I read a discussion on Linked In about using an embosser for Notary work. I realize that I used to write about this a lot long time ago. Perhaps it has been since 2010 or 2011 since I have written about using an embosser. Here is what you need to know.
(1) Each state has its own rules about using seals and embossers. Some states don’t even require using a Notary Seal. I personally feel that it is not professional for a notary not to use a Seal and a Journal for all transactions regardless of what their state’s standards are. I have not heard of a state prohibiting the use of seals and or journals, although many make it optional. If you need to query a critical record for a Deed for a million dollar property, that will be impossible if you don’t keep a sequential journal!
Some states allow the use of a secondary non-inked embosser. Ask your state notary division if your state allows this. California allowed the use of an inked seal, and supplemental use of a non-inked embosser when I was a California Notary Public. As a general rule, if you are allowed to use an embosser as a primary seal, it must be inked. However, I recommend using it as a secondary seal because it doesn’t fit in small places, the text is round and hence harder to read, etc.
(2) Embossers help to deter fraud.
The correct use of an embosser as a secondary notary seal is to emboss each page of every document you notarize. That way frauds will think twice about switching pages after the fact which is a common crime.
(3) Embossers help to identify fraud
If someone is stupid and decides to commit fraud by Xeroxing a notarized document, the embosser’s three dimensional raised impression will not show up in the photocopy. Additionally, if a page is swapped, you can easily identify that page by its lack of an embossed impression
(4) Embossers don’t deter fraud unless you use them on every page of every document you notarize. If you get an embosser later in your career, make a notation in your journal of the date when you started using it, and keep notes in subsequent journals of when you started using it. The notes go in the COVER of the journal where you can’t miss it. That way, if any of your notarizations are investigated, you will have easy to query records of when you were using an embosser and when you weren’t. And remember, if you only use it on some documents, if a fraud is committed, you won’t remember if you used your embosser or not, so use it on every document and on all pages, no matter how many pages.
(5) Some people like to put the embosser through all the pages of a document all at once at a particular part of the document. This technique would make it obvious if someone used a forged embosser after the fact. The location and nature of the impression of the embosser would be different and lighter on each page that it went through. I didn’t use this technique because the impression would not be legible if it went through more than several pages. I did each page separately. Some notaries even put the embosser at the edge of the paperwork so only half of the embosser’s seal goes through the paper and the other half goes through air.
(6) The NNA and other notary supply companies can help you purchase an embosser. They cost around $30 when I was a Notary. They might be more now. You might need a letter of authorization from your state notary division to purchase one. Good luck!
You might also like:
Can a notary go to jail for notary fraud?
All mortgage fraud is investigated by the FBI
My stolen identity and the fraudulent notary seal
Do a half fast embossing
Many notaries who previously wouldn’t leave the house for <$125 are working for peanuts.
Even some of our most seasoned notaries have gotten so desperate that they are forced to work for less than they feel they deserve in terms of Notary wages or fees. We’ve had notaries who had strict policies of working for no less than $125 or $100 forced to do Notary jobs for $60. Some take this emotionally, while others realize that we all have to eat, and that a notary’s gotta do what a notary’s gotta do. On a brighter note, the price of gas went down by more than a dollar, so your expenses are a lot less now!
Notaries make the mistake of trying to figure out what they “should” get paid or what is “fair.” In the world of business there is no should and there is no fair. In foreign countries people doing the exact same job you are doing might only make $5 or $10 per day, so is that fair? As people living in America, you have it better than any other country, even Canada. Of course a well off person in a foreign country is likely to be better off than you, but someone doing the same Notary job you are is probably a lot worse off. The point I am trying to make is that fairness can only be viewed in perspective. But, even if you can figure out a very equilateral viewpoint of fairness, it won’t do you any good. The universe gives you what it gives you. It decides how much it is going to give you and you just have to work with what is given to you. Forget about fair, and just do the best you can.
Do you see people working at gas stations shaking their head saying, “It just doesn’t seem fair that we have to sell gas at $2.40 per gallon now. We’re doing the same work we were doing when it was $4.00 but getting paid close to half for the same work.” No, they just go about their business and do the best they can which is what you should be doing. Try and do as well as you can as a notary regardless of what the external conditions are. If things get too slow, you can try to supplement your income with other tasks or jobs. In the worst case scenario, if it is really slow, it might be time to get a full time job and moonlight at night doing notary work.
In my opinion, the market for notaries and Notary jobs will bounce back eventually. I’m not sure when. It really depends on a variety of standards. If it has been many years since people could refinance, they will get more and more anxious to do so, even if the percentage of equity they can borrow upon is low. If housing values go up, or interest rates go up, and then down, there could be more refinances. Or, if banks simply lower their standards for who can borrow money, we might see more loans going through. We live in a changing world, and markets go up and down.
Look on the bright side, maybe North Korea will get rich and start buying up property in your area. That will drive the price up, and then there will be more refinances. On the other hand you might have more competition from “Un Notary service” if Kim John Un becomes a notary! Picture him being your neighbor!
You might also like:
My interpretation of how the Notary industry went South
VA signings for $85 with 200 pages?
Notary Marketing 102 – Table of Contents