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December 24, 2010

Notary Public: Just Say No #3

Just say no 3 
Notaries need to know what to do and what not to do.  Although rules change across state lines, here are some basic rules to think about.
 
Staples anyone?
Many states require that the notary certificate be attached to the document.  Many companies will get mad at you for stapling their deed of trust together. But pages can easily be switched without a staple.  Attach is one particular formal way of saying staple. There doesn’t seem to be any other way to “attach” a certificate to a document.
 
Leaving loose certificates
Once again, certificates can not be sent without the document they correspond to.  If you notarize a document, the certificate wording should either be embedded in the document, or on an “attached” form.  If you are asked to send another “Jurat” (by this, people really might mean acknolwedgment certificate) in the mail.  You need to ask the company to send the document so you can attach it.  They they say, “Oh, come on”.  Tell them that if they want their “jurat” you need the original document otherwise they could attach it to anything.
 
New pages in a document?
If a signer had a document notarized and has a new page that they want notarized, you need to notarize the document all over again despite their whining.   You can not notarize individual pages of a multi-page document.
 
Notarizing a photograph?
You can not notarize a photograph.  If you have a document regarding a photograph, you can staple the photo to the document and notarize the document.  You could even put an embosser halfway through the photo with the other half going through the document as its attached to the document.
 
Notarizing before the signer signs?
Don’t save time by filling out the notary forms before the signer shows up.  If you affix your notarial seal before the signer has signed the document and your journal, you have committed a crime.  Just wait until all the other necessary steps are complete and then fill out the wording and affix your seal.
 
Beneficial interest?
If you are mentioned in a document, or are closely related to a person who is mentioned in a document, that can constitute beneficial interest.  If you derive a benefit from a document being signed, that is definately beneficial interest.  One of our notaries informs us that if you only get paid as a notary if a particular document gets signed, then you have beneficial interest.  Get your travel fees at the door before you figure out if you are doing to notarize a document.  If the ID is not good, or the signer is drugged at a hospital, you will feel motivated to try to find a way to notarize that person if you haven’t been paid. That is actually a very common type of beneficial conflict of interest that invovles notaries on a daily basis.
 
Notarizing yourself?
Don’t notarize yourself. You can not notarize your own signature no matter what in any state.  The whole purpose of a notary is that they verify other people’s signatures.

Tweets:
(1) It is illegal to notarize something without making sure the certificate is attached!
(2) If you are adding a new page to a document, do you need to notarize the whole thing all over again?
(3) Some notaries save time by notarizing before the signer signs! This is illegal!

You might also like:

Notary Etiquette from A to Z

Just say no article 2
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=225

13 ways to get sued as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19614

Compilation of posts about Notary fraud
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21527

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2 Comments »

  1. We notarized signatures…not documebts.

    Comment by Sarah — April 3, 2015 @ 11:33 pm

  2. I DO fill out all of the other particulars to a notarized document ahead of time–the State and County in which the notarization occurs, the date, my printed name, “Notary Public” (if asked for)– because the paper is meaningless without my signature and stamp.
    This is a thinking man’s job. If I have notarized and stamped documents and the signer refuses to complete all of the documents, I take them with me and destroy them.
    I do not notarize anything with my signature and stamp ahead of time.

    Comment by betty — October 5, 2015 @ 6:43 pm

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