February 2019 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
123Notary

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com Control Panel

February 28, 2019

Notary Services Near Me

Do you ask yourself, “Where can I find a Notary near me?” The answer to your quandry is closer than you think. 123notary is a mobile notary directory. You can find a Notary who will come to your home, hospital, jail cell, airport, or office whenever you want. We have Notaries who speak Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and a host of other languages as well.

Or, if you prefer to go to a notary office, you can use google local, or yelp and find plenty of Notaries near you.

It helps to talk to UPS stores and general mail box stores. They often have a Notary. Insurance and law offices normally do as well. Realtors are often Notaries too. I personally recommend Google and 123notary.com as search tools to find a great Notary Public.

If you want to learn more about the Notary business, you can visit our links below:

Notary Public General Information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20075

Notary Comedy Articles
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3241

Jail Notary Information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21349

How much does a Notary cost in 2019?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21308

Notary Public 101
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

Share
>

February 27, 2019

Notary Public Journal

NOTARY JOURNALS

Not all states require maintaning an official journal of Notarial acts, but 123notary requires it as that is the only evidence you have should you go to court or get investigated. There are identity thieves and cons all over the place. They might pretend to be a home owner to steal that person’s equity or con grandma into giving her fortune away to some crooks. If your notarization ever winds up to court, your journal is the only record of what happened and who signed what, etc. Most Notaries think keeping a journal is an annoying task that they do because their state requires it. It is the same attitude that children have towards doing their homework at age seven. But, your journal can save your neck, and I know many whose hides have been saved who ended up in court.

.

ONE JOURNAL ENTRY PER PERSON PER DOCUMENT

Most Notaries think that you create one entry for each signer and then cram in the names of all of the documents you are notarizing in that transaction. This is a very sloppy practice. If you pick up five packages from FedEx, do you sign once or do you sign five times, each for a particular tracking number? If you keep one journal entry per person per document, then you have a signature proving consent to be notarized for each document you notarize. Additionally, you must name the particular and complete name of each document, and not just say “loan docs.”

.

INFORMATION

In your Notary Public Journal, you need to record the:

Full name of the document, not an abbreviation.

Date & Time of Notarization – Just consult your iPhone for this one.

Type of Notary Act – This might be Acknowledgment, Jurat, Oath, Affirmation, or another Notary act allowed in your state.

Document Date — many documents have a document date inscribed within that is an arbitrary date created by the document drafter. It could be the date the document was drafted, or the date it was intended to be signed, or a random arbitrary date.

Name & Address of Signer – Write down the name as it appears in the identification card.

Identification – Record the serial number, state and expiration date of the identification card.

Other distinguishing factors — if you are signing multiple documents with the same name such as Deeds of Trust, Grant Deeds, etc., you need to differentiate them somehow. Escrow numbers, names of grantors, grantees, APN numbers, property addresses, number of pages, or anything else can help identify a document after the fact in case you end up in court.

Signatures — each line of your journal needs to be signed by the corresponding person. If John and Sally are each signing three notarized documents, then John gets entry 1, 2, and 3 while sally gets 4, 5, and 6. Each signer must sign their three entries otherwise the entries are meaningless.

Thumbprints — I am skipping mentioning more about the other things that belong in a journal as most Notaries get it, however, few Notaries keep thumbprints. Your journal thumbprint is the one piece of evidence the FBI will ask for when they come knocking on your front door. Additionally, it discourages fraud as fraudulent people do not want to be thumbprinted.

Other Information — Although I am skipping elaborating about the other journal fields, I will make a quick note about the additional information section in a journal. That leaves space for information about credible witnesses, subscribing witnesses, unusual facts about the signers, the location, or the circumstances in which you are signing. If the signer claims that they are being kidnapped, write that down in the additional information section of your journal, then call the police. If the signer has a weird neck tattoo, you might need to remember that in court. Put it in your journal. The judge will think you are a very thorough Notary.

.

FINAL NOTE

The purpose of journals is not only to please your state’s Secretary of State, but also to please judges, attorneys, investigators and FBI agents. Keeping a clean, correct and thorough journal will make a positive impression on the authorities and could keep you from being named as a suspect if God forbid you ever unknowingly Notarize an identity thief, fraud, or otherwise bad person. Notaries don’t get in trouble that often, but for those who make a career out of being a Notary, eventually you will be investigated at least once and perhaps end up in court, so keep your paperwork in order so the investigation is fast and smooth. Otherwise you might end up in court for a very long time — no joke! Roughly 1/7 of the Notaries on our site have had to spend time in court due to something that they notarized.

You might also like:

What entities might want to see your journal?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20902

Journal abbreviation keys
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19441

Lady tied to train tracks vs. Notary Public Journal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19710

Comparing Journal Entries to FedEx Signatures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19375

Share
>

February 26, 2019

Notary Public Seal

Most states require a Notary Public to have a Notary Seal or Notary Stamp. This is normally a rectangular shaped seal.

The seal should have the Notary’s name, commission number, expiration date, county, and state. It would also have some type of border such as a straight line, milled, or serrated. The seal should be used with ink. Some states allow for a secondary non-inked embosser that leaves a raised impression on pieces of paper for security reasons as these cannot be fraudulently photocopied.

Your notary seal’s impression should not be smudgy or the document could be rejected by the county recorder’s office. Please be sure to re-ink your seal as necessary so your notary seal’s (notary stamp’s) impression does not get too light.

You might also like:

Notary seal information from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8337

A forged document vs. a forged notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10391

My stolen identity and the fraudulent notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20753

Miami-Vice, a shipment of illegal notary seals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19927

The seal-fixer
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16612

UFO Notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16533

The Steve Jobs Notary Smart-seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16522

Two and a half Notaries — the intercontinental notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10432

Share
>

February 25, 2019

Notary Public Education

Filed under: Public Interest — Tags: — admin @ 9:28 am

How do I get Notary Public education?

As a Notary Public, the agency that commissions you is your state notary division which is normally controlled by your Secretary of State, Department of State or some other important state office. There are many things you need to learn as a Notary. The first resource you should consult is your state’s notary handbook. This is generally available online. The next resource you might consider would be a Notary Public Handbook published by a private agency such as the NNA or some other Notary agency or Notary organization. State issued handbooks are normally free and private organizations sell handbooks for around $20.

The benefit to a handbook from the NNA is that the standards, rules and practices are explained in a way that is easier for the newer Notary to understand. I remember when I got my first Notary commission, I really did not understand the various notary acts and language. After reading NNA materials my grasp of the various concepts was a lot more clear.

123notary now has a free online course called Notary Public 101 which goes over basic notary vocabulary, practices, situations, and more. It is NOT state specific, and there might be explanations that contradict what your state says you should do. Your primary responsibility is to your state and our course is meant to give you a basic understanding of how Notary practices USUALLY are, which as I said before might differ with your state.

There are private agencies that also offer Notary classes such as notaryclasses.com. As a general rule, I have found that Notaries who study Notary work from a formal course tend to have a decent grasp on the profession while those who just wing it tend to boast about how many years they have been a Notary when in reality they have a very foggy idea of what they are doing.

NNA has a course called Notary Essentials. I have heard good things about this course.

Recommended LInks:

Notary Classes.com
https://www.notaryclasses.com/Classes/ClassSchedule.aspx?ClassType=N&gclid=CjwKCAjw2rjcBRBuEiwAheKeL-2KhY-hqnsZAVOGC0mOF-KCwGccH2Ny6Bm1WXXgZYT0bhz8X6smixoCK7kQAvD_BwE

Notary Learning Center
https://www.notarylearningcenter.com/edu.html

Notary Essentials
https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-essentials

Notary Public 101 — free notary course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

Share
>

February 24, 2019

Can you become a Notary if you have a felony conviction?

Filed under: Public Interest — Tags: — admin @ 9:29 am

Can you become a Notary Public if you have a felony conviction?

As a general rule — no. However, if your state is liberal, and your crime was not of a nature involving moral turpitude or corruption, you might be given a chance. If you have a misdemeanor, you still might be denied a Notary commission, especially if your crime involved fraud, dishonesty or misconduct. People issuing Notary commissions are extremely cautious about issuing commissions to those who are not honest and those who are likely to commit fraud with their notary commission.

The reason for this caution is that if a Notary commits fraud, they might try to embezzle money or steal the title to someone’s house using their notary commission. This typically ends in long court cases, ten year jail sentences and the grief and complaints end up back at the agency who commissioned them in the first place. Although most Notaries are not the most honest people in town, at least they are not career criminals, and the various state’s secretary of states hope to keep it that way.

Share
>

February 23, 2019

TEA — Trusted Enrollment Agent

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 9:30 am

What is a TEA, and do members of that profession get together once a year to have a TEA party in Boston?

The NNA offers a Trusted Enrollment Agent program. Those with TEA designation can do additional tasks that get additional jobs. TEA agents are trained to understand digital certificates which are used heavily in the biopharmaceutical industry. They also are trained to understand how to apply to obtain a digital certificate and do identity-proofing. They must also learn to identify and distinguish between different types of identification documents. I think they handle blood samples too, perhaps in a delivery function.

Word on the street is that TEA jobs don’t always pay well, but tastes better if you add a little sugar. But, any designation you can get will help. Personally, I feel there should be a choice between an Earl Gray TEA, and an Oolong TEA.

Q. Where does a TEA live?
A. In a TEA house.

Q. Which rap star is a Trusted Enrollment Agent?
A. I was thinking of Ice TEA, but I think he is doing mainly acting now.

You might also like:

Augmenting your skill set to make more money as an NSA!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14150

Forum discussion on TEA
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2416

Antiquated Notary Rotary discussion on TEA
http://www.notaryrotary.com/archive/forum/2010/March/NNA_s_Trusted_Enrollment_Agent_TEA_.html

Share
>

February 22, 2019

Apostille – General Information

What is an Apostille?
An Apostille can be a document or certificate that is attached to a document notarized by a notary public, that is going to be sent OVERSEAS to a country that is not NOT a member of the HAGUE Convention. Or it can be an original document such as a Birth Certificate or Marriage Certificate that contains the original seal from the state that it originated from. In either case, the document is going to be sent overseas to places such as Mexico, Spain, Argentina, or India.

Where do I get an Apostille?
Apostilles are usually obtainable from a State Notary Division or a Secretary of State’s Office. Due to budget cuts, Secretary of State Offices are not always nearby, so it can be labor intensive to get to them.

How do I get an Apostille?
You might consider contacting an experienced notary who has been through the Apostille process many times. There are many notaries who fit this description, but you need to know how to find them. Or, you could contact your state’s Secretary of State yourself, and drive to them, and go through this process (which is like pulling teeth) yourself.

Q. Can you recommend a few notaries who are experts in the Apostille Process?
A. Yes, see the 2011 version of this blog article for recommendations.

You might also like:

What is an Apostille?
http://www.internationalapostille.com/what-is-an-apostille/

Department of State — Apostille Requirements
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/travel-legal-considerations/internl-judicial-asst/authentications-and-apostilles/apostille-requirements.html

2011 version of — How do I get an Apostille or Authentication?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1793

Using the correct notary certificate for an Apostille
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19902

Certified copy of an Apostille?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14923

Basic Notary Vocabulary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19495

Share
>

February 21, 2019

How many years is a Notary commission good for?

How long does a notary commission last? How many years is my notary commission good for? How many years is my term of office as a notary public?

The answer is that it varies from state to state.

An Alabama Notary commission is good for 4 years

An Arizona notary commission is good for 4 years

Arkansas notaries are commissioned for 10 years.
A California notary commission is good for 4 years.

A Colorado Notary commission is good for 4 years
A Florida notary commission is good for 4 years
An Illinois notary commission is good for 4 years

Louisiana notaries are commissioned for life and have the hardest training program of any state.

A New Jersey Notary Commission is good for 5 years
A Pennsylvania notary commission is good for 4 years
A Texas notary commission is good for 4 years
A Washington state notary commission is good for 4 years

But, some states have an unusually short term of office for notaries like Delaware which is only a 2 year term of office.

Some states have a short term of office, while others have a longer one.
The majority of states have a four year term, but a few have a five, six, seven, or even longer term.

Our forum article below covers even more states and their lengths of notary terms of office.
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3955

Penalties for notary misconduct, fraud and failure of duty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

How much does a Notary cost in 2019?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21308

Notary Public general information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20075

Share
>

February 20, 2019

Notarizing Multi-Page Documents

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 9:35 am

Should a Notary notarize every page of a document? How can a Notary or signer safeguard themselves from someone swapping pages in a document after the notarization has taken place? You need answers! Here they are!

1. A Notary Public notarizes signatures on documents, not pages on documents. A particular page or pages might have notary certificates within a document. Or, a certificate could be stapled to the back of a document. Ideally that certificate should identify the corresponding document. If you have a ten page document, there will most likely only be one, and possibly two pages with notary wording.

2. A prudent Notary Public carries what is called an inkless embosser that leaves a raised seal impression. This is in ADDITION to having the legally required inked seal that is used with blank ink. The embosser can be used to emboss every single page in a notarized document. I did exactly that on everything I notarized even if there were 100 pages. I did this for safety reasons. I did not want people to get away with switching pages after the fact and dragging me into court as a result of someone else not liking the idea that a page was swapped.

3. If a signer swaps a page from a notarized document, and that page was embossed, they can still swap the page. However, it will not be legal, and it will be very obvious to the Notary Public if investigated that the new page was not part of the original notarization as the notary embosses all pages — if the notary indeed was the type of notary who embossed all pages — like me!

4. Some people initial all pages. Initialing is a type of precaution. But, initials can be forged easily, and it is sometimes not easy to tell if they were forged.

5. If a document had a page swapped, the staple and staple area in the pages might show evidence of tampering. The degree of evidence depends on how skillful the fraud was at swapping pages. Luckly in my career of 6000 Notary appointments I did not have this issue.

6. If you need to add a page to an already notarized document. What can you do? You have to notarize the entire document all over again. I had that happen. What a pain. The signer wasn’t happy. Sorry — just following the law!

.

You might also like:

Notarizing Multi-Page Documents 2011 edition
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1706

Sending loose certificates is illegal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2470

Penalties for misconduct, fraud and failure of duty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

How often do Notaries end up in court?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19914

Share
>

February 19, 2019

Beneficial Interest

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 10:39 am

Beneficial interest, financial interest and conflict of interest are terms that a Notary Public should know.

Beneficial Interest
If a person is named in a document as someone who will receive some sorts of rights, privileges, or financial endowments, the could be said to have beneficial interest. Notaries are prohibited from Notarizing documents that they are named in as this constitutes beneficial interest which represents a conflict of interest. If you are a beneficiary in a document for perhaps a will, trust holdings, etc., then you would have beneficial interest.

Financial Interest
Someone who is named in a document to receive financial sums can be said to have financial interest.

Conflict of Interest
If you gain by having a document signed and you are the Notary, that means you have an interest in having the document signed which constitutes a conflict of interest. Notaries need to be impartial in their duties and should not have any conflict of interest.

Notarizing for Family Members
It is discouraged for a Notary to notarize for family members. It might not directly constitute a conflict of interest, but it looks questionable and it is better to have an outsider notarize signatures for family members as they are completely uninvolved (probably).

Interesting links

123notary Glossary — beneficial interest
http://www.123notary.com/glossary/?beneficial-interest

Investopedia — beneficial interest definition
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/beneficial-interest.asp

The 30 point course — beneficial interest
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14532

Just say No #3
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=376

Share
>
Older Posts »