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October 29, 2017

Multiple title companies told notaries NOT to thumbprint?

Filed under: Popular on Linked In,Technical & Legal — admin @ 1:00 am

When I ask Notaries to thumbprint, they tell me that title companies don’t want them to. I don’t want anyone to get fired. However, I don’t want the Notary to be named as a conspirator defendant in an identity theft case either. Most Notaries don’t want to do anything they are not forced to do, especially if the people who pay them do not want them to. The only solution is for 123notary to contact Title companies and explain why it is so critical to take thumbprints.

Thumbprints are the only way to catch identity thieves. And Lenders can lose thousands of dollars should an identity thief slip through the cracks and they do from time to time on loans. So, why would a title company want to prevent the FBI from catching the bad guys.

Should 123notary write to title companies and explain why this is so important? Maybe that is the only way they will listen. The Notary industry is screwed up, so it is up to us to turn it around, right?

You might also like:

Notice to title companies about thumbprinting

Must a thumbprint accompany a notarized document?

Notary Public 101’s guide to Notary Journals



  1. Perhaps affiant thumbprinting will become acceptable eventually. But there is a stronger case to thumbprint the thumbprinter (the Notary). The miscreant who is also a notary poses a grave threat. Our seal allows items to be entered into evidence without the signer present. A full FBI fingerprint clearance should be mandatory prior to being granted Notary status. Careful completion of the ID record form along with submitting a photo/scan of the ID presented works for me.

    Comment by Kenneth Edelstein — October 29, 2017 @ 4:58 am

  2. The title company has NO authority to tell the notary public what to do regarding their duties. It is strictly up to Secretary of State. PERIOD!. Notaries need to STOP listening to others tell them how to do their job. .

    Comment by Carmen Towles — October 29, 2017 @ 11:34 pm

  3. WOW! In the 12 years that I have been a notary public/certified signing agent, I have never had a Signing Company, Lender, Title/Escrow company tell me NOT to get the signer’s/borrower’s thumb print! Even though California Notary Law says that we ONLY have to get thumb prints for Deeds and Powers of Attorney, I ALWAYS have my clients put their thumb print in my notary journal. Heck, when it’s time to sign my notary journal, some of my clients hold their right thumbs up ready to place their prints in my notary journal.

    Comment by Ellen Michaels — November 1, 2017 @ 8:28 pm

  4. So what are you going to do when the document is an E-document before an E-Notary for an E-Closing…. Is there a way to take an E-Thumbprint??? A thumbprint may be one way to identify a person, but by the time you get around to having knowledge of a forgery, the damage is done, the money is gone…. If I am off base here I would certainly appreciate information on this matter. I like the fact California sees that a transfer and a Power of Attorney are important enough to want more verification. Between a lender and a borrower, only those two are at risk for fraud, but on a conveyance of any type, or a POA, the risk is not only to the immediate parties but also to third parties who subsequently rely upon the veracity of the document.

    Comment by Patrick Miller — January 22, 2018 @ 1:46 pm

  5. I’m curious is the title company is asking the notary “not to thumbprint” or are they asking not to put the thumbprint on the documents. Again,as commented on above, the Secretary of State establishes the requirements a notary must abide by. It has come apparent some notaries take it upon themselves to go over and above these requirements. I don’t know if the thumbprint on the actual document is a requirement in some states. Definitely require a thumbprint in the notary journal in CA. I don’t disagree with notaries taking a print for any document they notarize over and above the Secretary of State only requiring Deeds, Deeds of Trust and Power of Attorney.

    Comment by Dawn Weller — January 22, 2018 @ 6:56 pm

  6. Starting July 1st 2018 State of Washington will now be required to keep a journal and thumbprint. I have always kept a journal and thumbprint.

    Comment by Cyndi Seafeldt — May 29, 2018 @ 4:10 pm

  7. Carmen, in very few words; puts very big concepts, clearly and accurately.

    Comment by Kenneth A Edelstein — May 29, 2018 @ 4:33 pm

  8. They are only asking notaries to not thumbprint because they got complaints from their clients and/or they don’t want their clients to be offended. It has nothing to do with notary law. I always get thumbprints. Occasionally, I have some people refuse to do it as they feel it is an invasion of their privacy. I do my best to explain why I do it. It is not a requirement in our state, so I reference the NNA and it works. It is hard though when other notaries do not practice even keeping a journal! I have been to loan signings where the borrowers said the last time they did a refi, the notary didn’t even have a journal! That is required by our state. Blows me away that they can even get away with not keeping one.

    Comment by Diana L. Bendickson — May 30, 2018 @ 4:12 pm

  9. It’s really hard to believe that a Title company would ask this of anyone. I’ve had issues in the past with out of state verbiage that needs to be swapped out or capacitive verbiage (which cannot be used in California)….but I’ve never come across a Title company requesting a thumbprint not be taken.

    Comment by Kyle Eisenberg — January 4, 2019 @ 2:22 am

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