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July 8, 2012

Do criminals deserve to be notarized?

Do criminals deserve to be notarized? 

Notarizing Criminals
In my opinion — It is anyone’s legal right to be notarized, and no member of the public with a legitimate request for notarization should be turned down.  But, our notaries have a range of their own opinions based on a Facebook discussion. 
One notary says that criminals deserve a loss of privileges. Another notary doesn’t work for sketchy people and refers them to someone else (how nice of her).  Another notary married a couple at a jail.
One notary was confused by what I meant by the term “criminal” and asked if attorneys fell into that category.  We had a notary who saw a lot of people at their local jail who looked like former mortgage brokers!!!
The bottom line is that criminals who are incarcerated are much more easy to deal with.  They are not going anywhere unless the “system” moves them.  But, ones who are free who come to you even with legitimate requests can be a bit uncomfortable to deal with and make you feel uneasy.



  1. Quote “Do criminals deserve to be notarized?”
    Quote “In my opinion — It is anyone’s legal right to be notarized”

    How do you notarize a person, criminal or not? What are you going to do stamp his/her head? A notary, notarizes documents not people.

    Just saying…

    Comment by CNaylor — August 1, 2012 @ 2:19 am

  2. This is an interesting topic. So, is it our obligation to let anyone who wants a notarization into our home? Is it our obligation to travel to jails or prisons to notarize documents for everyone who asks? IMO, no. I recently received a call from a woman who wanted me to travel to a local jail to notarize a Power of Attorney for a man awaiting trial for two child rapes and the possession of hundreds of child pornography pictures. This is a very high profile case where I live. New victims are coming forward and saying that they were molested by this man as well. The pictures were described as depicting children being used in indescribable sexual acts. I was aware of this man’s case from the news before I received the request from a \family friend\ to go to the jail. I refused the request. I do not feel obligated to use my time and resources for such an individual and I don’t his money.

    The jail does have notaries on staff, however, they refuse to notarize anything for inmates. They must get their own notary. So, if the notary employed at the jail can say \no,\ I don’t see why other notaries can’t do the same thing. I don’t believe in judging people and I have notarized other people at the jail. However, I refuse to help a child rapist. I’ll give up my commission first.

    Comment by CSM — August 4, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  3. I don’t think prisoners carry around an acceptable Photo ID card.

    Comment by Mr. Bob — August 6, 2012 @ 2:11 am

  4. Everyone deserves to have notarizations performed. We perform a necessary service that is designed to prevent fraud. Whether people are incarcerated or free, whether they have been convicted in the past, or not, each deserves to have a proper notarization for their documents. Precisely because we take care in determining the authenticity of identifications of all parties to a signing, we are in the role of preventing malfeasance. Because incarcerated people have limited mobility and freedom, it may be necessary for them to have documents notarized to control their finances or other transactions, while they are in custody. Many people are arrested who are innocent. They too lose their freedom for periods of time and many have to put their homes up as collateral for bonds, etc. They have to attend to matters of parental custody, etc. All these transactions need notarizations. While we may be concerned about security, I have found performing these notarizations rewarding and exercise the same care I would with any other mobile signing. I am rewarded by helping the families of these subjects, because they are the ones most severely impacted by the actions of those incarcerated.

    Comment by Jane E. Tierney — August 16, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

  5. Ditto….Quote “In my opinion — It is anyone’s legal right to be notarized”

    Comment by Don Vermillon — August 16, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

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