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January 14, 2021

Notaries in cars drinking coffee and ID-ing people

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 1:12 pm

More on the Notaries in cars issue. If you do a signing where the borrower hands over some signed documents through your car window, not only is that very unprofessional, but it is hard to do notary work without some sort of table. Things can get lost or fall.

You need to see all signers face to face, even if it is outside. You need to look at them and their ID, and then write down the particulars of their ID in your journal assuming your state or your conscience makes you keep one. If you don’t get a clear look face to face at all signers concerned, you are not doing your job.

It is easy to make mistakes or miss things if you are working in an unsuitable environment. Working on a trunk is more like a desk and you might be more in command of the process. You can have a done pile and an undone pile if you work on a trunk. There is plenty of room and it is a flat surface. Assuming the wind doesn’t blow you are good.

Personally, for such an involved signing such as a loan signing, if the borrower is too squeamish to let you inside, I would cancel the signing. It is just not professional to sign in your car. And once again, confirm the signing before you go and make sure they are not sick or squeamish. It makes more sense to wear a mask and sit six or more feet away from them and do your best to make the process smooth.



  1. Hello, I am in West Texas and currently we do not have a title company or lawyer office where we can go to do certain signings that require us to be in their office. There is one title company that I spoke with that mobile agents are using their parking lot. They do not have to ok with that company. This is in Midland Texas. In Odessa there is a lawyer’s parking lot that can be used for signings. You do not have to ask for permission or pay a fee. I call these tailgate signings. And in West Texas I have done signings on hood of cars, in trucks and tailgates since this Covid 19 thing. The only problem I see is if the lender approves the signing.

    Comment by Athena Bentley — February 17, 2021 @ 9:17 pm

  2. I am in total agreement. I have tried everything to accommodate the Borrowers

    They miss signatures and initials. It doesn’t work for me! I refuse to give them documents to sign behind closed doors and expect me to notarize!

    Comment by Peggy Baxter — February 17, 2021 @ 9:58 pm

  3. I did do one in 2 cars because they were in a covid rampid area and we both felt safe. However not sure I would do it again as it is a monster paper shuffle!!1

    Comment by C Gary — February 18, 2021 @ 3:26 am

  4. This is what I do, I carry on my trunk a $40 dollars portable table from Costco and three plastic chairs $10 bucks each, whenever they don’t want to allow me in or have a shitty set up with a half &%$ done table (excuse my language) I immediately suggest to do it in their garage and I offer my table, half the time they do have the same table. I have met people in shopping centers and done it there because they thought Starbucks would be open. When they see how prepared I am they even praise me, I also carry disposables individually wrapped disinfectant wipes and for the nice customers disposable thumbprint stripes. It is not expensive but it does cost a little but guess what? next time they need something notarized guess who they are going to call?

    Comment by Oscar Castro — February 18, 2021 @ 6:57 pm

  5. Nicely done Oscar Castro! This is a much better solution ten telling us to “cancel” it.

    Cuz you’ll probably never work there again. At least the advice in this “article” should be to contact whoever assigned you the transaction and tell them the situation and that you’re not comfortable, and let THEM decide to cancel it.

    Comment by Lisa — March 15, 2021 @ 3:01 pm

  6. I’ve been doing on the car hoods in Califorina if the client doesn’t have a table outside and won’t let me in.

    Comment by hope — March 15, 2021 @ 6:39 pm

  7. I have conducted signings everywhere, picnic tables, garage freezers, trunk of vehicles and occasionally in vehicle but that was an auto signing. I couldn’t imagine doing a refi in car, I imagine that would be hard. Oscar’s idea is great..Love it

    Comment by Anette — March 15, 2021 @ 8:00 pm

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