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July 13, 2016

Are you a Yes-tary or No-tary?

It was a month or so ago. I was asking Notaries Notary questions about what you can and cannot do. Unfortunately, Notaries often don’t take Notary rules seriously or have just never been adequately trained. The “more, but not less rule” is no good unless you understand which direction the rule runs. The ID can have more than the document, but 40% of Notaries think that it is okay if the name to be notarized on the document has more meat on it than the name on the identification. Good God! My point here, is that the whole point of having a Notary is to verify people’s identity who signed documents. The Notary profession helps to deter and prevent fraud as a result. But, if Notaries do whatever, and don’t follow state rules, then the purpose of having a Notary is defeated or undermined.

To put it shortly, the entire point of a Notary is to say No. If you feel uncomfortable or awkward saying No, then you should not become a Notary. In many Middle-Eastern and Asian cultures it is considered bad manners to say no, so they say, maybe, or later, or perhaps next time, or make up some excuse for not saying yes. Since they can’t outright say no, they beat around the bush. But, as a Notary, you might be facilitating fraud by not saying no. So, get used to saying no. Stand in front of the mirror and say, “No…. NO…. NO!!!!” Do it the way Joey from Friends practices saying, “How you doin’?” in front of the mirror dozens of times mastering his facial expression and verbal inflections. Take pride in saying no. However, for those Notaries that don’t like saying no, worry not! There is a solution. Become a Yes-tary.

But, what do Yes-taries do? Yestaries say yes to illegal requests. Unfortunately they cannot be commissioned and don’t have a stamp. But, maybe they should have an unofficial Yestary Public stamp just to make their job more comedically offiicial. What would be the duties of a Yestary? If someone wants to be Notarized as Mickey Mouse but lacks sufficient ID, you say, YES. If someone claims to be Kim Jong Un and looks Korean enough to you, say yes and stamp his document. If a Taiwanese client wants you to stamp a loose piece of paper because their government requires such a Yestary act, you can do it as a Yestary, but not as a Notary. Because a Notary’s job is to say No!

But, what if they won’t pay your travel fee if you say no? It is actually illegal in many states for a Notary to notarize a document in which they have a beneficial or financial interest. I feel that if the Notary will not get paid a travel fee if they refuse to notarize, then they now do have a beneficial interest of a sort and would be willing to break the law so they would get paid. Get your travel fee up front before you see the signers or the documents or the identifications. That way if a signer isn’t there, or if the name on the ID is not matching, or some other problem, you can forfeit your Notary fee, but still get paid for your trip. Remember, your job is not to please the client, but to uphold the law even if that means hurting someone’s feelings by saying no. Hurting someone’s feelings is better than going to court as a result of facilitating fraud or having your commission revoked!

One last note, it has been reported that some Yestaries have gotten a rare intestinal disease from saying yes too much to illegal requests. Some call it an illness, I call it karmic retrobution. The disease is called “yesentery” and comes from ingesting unclean Notary requests. If you get this disease, just consult your doctor and take some prescribed antibiotics. Good luck!

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