August 2016 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

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August 31, 2016

A Notary who feels good

Filed under: General Stories — Tags: , — admin @ 11:17 am

After years in this business, I finally found a Notary who feels good all the time. His name was James Brown (no relation to the famous one.) I would like to suggest to him a business name of — Feel Good Notary. Do you want a Notary who feels good, and knew that he would? Or perhaps a Notary whose work is so good that you feel good too. Well, you came to the right place!

Maybe he could create a song and publish it on youtube to market his notary work.

I’m on the scene
I’m a notarizing machine
Check out scene
Notarizing machine

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August 30, 2016

Self Notarization Landmine

Self Notarization Landmine

I’m referring to the form where you are the only person signing. Ignoring the fact that the form asks you to notarize your own statement, what it says can haunt you later. Yes, I know; you feel the statements are the absolute truth. What harm can it do? It’s not a filed document, nobody will ever see it *except* when it’s not truthful. Then can land on you like a ton of lawsuits.

Typically it has a venue, a statement (more on that later), and a place for Notary Public signature, stamp and commission number / expiration date. Sure seems like a “notary” act. But, as I said; let’s just ignore the illegality and get to the possible later grief.

I, the above described Notary Public, hereby certify that I have checked the identification of those parties who have signed before me and I have attached copies of their driver’s license(s) or other picture identification. I have verified them to be the same parties as those described in the instructions acknowledged by me. Witness my hand and official seal ……………

Lawyers love ambiguous verbiage. Here the two key words are “checked” and “verified”. Really? Just how did you do that? Are you trained in spotting a forgery? I’m not referring to a mess made on a copier. The “bad ones” just Google “fake driver license from china” and order from the site that rhymes with snowflake. I looked at their site – it scared me. For about a hundred dollars one can get a VERY good fake driver license from any state. Perhaps a police officer with real time access to police information can determine the serial number is not appropriate for the issue date or the birthdate on the document. But can you? I certainly cannot.

Thus, how can I make a statement that I certify and verify the identities? I know that is what notaries do – “check ID” – but there is a limit to our ability to detect forgeries. Some states have a specific “proof” list – the only items that can be used by the notary. Here in NY, it’s a bit fuzzy, the law requires the notary view “adequate proof” – seemingly a lower standard than verified.

I have followed articles and reviews of the “snowflake” – they have the technology to fool anybody who does not have police type access to driver license databases. It would easily pass my visual inspection. There are forgery detection manuals that go over “hidden” aspects of the various state issued licenses. I’m sure “snowflake” has a copy!

So, there is a good chance that, over the years; I have notarized by accepting a forgery. To me it was “adequate proof”; to you it was on “the list”. So where are we now? Well, I feel I followed my states laws, and so did you. The real issue is making a statement often entitled “Positive Proof Identification and Notary Signature Affidavit” that goes beyond my state requirements.

Recall the Miranda warning “anything you say can a will be used against you in a court of law”. The same admonition must apply even more strongly to things that you sign and “notarize”. I just return these forms untouched, with the exception of attaching a business card.


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August 29, 2016

Sending small seasonal items in the mail as thank you gifts

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: — admin @ 9:35 am

Do you thank your clients?
Does the thought count more than the action?
According to yogic philosophy it actually does.

Some Notaries send handwritten thank you notes. Others send a little calendar in December. These little things might be little, but you get into people’s heads and hearts when you do them even though most of the small gifts end up in the garbage. Perhaps a beautiful post card that the recipient might actually like is the best key. They might even keep it if the photos are of Yosemite or Yellow Mountain in China.

Think about thank — and see if that helps you out.
If it does — then thank me too!

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August 28, 2016

August 27, 2016

Can a Virginia Notary notarize in DC or Maryland?

Filed under: Virginia Notary — Tags: , , — admin @ 9:03 pm

A Notary can only notarize in their state of commission except under some very unusual circumstances. So, a Virginia Notary Public can notarize in any county of Virginia. However, they cannot notarize outside of state boundaries using their Virginia Notary Seal.

But, it is common for a Virginia Notary to get dual or triple commissioned. A Virginia Notary may apply for a Maryland Notary Commission or a District of Columbia Notary Commission. 123notary has many Notaries on board our Notary directory who are dual or triple commissioned in the DC area. A DC Notary may also apply for a Maryland or Virginia Notary Commission.

DC is a very small territory for a mobile Notary to cover. On the other hand, there are so few Notaries in our nation’s capitol that out of state Notaries are necessary to handle the volume of work.

In the worst case scenario, if you need a Virginia Notary to help you while you are in DC, you can meet them right at the Virginia side of the border and then they can notarize for you. Just make sure your identification is current!


August 26, 2016

Startup Apps that could ruin the Notary business

If you think that technology is changing faster than you can deal with. You are right. But, the worst part is that new technology is putting a lot of Notaries out of business. Snapdocs makes it easy for companies to find low cost competition. 123notary is getting more clicks than it did when Snapdocs came around, but Notaries are complaining about the low cost competition. So, here are some new startups to watch out for.

This company makes it possible to get notarized via web-cam (not legal in many states) or get a Notary to come to you for $30 plus parking. Notaryz doesn’t encourage tipping, but they don’t forbid it either. If you want a Notary who specializes in loan signing, Notaryz will tell you how those Notaries performed on the standardized test they have. Notaryz will also connect you with 3rd rate Attorneys who can’t get a real job who will give you discounted help drafting Powers of Attorney, permission to travel or other documents without you having to leave your desk. Notaryz is doing some brisk business, however is dealing with some tough competition from “PersynallyAppear” — an app that finds you a Notary who will personally appear before you without any digital signatures or web cams.

Are you upset with your roommate and want to pull a prank on them? Well, this new app called Roomyz is for you. They will play a joke on your roommate, send flowers from a nonexistent admirer, or throw water on them while they are leaving the house. Just download a photo of your roommate, use the dropdown menu to select the prank of your choice, or use the text box to indicate a customized prank, and let Roomyz do the rest. You can select from pranksters with reviews and pay them using our “pay once completed” app. Roomyz will take 15% of the proceeds, the rest if for the agent.

This app might be a little more popular with Notaries. If Notary can submit proof that a job was assigned to them and the journal entries to prove that the job was done (or somewhat done) then PayMyNotary will go after the signing company who hired you. They will fax, text, call, send threatening demand letters, contact Title, and even go to the Better Business Bureau. PayMyNotary will even contact collection agencies using the new app “Kullect” to get companies to pay.

Kullect will let a Notary choose from hundreds of collection agencies to find the best price and best terms to get signing companies to pay them. Just download the information about the Notary jobs done for a particular company, journal entries, and then Kullect will do the rest (unless the server is down in which case you’re on your own.)

This app sends daily jokes to Notaries that they can tell their borrowers. Every day, you get fresh new jokes, so there is no danger of telling the same joke twice. You might get fired by a few signing companies using NotaryStandUp, but you will laugh all the way through the process and your customers will swear that you are a “Stand Up Guy.”


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August 25, 2016

A Notary Starbucks – espresso Notarizations.

Most people’s favorite hang out spot is Starbucks. I actually love cafes, but there are spots I love evern more than Starbucks. The Starbucks around here tend to be a little generic and not as personal as the privately owned cafes. But, what if there were a Notary Starbucks?

It would have to have Notary drinks and snacks.
Jurat-achino would be a popular drink
Large embossed oreo cookies would be the snack of choice.
Sugar cookies in the form of Notary Seals would be another hit.

But, what if you could get espresso Notarizations?
I think that Starbucks could become a Notary hangout if they would have tables made for signings. Drinks would go on holsters on the sides of the table to avoid spilling. Tables would be large enough to accomodate a Notary and three signers, plus a place for signed docks, fedex envelopes, and unsigned documents. The sides of the tables would have to have folders or stacking trays to store the Fedex envelopes.

Or perhaps having longer thinner tables makes sense. Husbands and wives could sit next to each other across from the Notary who could slide left to notarize Deeds in the “done” pile. Just remember to turn the “done” documents around. Otherwise the Notary would sit to the couple’s right and notarize the done pile there. Hmm. Where to sit. And should you notarize before the couple has finished signing?

What about an espresso Notarization? What would that entail.
If the Notary is already waiting at a large table with his journal out. You could press a button, an espresso could come while you are signing documents. Just show your ID, sign the journal, and have the Notary fill out the certificate wording and stamp. Then, sip your espresso while making small talk. A small drink for a small talk — that’s perfect! Even better, you would get a small price since no travel fee was involved.

What if each Notary had their own signature beans. Each time you get a Notarization at Starbucks, you would have a different flavor coffee as the coffee would be unique to each Notary. Oprah has her own blend, why not you? (I bet that if Michael Jackson had his own blend it would be a dark roast that turns itself into a light roast — I’m not sure how that works though.)

Next, Starbucks could give the Notaries customized Notarial coffee mugs with Notary seals and the Starbucks emblem. How is that for double branding — the way of the future? They could even have pictures on the wall of Guatemalan Notaries notarizing at places where beautiful baskets of coffee beans were on display.

Personally, I’m ready for an Antigua style Notarization and a Java style Jurat.
What about you?


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August 24, 2016

Trump — Making American Notaries Great Again

Trump – Making American Notaries Great Again

We’ve heard a lot about Trump wanting to make America great again. But can he make your notary practice great again if it isn’t already? Or have you hit the wall? Or does he have to build the wall and then make Mexico pay for it? He says America doesn’t win anymore. Are you winning? Thanks to NAFTA, Mexican notaries are allowed to enter the United States and perform work as notaries. But because they charge so little, the only way Americans could survive was to build a wall made of used notary seals.

THE DONALD: The notaries love me. And by the way, the notaries love me. I repeat myself a lot. And by the way, I repeat myself a lot.

NOTARY: I’m undecided about who to vote for. Why should I vote for you?

THE DONALD: Our leaders don’t know what they’re doing. I will make American notaries great again. I’m gonna bring notary jobs back to America. I will be the greatest notary jobs president God ever created.

NOTARY: Would you swear to that under oath?

THE DONALD: I will swear to Justice Roberts on a bible on January 20th. Until then, I’ll swear at my campaign rallies.

NOTARY: Well, you have been married three times. You know a lot about witnessing signatures on divorce papers.

THE DONALD: More than Hillary! She’s a disaster. She could have at least left Bill during MonicaGate, but no. She stuck by his side. Pathetic.

NOTARY: Why shouldn’t I vote for Ted Cruz?

THE DONALD: Lyin’ Ted? He wants to shred Iran’s nuclear deal on day one. Shredding signed documents takes away notary jobs. He’d be a disaster as president.

NOTARY: Wouldn’t you need to hire more notaries to witness the signatures on the deal that replaced it?

THE DONALD: Absolutely. And I’m fine with that.

NOTARY: Hold on. A minute ago you said you were against it.

THE DONALD: I’ve evolved. Which is more than I can say for Cro-Magnon Man Cruze. Have you seen his wife? Compared to mine, she looks like a Gargoyle.

NOTARY: Well, I’m still not convinced you’re good for notaries. What about Bernie?

THE DONALD: The Communist? The only time I “feel the bern” is when I pee. Elect him and all the notaries will be getting free health care.

NOTARY: What’s wrong with that?

THE DONALD: Living longer means fewer wills to witness. When I’m elected president, believe me, half the country will jump off buildings. And if they’re lucky, one of mine. You’ll be witnessing will signings till the cows come home. Speaking of which, did you see Lyin’ Ted’s wife?


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August 23, 2016

A lesson from the barnyard

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: — admin @ 11:10 am

A Lesson from the Barnyard

It was a mild spring morning and the little pony decided to visit other areas of the barnyard. All winter the pony was in the corral listening to horse talk. It was time to make some new friends. The first stop was to the pig pen, and that resulted in the first shock of the day. The little pony had been raised responsibly, and knew some language was bad talk. At the pig pen the pony heard one pig call another a porker, others kept referring to their peers as hams. The pony knew these were offensive to pigs and was confused that such language was thrown about in the pen.

A bit shaken from the pig pen jargon, the pony wandered over to the grazing area for the cattle. Once again the pony was to overhear offensive jargon. One of the big bulls called another walking prime rib, even worse that same bull called a cow burger meat. Even the cows were part of the coarse language. One said the other looked like Elsie on milk cartons. One group by the water trough would not let others drink; they kept referring to them as bovine slime.

The wise little pony knew such behavior was improper. Thinking this might be a mammal problem, the pony decided to see if the fowl behaved in a more civil manner. It was just as bad there. One chicken with a smirk referred to another as a poor layer, deriding the quality and quantity of eggs produced. A rooster pecked at an older rooster while crowing that the older bird’s morning crow sounded human. Even the turkeys, true to their species acted foul. Even Perdue would not take you, and you’re not fit for Thanksgiving – were common slurs.

Much confused by the abundance of insulting remarks, the little pony returned to the stable to speak to Mama and Papa horse. The mare and the stallion were very wise. They explained to the little pony that species specific and horrific language was common within a group of the same species. That explanation did not make much sense to the little pony. The wise for its years pony said that it was still wrong. And the parents had to agree. They all discussed how reserved jargon of an insulting nature remains improper even when limited to a group of the same species. It was often overheard by other species and became part of their vocabulary.

Then, the same terminology was used by other species to refer to members of species different from the one talking. That resulted in hostility and bad feelings. The listener felt abused. It was OK within species but not outside of that grouping. Clearly a double standard bound to lead to conflict and bad feelings, as had often been the case. A meeting was held on the farm to resolve the problem and eliminate the potential for hurt feelings and possible violence.

The horses led the discussion. Terms such as glue factory and nag would be forbidden to all. The same logic would apply to all the animals. They would refer to each other, both within the same species and externally with respect. The double standard that some phrases were acceptable within species, but not outside; was abolished. Simply agreeing to not use derogatory speech was the solution, and soon all lived happier lives. One of the sheep suggested that humans might follow this simple policy and this blog entry was sent by them for you to reconsider your ways.

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August 22, 2016

The state of Notary advertising in 2016

I write an article like this every year or two, just to keep people informed about changes in the market.

Physical and Online Yellow Pages
Few Notaries do well with these, but you are welcome to experiment. Just don’t invest too much. See how well you can do with a limited budget.

Snapdocs might not be too popular with the Notaries, but many Notaries get work from them and many other Notaries lose work from competition from this outfit. Snapdocs offers cattle calls to Notaries via text. Notaries polled on Linked In ALL claimed that they preferred a phone call, primarily because they could negotiate more easily. However, you can negotiate prices by text or email as well — and experienced Notaries are using snapdocs and doing exactly this. Keep in mind that it is not easy to find an available Notary with experience at the last minute, so you can command a decent price much of the time. So fear not!

Online Directories
In addition to contacting signing companies and Title companies by phone one by one, we also recomment “inbound” advertising where customers come to you when they need you vs. vice versa. Advertising on prominent mediums is powerful. But, it won’t do you any good unless you have a well filled out profile. Most Notaries do a horrible job writing their notes section. They put a bunch of unrelated information all jumbled up into one long paragraph. That is hard and unpleasant to read. Keep your notes informative, factual and organized into multiple paragraphs.

123notary is the most effective way to advertise your Notary services online. Notaries that get ahead on our site have high placed listings (ask for a quote) and multiple current reviews, a well written notes section, and 123notary certification which is not hard to earn if you are willing to study a little and take an online test. Despite tough competition from Snapdocs and Notary Rotary, 123notary’s traffic continues to grow little by little every year partially due to the superior maintenance of information by Jeremy, great customer service and mentoring from Carmen, and the strong effort in blogging and Facebook from the 123notary team.

Notary Rotary
Notary Rotary continues to be #2 in the Notary advertising world. I noticed that they lost a lot of steam in the fourth quarter of 2015. They seem to have slowed down a bit, but are still a serious contender. Notary Rotary is popular due to the quantity of Notaries on board and also to the search by proximity which 123notary doesn’t currently have although we have a search by zip radius of fixed mile radiuses which is the next best thing.

Notary Cafe
Notary Cafe continues to be popular with Notaries although I’m hearing less about it these days with SnapDocs picking up the slack in the market. Notary Cafe has few paying Notaries, but makes up for quantity with serious Notaries!
NNA’s Signing used to be much stronger. They have fewer new members and fewer good ones as well. They dropped their password protected search and are now open to the public. I previously thought that being open to the public would ruin 123notary’s stats, but we have not had any change in search volume since they opened their doors. has gone down hill, but are still a contender in the #4 spot of Notary directories. At this point, SnapDocs seems to be more popular than, however, SnapDocs is not purely a directory as they are an app and a complicated technological resource with many functions.

Other Advertising Methods
There are other ways to advertise besides contacting signing companies and directories. Many pass our cards, network, have websites, and more. The people who get ahead, typically use solid techniques for promotion and have been in business for years. So, pay your dues, get experience and advertise with the big guys. But, most of all, follow our advice on how to advertise. When in doubt, email us and ask!


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