a “piggyback”. If they are not willing to change the fee based on a change in the work – it’s “dump” time. But go carefully here; the Signing Service often does not know the “scope” of the work when they contact you. A gentle call describing the situation, generally works wonders.

I used to think personal safety would be an irrefutable reason to cancel an appointment. I was wrong; according to an employer who shall remain unnamed. While waiting for a (late) borrower, after 45 minutes – freezing rain started to fall; forming a slick coat of ice on the roadways. The signing location was in a very hilly part of the Bronx in New York City. Weather reports were warning of a major Ice Storm, a rare event in NYC. As the ice started to accumulate I made the decision to leave (with the docs) and get home – slowly and carefully. The Signing Service called me when I arrived home to inform me of the borrower’s arrival (over an hour late). They insisted that I return to the treacherous roads to complete my assignment. That did not happen.

How about “at the table”? After all the preliminaries are resolved and the signing has actually started no one wants an “unhappy” ending. But, even at this stage it can happen. I have had a situation where the attorney for the borrower, over my objection, made changes to the documents. Not typo corrections, but literally dozens of revisions to “protect my client’s constitutional rights”. I knew the docs were destined for the shredder on sight. The last straw was the attorney’s refusal to even speak to title, escrow, lender or anyone else. I adjourned the “farce in progress”.

We know to not discuss why the interest rate is X and not Y. This is when the borrower needs to speak to someone with the proper authority and accurate information to answer their question. They place a call (or a few) and wait, and wait, and wait…… How long is reasonable for me to wait if they are “stalled” on a specific issue. Even with a Right to Cancel, not every borrower is willing to sign something they feel is inaccurate. I don’t have a set limit to “wait for callback” – but I certainly will not wait over an hour if the process has stopped.

A final “at the table”, and probably weirdest event, happened to me. The son, who also was an attorney, was present at the signing. He said he “represented” his mother. He insisted that I only converse with him and not speak to his mother. Odd, but certainly not a show stopper. The straw that broke this camel’s back was his insistence on responding to the Notary Oath – for her! It was not a language issue, everyone present spoke English; and he conversed with her frequently. But he would not permit me to “oath” her directly! That set of documents would not get my signature!

The Blog section of 123Notary.Com supports reader comments to posts. I sincerely solicit your feedback to this blog entry. The issue of “dumping” an assignment is an important one. It is likely that my peers will disagree with some of my reasoning. It’s equally likely that I overlooked to mention some important considerations, which should have been included. Please post your comments, so that I (and others) may learn from your experiences. Your feedback will help all Signing Agents, to develop personal policies that are fair to their clients, and themselves.

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December 14, 2012

Signing Service wants me to do MY part?

Many closings — many companies
When I first started out I use to do a lot of closings for quite a few signing services. That was before I really knew the business. There was one signing service in particular that was my very favorite. They were great. They paid $75, but there was no printing involved. So I could live with the fee. All their loan were usually were A paper loans and trouble fee and they were only about 70-80 pages total either sent to me or the borrowers. And they gave me several loans per week so it was a perfect situation all around. The more I worked with them the more they gave me. On the first of the mouth I could count on payment for all of the jobs for that previous month. It was just a great company to work for. Period. Fyi, and they are still in business.

The industry slowed down and attitudes changed
But when things started to go south and the business started to dry up people started to change how they did business. Attitudes and personalities started to change. To put it bluntly people started to turn on each other.

Go to their work — not their home?
On this particular day I received a call from this company asking if I was available and I told them of course I was for them. I received the confirmation, called to confirm with my borrowers and off I go. Now instead of meeting the borrowers originally as planned at their homes they want me to meet them at one of their place of employment. They will both be present. I ask them about parking but was told they don’t validate. So When I get to the area there is no where to park except for the 20.00 or so lots. (beachfront area) I call my beloved signing service to let them know the situation and that I will be invoicing the additional parking fees that I will have to pay out of pocket.. (which would have never been a problem in the past)

They wouldn’t pay for parking
But to my surprise they tell me we cannot authorize that. The scheduler goes onto tell me times are tight and that I need to bare this expense or find better parking. She says that we must all our part and need to make sacrifices in these lean times. I am about to blow a gasket!! Is she serious with this. I am only getting 75.00 so know I have to lose $20.00 of that to parking. I’m thinking that she has lost her mind!!. I decide that I am not going to argue with her because she couldn’t possibly know what she is talking about. I will go on and do the closing and discuss it with the owner of the company at a later date. And I know if I drag this out any further on the phone I will be late. I park and complete the signing.

The owner wouldn’t help
The next day I call the owner expecting that that I would get an entirely different outcome. After all they had always been good with the little extras if I had to pay out of pocket… but to my surprise and shock I am told the same exact thing by the owner..that we have to do are part, we have to share in the expense and get through these tough times. I am thinking lady you are nuts, that is your place not mine. They were getting over $250.00 per signing and I have to make the sacrifice. Yeah right! At the time that was the most ridiculous thing that I had ever heard. So it was at that defining moment that I decided that I no longer would be able to work for this company. And I told them so. And I cried for over a week. But, I was blessed with other better paying clients so it ending up being their loss not mine.

They called many years later
And the most ironic thing is that just a few days ago (keep in mind I haven’t heard form them for years) out of the blue I received a call from them. I did not answer the call so they left a voice mail. It went something like this. “Hi, Carmen, we found you on 123notary we see you are still a signing agent, can’t figure out why we stopped working together, you were great, Please give us a call”…..

Well now I guess they will know……

Until next time, be safe

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December 7, 2012

Georgia Notary Information

Georgia notaries are appointed and regulated no longer by the Secretary of State but by the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority. This organization’s website offers excellent PDF forms such as a Georgia acknowledgment or a jurat, and also a Georgia notary online application.

Originally $15, the fee to become a Georgia notary, as of 2012, is now $37. The fee for a renewal of the Georgia notary’s commission was set at $162 in 2011, but, after an outcry, was reduced to $37 effective July 1, 2011 as the result of the enactment of HB 41. Your Georgia notary’s commission is good for four years. You may be appointed only in the county in which you reside.

As of 2012, to become a Georgia notary, you must be 18 years of age, read and speak English, take a notary education course and pass an exam, reside in the county of Georgia in which you are a notary, and be endorsed by two county residents who are not your relatives. To obtain a Georgia notary’s commission, you must have aseal that contains your name, the title Notary Public, the word Georgia, and the name of the county. A surety bond and record book are not required but recommended; in addition, errors and omissions insurance for $25,000 maycost you $90 or so in Georgia, but it is an excellent investment.

Becoming a Georgia notary means you will be able to charge $2 per notarial act such as a Georgia acknowledgment, and an additional $2 “for attendance to make proof as a notary public and certifying the same,” which means that you may provide a certificate from the Superior Court regarding the fact that the Georgia notary’s commission is in effect. Georgia notaries have also been known to work free of charge in certain circumstances, and are not required to take a fee.

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