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March 1, 2016

State of the Notary Industry Union Address

My fellow American Notaries,
We are living through an extraordinary moment in Notarial history. Technological and social change is reshaping the way we notarize, advertise, drive, and our place in the NotaryVerse. But, as Americans, we’ve been through big changes before in generations past.

Notary jobs no longer pay what they used to pay. American Notaries used to make an easy $125 per signing if they had experience. Now, Notaries are being offered less and less. Instead of weeding out the less qualified Notaries, this price gauging has weeded out the most qualified and desirable service providers in the industry. Despite the problems in the Notary industry, American Notaries are paid considerably more than their equivalents in China, France, India, and other countries where mobile Notaries (and rickshaws) are used. In fact, Notary wages in China are so low, that many Notaries there have to sell fake ID’s just to make ends meet.

The advent of Snapdocs, the Uber of the Notary industry has also contributed to the downward trend in Notary fees, but an upward trend in technology that facilitates the act of hiring and scheduling a Notary. Now with the click of a few buttons, a signing or title company can broadcast a message (commonly referred to as a cattle call) to dozens of Notaries and find one who will take the job.

I would like to take things a step forward and cut taxes for Notaries and their families. I believe that Notaries are working too hard already, and should be rewarded by paying a fair tax.

Additionally, I’ve called on congress to raise the minimum wage for newer Notaries to $63 per signing, plus 11.3 cents per page for eDocuments as well as a 75 cent per nautical mile minimum travel fee, plus a nationwide ban on fax-backs. If you look at what the average service provider in this industry makes — call him “Joe, the Notary,” it is well below what Notaries of your parents’ generation used to make and it just isn’t fair. Notaries work hard, and deserve a fair wage and deserve to not be micromanaged — unless they are brand new in the field or make mistakes.

I want to make admission to Notary college more affordable. Spotting fake ID’s from China 101 is a course every American Notary should take. If Notaries had this knowledge it would make America a better place and the world a better place (unless you work in a fake ID producing sweatshop in Shanghai.)

Unfortunately, as far as the quantity of jobs being offered in the 1st quarter of 2016, it is the worst I’ve seen. However, 123notary is getting roughly the same traffic it did at this time in 2015. The important thing here is for American Notaries to keep the faith and understand that every cycle has ups and downs. What is critical is to keep developing your skill sets, to keep developing your client base, and to buy a higher spot on 123notary!

For all challenges we face, the truth is that no country on Earth is better equipped to handle the future of Notary work than the United States. If we can deal with this temporary and acute shortage of Notary signings, there is nothing that American Notaries can’t do!

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The 2016 Notary Public Debate
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