I have gotten in hundreds of arguments with notaries from states all over the county. Those who live in states where journals are not legally required think they will not get into trouble if they don’t have one. If you end up in court, your journal is your only evidence of what happened. You might become a witness for a long case or a defendant if you don’t keep a journal regardless of what your state says.
The FBI investigates ALL Mortgage fraud. That means that if you notarize a fraudulent mortgage, don’t keep a journal, and the FBI catches up with you– you are in trouble as well as the Lender and they can name you as a suspect. The possibility of being slapped with a $20,000 Attorney fee is just not worth the risk. It is much easier just to keep a journal so that you will have some sort of evidence of what work you performed.
Here is a list of entities that might want to see your journal other than your state which may or may not require it.
1. The FBI
2. Judges in court
5. People who were affected directly or indirectly by something you notarized perhaps such as beneficiaries, etc.
When I was a Notary, I had three or four inquiries about journal entries. Since I kept my books in order I was ready. How ready are you?
You might also like:
Notary Public 101 – Journals
Comparing journal entries to FedEx signatures
How many journal entries do you use for two signers on three docs?
If you have been instructed to notarize a document that doesn’t have a signature line, that is a cross between a quandary and a conundrum.
You cannot notarize a document without a signature. Notaries notarize signatures on documents, not documents, and especially not documents without signatures. And you cannot have a signature without a signature line. But, it could be construed as UPL for a Notary to add a signature line to a document. So, now your ability to get the job done is really on the line — which unfortunately doesn’t exist in this case, until someone writes one in.
So, what do you do to get the document notarized? If the signer draws a signature line, then they are the one engaging in UPL, not you, especially if you do not advise them to do so. The bottom line (no pun intended), which is the signature line, is that without a signature, there can be no Acknowledgment or Jurat on a particular document. An Oath or Affirmation are the only Notary Acts you can do without a signature.
So, once a signature line has been added, the affiant can sign, and then you can notarize the signature on the document.
But, what if you have a signature without a document — that is an entirely different question.
In any business, especially the Notary business, cooperation is key. A Notary who doesn’t cooperate might not arrive at jobs on time, or might not get documents back on time. They might not answer their email and might be difficult in other ways.
Part of why we quiz people by phone is to see if people are cooperative and can communicate. I find it difficult to see how someone can hire a Notary who doesn’t cooperate.
We are not asking for huge things here. We just want Notaries who can pass a test, answer a few questions and not be resistant. Why is it so difficult with so many people. And studying is important too. It is so hard to get even our certified members to study. This is your profession, yet you treat it like a hobby. If you truly value being a notary, you would take it more seriously. People can get hurt if you don’t do your job properly. It is not a joke. I take being a Notary very seriously as it protects the fabric of society. How come I am one of the only ones who does?