December 2018 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

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December 31, 2018

Have you ever broken down on a busy street with no shoulder?

Filed under: General Stories — Tags: , — admin @ 12:21 am

This is a tip for mobile Notaries, pizza delivery people, and others who are on the road a lot. I am no longer a Notary Public, but I still drive a fair amount. I drove to the beach at night to enjoy the relaxing environment at Pacific Palisades. I do this once a week unless I am out of town or busy. The negative ions from the Pacific ocean are really theraputic and I always feel much better afterwards.

My plans were ruined
But, this time, I was going to rush to a bar to hang out with people and enjoy some root beer (sorry, no alcohol folks). I took Sunset Blvd to drive to West Hollywood to hang out at Genghis Cohen Chinse Restaurant & Bar in hopes of seeing old acquaintances. So, as I was driving down Sunset, my car lots all connection to the transmission and started making horrible noises when in gear. I pulled over in thick traffic and tried to figure out what was wrong. The engine sounded super in neutral. But, when in any gear I heard this noise that sounded like gears treading on gears making a drill type noise. Ugh. In any case, it sounded like I broke a timing belt or some other belt, or perhaps snapped a gear if that is possible. I am not a mechanic, so I am just making reasonable guesses based on the conditions.

Sunset Blvd goes far too fast
Sunset Blvd. is a street where people are going 30-50 miles per hour on a street with two lanes on each side, generally no shoulder, and lots of curves that impede visibility. It is easy to have a head on collision going around curves if there is another car next to you going the same direction and someone drunk on the other side coming at you. People in that area are always impatient and in a huge hurry. It is not uncommon to see deadly accidents in that part of town on hilly or windy roads because people go far too fast. Although the local houses are all worth more than a million, you are in a lot of danger in that area due to the culturally ingrained road rage.

No breakdown lane or shoulder
So, I was broken down. I tried to get into the right lane weaving through other cars with my blinkers on. I managed to get to the curb, but since the car stopped moving, I could not get as close as I wanted. My rear was about two feet from the curb and my front was six inches. Cars were whizzing around and came within inches of my car. The cars in the right land could not get into the left lane if there were other cars in it which made the situation very dangerous. I felt terrified as I decided to get out of the car and call AAA. The lady at AAA was very nice to me. They called the police and a tow truck. But, neither came for the longest time. The AAA lady said she would stay on the phone with me as long as I liked which was comforting.

Directing traffic.
I stood in the middle of the right lane pointing cars to slow down or stop and get in the other lane. But, they ignored me and almost ran me down and still almost crashed into my 2004 Corolla which I love. I didn’t want to get a new car because the transmission in the older cars is more agreeable than the seven speed in the newer Corollas which changes gears every three seconds which is really annoying. Then, I got a better idea. I got my military flashlight from the car. That way cars would see me from further away. But, since they were coming around a curve and then hitting a light before they saw me, they still ignored me. They still were coming within inches of hitting my precious old car that I love so dearly. Maybe I should have shined the light directly in their faces like some obnoxious lady cop was doing at the airport. It is the only way to get people to stop ignoring you. Great idea!

Security finally showed up
A security car that looked like a police car finally showed up. He had bright orange lights on the top of his vehicle that made my break down more visible. Ten minutes later my tow truck came. He was very experienced and got me loaded up within thirty seconds and sped away at break neck speeds. He got me into my parking spot at home beautifully as well. I told him how impressed I was, because backing up with a trailer is a skill.

To all of you people who are on the road a lot, it might make sense to practice dealing with dangerous situations ahead of time so you don’t freak out. Here are some suggestions.

1. Practice changing a tire, and make sure your spare has air in it after sitting in your trunk for years. Inspect it regularly.

2. Know where your flares are. A flare can save you from getting hit.

3. Have a few flashlights in the car, and perhaps some batteries that fit them. I have a hiking head flashlight (miner style) and a military flashlight and a regular flashlight.

4. If you break down on a busy road, stand 200 feet behind the vehicle on the curb and tell the drivers to slow down and use a flashlight if you have one. Rehearse this in your mind ahead of time so you will be ready when you are frazzled.

5. Know where your AAA card is. If you don’t have Triple A, consider getting it because they are life savers and also you can get discounts on hotels, maps, and other services with AAA.

6. Know the schedule of your reliable repair people. I prefer Toyota, but I had bad luck with the new owners of downtown Toyota, so I will have to try a new branch. They are not normally open on Sundays, so that creates an issue because today is Sunday and I am broken down in my parking spot at home. Hmmm.

7. If you are in an unsafe or remote area, having a gun is not a bad idea. I would never carry one until the world goes to hell, but you might consider it.

8. Make sure your cell phone is charged up at all times because you never know when you are going to need it.


December 30, 2018

When are you required by law to do Oaths?

As we all know, state notary laws differ from state to state. Since I live in California, it is difficult for me to know what all the Notary laws are in other states. Sometimes I create a chart as a cheat sheet to know which states require certain things and which ones don’t. However, every state I have read about (I read handbooks for all states so you will have a problem fooling me — they are all online except for NC if I remember correctly) requires Oaths and has Oaths in the handbook as an official duty of a Notary Public. So, I am going to write some quiz pointers about Oaths below.

1. Oaths are an official Notary act in all states.
If I am wrong, show me your state notary handbook and show me the omission of Oaths.

2. Affirmations are an official Notary act in almost all states…
Or perhaps, now they are in all states. Not sure…

3. If you see the words — SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN (or affirmed) TO BEFORE ME BY…
This is Oath documentation verbiage. It is NOT the Oath itself, but the documentation that you administered an Oath or perhaps Affirmation. If you sign a form stating the above verbiage and do not administer an Oath, you have just committed fraud on a Notarial certificate which is a crime. I am not sure what type of crime it is, but it might be fraud, or even perjury which is a Federal crime punishable by up to five years in jail per infraction. Gulp. Please consult an Attorney to see what type of crime he/she thinks it is as my opinion is a layperson opinion and not legal advice.

4. My state doesn’t require Oaths.
I hear this every day. Your state DOES require Oaths, however your state doesn’t require you to read the handbook that says you have Oaths as an official duty. Moreover, your state doesn’t explain how to administer an Oath or WHEN to administer an Oath. I can blame your state, but this is also your fault if you go through life engaging in criminal negligence because you did not bother to learn when and how to administer Oaths.

5. We don’t do Oaths in my state.
Some people claim that Oaths might be an official Notary act in their state, but that it is never done. This is also not true. Carmen (who does sales for 123notary) does loan signings for out of state documents all the time and every single package has at least one Oath that is part of a JURAT.

6. If you see the word AFFIDAVIT in the title of a document.
The word Affidavit customarily means that the document is to be sworn to before a state official commissioned with the capacity to administer Oaths such as a Judge, Notary Public, Justice of the Peace, etc. If you see the word Affidavit, it is possible, although unlikely that you will execute an Acknowledged signature on that form. 99% or more of the time you will execute a Jurat, and Jurats by definition require the signer to sign (subscribe) in front of you and swear under Oath as to the truthfulness of the document.

7. Are you swearing to the identity of the signer, the signature or the truthfulness of the document.
Many Notaries administer Oaths to me over the phone on quizzes and make me repeat my name several times. However, the Oath for a document is regarding whether or not the document is true or not, and NOT to my identity. However, if the document makes me specifically swear to my name or name variations then I would have to swear to my identity. Additionally, an Oath on a document does not require the Affiant (signer) to swear to whether or not they signed it or whether or not they signed it on their own free will unless their state specifically requires it or unless the cheat sheet for the Oath requires it. As a general rule, an Oath on a document must be regarding the truthfulness of the document as the primary focus. Any other considerations are secondary or perhaps not necessary or perhaps should be left out.

8. Why Oath cheat sheets are dangerous
If you do not know the legal requirements of an Oath on a document in your state, you might not administer a passable Oath if you read off the cheat sheet. In my opinion which is based on logic, but not on law, an Oath on a document must be about the truthfulness of the document. If your cheat sheet for an Oath says, “Do you solemnly swear you signed this document.” — that would lead to an incomplete notarization because you never swore to the truthfulness of the document.

9. I don’t do Oaths, I only do Refinances.
Newsflash — Every refinance I have ever seen has at least one Oath. If there is an Affidavit such as a signature affidavit, identity affidavit, or occupancy affidavit, customarily there will be an Oath. If you do Refinances, you are required to do Oaths as part of fulfilling the statements on the Jurat certificate(s).

10. Oaths on oral statements or without Jurats
You might be asked to give an Oath on an oral statement. There might not be any paperwork involved other than your journal. You need to read up on how to do this. You might also be asked to give an Oath on a document that does not have a Jurat. You would have to ad-lib to come up with verbiage so practice on random documents to get the feel of it.

11. Remote court attendance.
Florida state allows certain witnesses to appear in court by phone. A Notary must swear them in from their remote location. This type of Oath requires the Notary to look at their ID, read it to the judge and do the TV court Oath of how you swear to tell the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.

12. Penalties for wrong or omitted Oaths.
Notaries rarely get in trouble for omitting a required Oath or refusing to administer an Oath. But, there are times when they do. Here are the things that could happen to you. Why take chances? It is like leaving your door unlocked.

(a.) REVOKED COMMISSION — Your commission could be revoked. I heard of several Notaries in Oklahoma who did not administer Oaths on loan documents.

(b.) OVERTURNED LOANS — The loan that had documents with required Oaths could be overturned by a Judge if they find out that the Notary did not administer an Oath.

(c.) GETTING SUED — The Notary could get sued by the Lender because there will be serious financial damages for the Lender because the Notary omitted a legally required Oath. Damages might be $20,000 or more if you get caught. People don’t get caught often — but when they do…

(d.) FINES — Certain states fine Notaries for misconduct and omissions. Failing to administer a required Oath in California used to have a $750 fine per incident. Now, it might be $1500. I am not sure of the exact fine, but it should be in that neighborhood.

(e.) JAIL — I have heard, and this may or may not be true, that making a false statement about an Oath on a certificate is perjury. The penalty for perjury is a jail sentence of up to five years per incident. So, you could end up in jail if the Feds or your state start checking up on Notaries to see if they are administering Oaths. They are not checking up now, but they could start any time.

(f.) LOSE LISTING — 123notary sometimes removes people for disciplinary reasons. If we find out that you do not obey Notary laws, we normally steer you to some educational materials. But, if you have a complete disregard for law, order, and common decency, you could lose your listing. We normally as a handful of Notary questions and will accept a very low average since most Notaries do not know their stuff. However, if you score under 50% on our quiz whether oral or written, you will most likely be in trouble with us. Although we are not commissioned to enforce laws, I do enforce who I list and that is my right and authority as owner of this site.

Although Notaries only get in trouble for not administering an Oath once in a blue moon, it is illegal not to fulfill your duties as a Notary Public, and it only takes minutes to read up on when and how to administer Oaths. There is no reason for this type of blatant negligence and criminal behavior. So, please become an expert at administering Oaths. Your first step should be to read your state handbook and see what they say about Oaths. They probably do not do a complete job of teaching it which is part of the problem. The NNA and 123notary have materials as well, and you could consult an Attorney. Although Oath procedure is not taught properly by the states (not even California) you are still legally required to give Oaths and give logical and correct sounding Oaths.


You might also like:

Should you use book wording for Oaths or improvise?

Airline meals verses Notary Oaths & Affirmations

Oaths – How Notaries completely screw them up!

Oaths and the art if improvisation

Notary Public 101 – Oaths, Affirmations, Jurats & Acknowledgments


December 29, 2018

Notaries can get jobs at banks more easily

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: , , — admin @ 7:28 am

If you are a Notary Public and want to get work, certain types of businesses seem to need to have Notaries on staff. You need to have other skills to, but the fact you are a Notary really makes you a whole lot more attractive since they need that service often.

Bank Notary Public
Banks typically offer Notary service. They often offer it free to their clients or at least for a reasonable cost. They need you to understand whatever skills are pertinent for the position you are applying for. But having a current Notary commission gives you that extra edge and can help you get hired a lot more easily.

Bank Notary Issues
Some Notaries get their commission on their own. but, other Notaries have their notary commission paid for by their boss which complicates matters. Some Notaries have an exclusivity agreement where they can only Notarize for their boss. The nature of this agreement might be based on whatever your particular state laws allow, so I cannot make any generalized statements about this type of agreement. An exclusivity agreement says that the Notary can only notarize for clients of the boss. Or it might say the Notary can only notarize for clients during business hours. However, the journal and seal are still the exclusive property of the Notary Public regardless of who paid for their commission. If the boss wants to see their journal, they can look up a particular entry in the presence of the Notary, but may not walk off with the Notary journal.

Notary Identification
A Notary at a bank can do a notarization for someone who walks in. The signer or customer would need to have a current or valid identification card or passport that is acceptable in your state. Generally drivers licenses, state ID cards, and passports would be accepted in any state and other types of ID might be also depending on what it is and what state you are located in.

Can a Bank Notary Notarize for a non-customer?
That is entirely up to the individual bank.

What can a Bank Notary Charge?
Once again, some banks offer free notarization services while others charge for their services. Maximum fees are based on state laws and you can find out by googling your state notary division’s website.


You might also like:

Bank of America Power of Attorney Form

Does Real Estate experience help as a Notary?

The Power of Attorney was rejected by a bank


December 28, 2018

Notary Stand Up Routine

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 12:22 am

COMEDIAN: This is a great crowd here. This is my first time performing for a group of Notaries. In fact, when I came here, I didn’t even know what a Notary was. Can you fill me in here?

NOTARY #1: We can’t fill you in, because we only fill in forms.

COMEDIAN: Well, think of me like a form. So, what was the most unusual thing you ever notarized?

SAMANTHA: I notarized a criminal once. It was kind of scary.

COMEDIAN: Oh, a little aiding and abetting here.

SAMANTHA: Not abetting — abutting. We were notarizing paperwork for the next door property.

COMEDIAN: Oh, thanks for abutting in and telling me.

TOM: I notarized a stripper once. I got paid with a lap dance for the first signature, and she paid for the other signatures in ones.

COMEDIAN: Why does this not surprise me. So, have any of you thought of naming your kids Affi-David?

PAULA: I prefer Liath, that way when he does track, I can say, “Go Liath!!!”

COMEDIAN: An interesting twist on reality. I just hope he doesn’t fall short in track.

NOTARY #1: When I was a teenager, my mom walked in on me when I was notarizing with my friend. We were just practicing.

COMEDIAN: Oh, kind of like playing doctor? How embarrassing.

SAMANTHA: When I became a Notary, my state proctored an exam at a test station, but I heard them wrong and thought they said attestation. So, I went to the wrong place and had to reschedule my exam.

PAULA: Yeah, I had to take a blood test to be a Notary in my test. I passed the test, but they remarked that my triglycerides were a bit too high.

COMEDIAN: How about Oaths. Have you administered any unusual Oaths?

TOM: I had to do a remote court appearance Oath. I asked the lady if she swore to tell the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth so help her God. But, she was an atheist, so I changed the verbiage to “un-God.”

COMEDIAN: Personally, I prefer “non-God” but I’ll settle for un-God. So, has anyone notarized standing up?

PAULA: I notarized at Standing Rock standing up. But, I didn’t have a stand up routine, so my next signing was at Sitting Bull.

COMEDIAN: I hope you didn’t get gourd by the Sitting Bull.

NOTARY #1: I once went to notarize an acupuncturist. She was going to pay me by working on my neck. She wasn’t there. So, I turned around and got stung by a bee right in my neck. At first it hurt, and then my neck felt cured of its stiffness. It’s funny how the universe works.

COMEDIAN: What do you think about doing Notary work in space?

PAULA: Great, if I get paid for my travel time, assuming I’m not in a time warp.

COMEDIAN: Speaking of time, my time is up. You’ve been a great crowd.


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Best virtual notary comedy compilation

Compilation of Notary related sit-com episodes

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December 27, 2018

Ex-Notary, Ex-Con

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:51 am

An Ex-Notary and an Ex-Con got together to talk about life. The con artist told the Notary about all the nasty things he had done. The Notary told him about all the jobs he had done. They talked for hours. At the end of the conversation, the con artist (who knew something about notary law) told the Notary that many of the jobs the Notary had performed were done illegally.

NOTARY “What do you care about if something is legal?”

CON ARTIST “I may be a con artist, but I have to be an expert at law to avoid getting busted for something. You on the other hand have been breaking the law your entire commission thinking nothing of it and never got caught… ”

NOTARY “Who me? I never did anything illegal.”

CON ARTIST “Your stories indicate that you declined legal transactions which is illegal and accepted illegal transactions simply because you were comfortable doing that. You failed to administer Oaths when required and mailed loose certificates in the mail which is also completely illegal.”

NOTARY: “Nothing I did was illegal.”

CON ARTIST: “I could make a list of incriminating things you have done. Maybe you are the con artist as you are conning the public out of honest and legal Notary service. And now you are trying to con me into thinking you are on the level. You can’t con a con you know. You think that because you were comfortable with particular actions — that made them okay. Not true in the eyes of the law. The law doesn’t care what you are comfortable with.”

NOTARY: “That makes no sense.”

CON ARTIST: “You declined service to Joe who signed his Acknowledgment prior to seeing you. That is fine. The verbiage does not say he is supposed to sign in your presence. It just says he appears before you and acknowledge having signed the instrument.”

NOTARY: “Well, I’m more comfortable if he signs in my presence.”

CON ARTIST: “The legal wording doesn’t mention your comfort level, it just says what the signer has to do. You denied a legal request which is illegal. You are a criminal.”

NOTARY: Me? I thought YOU were the criminal.

CON ARTIST: “I’m honest with myself about what I did with my life. You are not. I am straight with myself and friends about being a con. You are also a con, but in denial.”

NOTARY: “Who me?”

CON ARTIST: “I conned to make a living. You con out of pure stupidity. Time to learn Notary law. Please consult your state Notary handbook. Isn’t it ironic that I care more about the integrity of your job than you do and that I care more about being law abiding than you do?”

NOTARY: “That is because you are smart and don’t want to end up in jail. I know that the only guy who is ever going to bust me for not knowing proper Notary procedure is Jeremy and the worst thing he can do is remove me from his directory.”

CON ARTIST: “Or when he comes to his senses he can report you to your Secretary of State for failing to administer an Oath when required.”

NOTARY: “Yeah, but that was only on a test question, so that doesn’t count.”

CON ARTIST: “Good point. No paper trail. You and I have a lot in common.”

NOTARY: “Yup, except I am an ex-Notary.”

CON ARTIST: “And I am an ex-Con.”


December 26, 2018

A dream about a notary bathroom experience

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: , — admin @ 10:55 am

Ah, but it was all a dream.

(harp music)

I was driving along and had to go to the dentist. I got my cleaning. Then I needed to use the restroom. The lady up front gave me a huge toothbrush with a key attached to it. I did my business and returned the key.

Then, I went to the NNA to pick up some journals. Since it was hot outside I had to keep drinking water and needed to use the restroom again. I was given a megasized Notary seal with a key attached to it.

Finally, I was on my way home on a long expanse of road. There were no stores for miles. In real life there would be a lot of stores, but this was a dream. Then my car broke down — definitely a dream symbology moment about how my life is going. The only store nearby was an adult toy store. As luck would have it, I needed to use the bathroom. They gave me a huge xyz that was 18 inches long with a key attached to it (perhaps another dream symbol for fertility?) In any case, the tow truck came as I was in the bathroom and I went running out.

The tow truck guy asked, “Is that a plantain in your hand or are you just happy to see me?”

This dream (just a story I made up, this dream never happened) is symbolic of my trip to New Mexico in June. I got dehydrated near Four Corners. It was 96 degrees and 10% humidity. I had just gotten a Navajo taco on a fry bread. I was driving south and my hands started going numb. This has never happened except when I am sleeping. I panicked. I decided the reason for this was too much sitting, and also dehydration in the dryness. So the next day I had coconut water, Gatorade, and lots of water. I pre-hydrated and drank far too much. I needed to go to the bathroom but there were none. There was no place to pull off the road in rural New Mexico. Finally I saw a ranch driveway and pulled over and did my business.

The part of the trip from Phoenix back to Los Angeles was brutal. It was 112, dry as a bone, and the brightness was killing me since I have no sunglasses. Maybe I should buy some. I was getting light headed. After a coconut water I felt a lot better. The minerals in that are magic. I have decided to take some Chinese herbs for circulation because my circulation has been horrible since I quit alcohol. That red wine really cleans up arteries which is why the French live so long.

Sorry for the obscenity in this article, but I thought it was funny. I thought of it as the dental assistant gave me the huge toothbrush bathroom key.


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Notarization for an exorcism

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December 25, 2018

A funny name for a Notary business

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 8:22 am

I got an email from someone named Dockery. But, we have two Dockeries on our site and her first name did not match either, and neither did her email address. It would be easier if we could search by business name. What about Hickory Dickory Dockery Notary Service — where the notary is always running up the clockery, but not the bill.


December 24, 2018

Acknowledgment FAQ

Filed under: Notary Acts & Certificates — admin @ 9:39 am

What is an Acknowledgment? Or, should I say, what is a Notary Acknowledgment or Notarized Acknowledgment? Why is it missing the “e” after “g”? Is that a typo, and should it be spelled Acknowledgement? No, it is not a typo.

Notaries commissioned in the various fifty states have a variety of Notary acts that they may perform. Some are common ones that are practices in virtually every state, although they sometimes have name variations and sometimes the rules for these acts can change slightly from state to state as well.

Common Notary acts that are almost completely universal include:

Acknowledgments — an act where the signer acknowledges having sign a document and acknowledges in the physical presence of the notary public, but does not have to sign in front of the Notary except in a handful of states (it’s complicated).

Jurats — an act where the signer or “affiant” must sign the document in the physical presence of the Notary Public as well as swear or affirm under the penalty of perjury to the truthfulness of the content of the document.

Oaths — a purely verbal act where the affiant must swear under Oath under God to the truthfulness of an oral or written statement.

Affirmations — a purely verbal act where the affiant must affirm under Oath on their honor to the truthfulness of an oral or written statement. Please note that Oaths and Affirmations are not the same act, but can be used interchangeably and carry the same legal weight and significance.

How does a signer Acknowledge their signature?
Does the signer say, “I hereby proclaim that I, the party of the first part, the signing party withstanding , have signed the foregoing instrument herein, and thereto, and therefor acknowledge the same in my capacity as an individual so-on and so forth.” The truth of the matter is that you can simply place the signed document in front of the Notary Public (in most states, exceptions apply) and ask him if he/she can notarized it with an Acknowledgment, or you can just say, “I signed this, please notarize it.”

What are the requirements for Acknowledgment wording or Acknowledgment verbiage?
All states require some sort of Acknowledgment verbiage. The requirements differ from state to state. Many states require certain components or facts to be covered in the wording while others might require exact state specific wording. It is best to ask an Attorney what wording is necessary in your case. Many Notaries do not carry pads of Acknowledgments with them (although they should) and it is up to you to make sure that notarial wording is either embedded in the document or attached on a loose certificate that is stapled to the document.

Who can perform a Notary Acknowledgment?
As a general rule, a Judge, Notary, Justice of the Peace, and perhaps a few other legal professions may execute Acknowledgments. When in doubt, ask an Attorney for a state specific answer.


When I studied to be a Notary Public, my teacher said you Acknowledge a signature, Execute a Jurat and Administer an Oath. This is not true. The Notary is not the one who acknowledges signatures. The SIGNER acknowledges the signature and then the Notary CERTIFIES that the signer acknowledged the signature by virtue of filling out an Acknowledgment Certificate. Here are some basics on Acknowledgments.

1. The signer acknowledges having signed the particular document.

2. The signer must physically personally appear before the Notary for such an act.

3. The signer does NOT have to sign before the Notary according to most if not all states such as AK, IA, SC, SD, VT, and WV. Lenders might require the borrower to sign in the presence of the Notary, but that is a particular Lender’s standard and not necessarily a state standard or even a best practice.

4. The Notary must positively identify the signer using identification documents acceptable to their state which normally include Drivers Licenses, State issued identification photo ID’s, Passports, and Military ID’s. Other ID might be accepted on a state by state basis. You can look that up in your handbook. Also, see our section on identification.

5. The Notary should ideally keep a journal entry of all Notarial acts even if their state does not require this.

6. There should be Acknowledgment wording appropriate or acceptable to your state inscribed within the document, or you can attach a loose acknowledgment form with a staple.

7. After you fill out the certificate form, you sign and stamp the page (some states allow you to write in your seal information without a stamp.) Make sure your stamp is clear and not smudgy otherwise the county recorder has the right to reject the Notarization.

8. Note — some states require the Notary to ask the signer to attest to the fact that they signed the document in their own free will. Please be aware if your state has any unusual requirements or special wording on forms.

9. A California Notary faces many restrictions as to what type of out of state forms they can use. Please check the California Notary Handbook to see what you can accept and what you can’t otherwise you could get in trouble particularly if it is a recorded document.

10. There is an optional and additional information section in Acknowledgments which helps identify the document that the certificate corresponds to. This includes the document name, document date, number of pages, and other pertinent information.


Basic Notary Acts — Acknowledgments

Acknowledgment vs. Acknowledgement

Legal definition of Acknowledgment (does not necessarily apply to notary profession)

Can you send a loose Acknowledgment?


December 23, 2018

Administering an Oath to a psychic

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 12:45 pm

If you are administering an Oath to a psychic, should you have them swear on a stack of bibles, or a deck of tarot cards? If you use tarot cards, put the death card on top to make the Oath look more serious. Just my take.

If you want to know their intentions about the Oath, pick a card. If you get the devil card, you might not want this person to be a repeat customer. Or you might get the fool card in which case you might get paid more as fools and their money soon part. Watch out for the hang man card. You don’t want that if doing notary acts otherwise your payment might end up hanging.

One Notary always has his affiants sign on a deck of tarot cards. Some say he is not playing with a full deck. Personally, I just think he is missing a few signatures!


December 22, 2018

Do you take control at a signing?

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 12:43 pm

Many Notaries just get kicked around in this business. They don’t bother to learn their technical information or document information. But, more important, they don’t know how to manage a signing. I just talked to someone in title. He doesn’t care if you are certified or know a lot. He wants someone who will make sure the signing gets finished and documents sent back fast.

So, if the Lender asks you to start the signing at page four, and the borrower doesn’t want to do this, how do you react? Most Notaries will be wishy washy and try to explain why they should start at page four. This invites a debate, insubordinance, and perhaps a no sign. Carmen’s advice is to just place page four in front of them. Have them read it and sign it. Keep the other docs on your side of the table under your control. If the signer protests, inform them that this is what you were asked to do. This is called following directions and maintaining control.

Getting the job done on time means confirming the signing thoroughly, introducing yourself, introducing the documents and staying in control in a polite way.

Some Notaries even dictate who is going to sit where. This can be for the Notary’s safety, or to facility the fast signing of documents especially if you have a husband and wife – they can sit next to each other on the long side of the table to do an assembly line signing of a long package and get it done in minutes.

Those Notaries who let the signing just happen will not do well in this industry. Learn to be polite and firm and take control — and get the job done.


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