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February 22, 2019

Apostille – General Information

What is an Apostille?
An Apostille can be a document or certificate that is attached to a document notarized by a notary public, that is going to be sent OVERSEAS to a country that is not NOT a member of the HAGUE Convention. Or it can be an original document such as a Birth Certificate or Marriage Certificate that contains the original seal from the state that it originated from. In either case, the document is going to be sent overseas to places such as Mexico, Spain, Argentina, or India.

Where do I get an Apostille?
Apostilles are usually obtainable from a State Notary Division or a Secretary of State’s Office. Due to budget cuts, Secretary of State Offices are not always nearby, so it can be labor intensive to get to them.

How do I get an Apostille?
You might consider contacting an experienced notary who has been through the Apostille process many times. There are many notaries who fit this description, but you need to know how to find them. Or, you could contact your state’s Secretary of State yourself, and drive to them, and go through this process (which is like pulling teeth) yourself.

Q. Can you recommend a few notaries who are experts in the Apostille Process?
A. Yes, see the 2011 version of this blog article for recommendations.

You might also like:

What is an Apostille?
http://www.internationalapostille.com/what-is-an-apostille/

Department of State — Apostille Requirements
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/travel-legal-considerations/internl-judicial-asst/authentications-and-apostilles/apostille-requirements.html

2011 version of — How do I get an Apostille or Authentication?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1793

Using the correct notary certificate for an Apostille
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19902

Certified copy of an Apostille?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14923

Basic Notary Vocabulary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19495

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April 3, 2018

Using the correct Notarial Certificate for an Apostille:

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:17 am

At our office in Downtown Los Angeles — A1 Live Scan & Notary Services – we get to correctly renotarize many notarized documents that the SOS rejects doing an Apostille because the wrong notarial certificate was used by a Notary.

Let’s first start with what is an Apostille?
An Apostille authenticates the Notary Public as a valid and licensed Notary to a foreign government or agency. The foreign entity relies on the SOS to make sure that the document being sent to them was in fact notarized by a currently licensed notary in good standing.

Next the question is what type of Notarial Certificate do you attach to a document being taken to the SOS for an Apostille?

First and foremost, ask the singer and explain the differences between the 3 commonly used certificates – All Purpose Acknowledgment, Jurat and Copy Certification by Document Custodian.

If the signer is not sure, go over the preprinted language on the document with the signer if there is notarial wording. In most cases even if there is notarial wording, it would not comply with California Notary Laws. So then look at the existing language and if it has “affirmations”, “oaths” or “swearing as to the truth of the contents”, use a Jurat.

If the language does not have an Oath but merely says the person appeared in front of you and acknowledged signing the document, then use a California All-Purpose Acknowledgment.

The third type of Notarization for an Apostille is when a signer brings a document such as College transcripts, Degree Certificates, Passport copy, letters from third parties. These documents are already signed by the issuer and there is no notarial wording. In this case, you use a certificate called, “Copy Certification by Document Custodian” to notarize the document by the person who brings it to you even if it is not that person’s document. Hence the name “…by Document Custodian”.

Hope this clarifies the confusion surrounding certificates used for an Apostille.

You might also like:

Apostille – general information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21419

Index of posts about Notary acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20280

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November 24, 2011

How do I get an Apostille or Authentication?

Where do I get an Apostille?
Apostilles are usually obtainable from a State Notary Division or a Secretary of State’s Office.  Due to budget cuts, Secretary of State Offices are not always closeby, so it can be labor intensive to get to them.
 
What is an Apostille?
An Apostille CAN BE a document or certificate that is attached to a document notarized by a notary public, that is going to be sent OVERSEAS to a country that are NOT members of the HAGUE Convention. Or it can be an original document such as a Birth Certificate or Marriage Certificate that contains the original seal from the state that it originated from.  In either case, the document is going to be sent overseas to places such as Mexico, Spain, Argentina, or India.
 
Some documents need to be authenticated before you can get an Apostille, while others don’t.
 
How do I get an Apostille?
You might consider contacting an EXPERIENCED notary who has been through the Apostille process many times.  There are many notaries who fit this description, but you need to know how to find them. Or, you could contact your state’s Secretary of State yourself, and drive to them, and go through this process (which is like pulling teeth) yourself.
 
Q. Can you recommend a few notaries who are experts in the Apostille Process?
A.  Yes, below there is list of notaries in various locations who know the process well.
 

San Diego, CA — Joe Ewing

 
Los Angeles, CA — Carmen Towles
 
San Francisco, CA — Glenn Turner


Sergio Musetti — Cotati, CA

 
New York City, NY — Linda Harrison
 

Oradell, NJ — Linda Harrison

 
What is an Authentication?
This certificate accompanies an Apostille.  The Authentication verifies the notary’s official seal and their signature on a notarized certificate section on a document.
 
When do I need an Authentication?
This is a tricky question.  Please contact your local County Clerk’s office, and they will give you a professional answer.

You might also like:

Apostille general information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21419

Using the correct notary certificate for an Apostille
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19902

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January 14, 2011

Certified Copy of an Apostille?

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 10:00 am

Certified Copy of an Apostille?
Sometimes I am in awe of the machinations suggested to reduce notary fees. I have just been asked to process a college degree with an Apostille. Routine. However, the client also has asked me to additionally prepare a “certified copy” of the Apostille bearing document! Of course this is totally illegal; and it’s worthwhile to explore the issues involved.

“Student Copies” of educational related documents (degrees, transcripts, etc.) are illegal to notarize in New York State. Photocopies do not include the anti-tamper protections commonly incorporated into the original documents. “Photoshop Magicians” have been known to change the grades; raising their grade point average from a dismal 2.5 to a laudable 3.7. All done with just a few clicks of the mouse. Worse, there have been cases where only the name is changed on the degree – instant college education!

To put an end to this fraud, New York State has added educational related documents to the list of “copy may not be notarized” documents. Already on that list are Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce and some other officially issued documents. With educational related documents, it is the Principal or Registrar who is the only authority to sign and be notarized. Their signature is on an original, even if it duplicates a prior issuance. Degrees are generally issued for Apostille processing as a letter, signed and notarized – attached to the actual degree. Both should contain the raised seal of the issuing institution.

Now to follow the processing trail. I notarize the signature of the Registrar on the letter with attached degree. My signature is authenticated by the State of New York and the signature of the County Clerk is added; attesting to my “good” standing as a New York State Notary. Then the document goes to the Department of State to receive an Apostille, after the signature of the New York County Clerk is verified. Finally the Apostille is added; with a tamper proof, non-removable grommet, such that pages cannot be added or removed.

The package now contains many signatures: The Registrar, the Notary, the County Clerk and the Secretary of State of the State of New York. Each one has added, in addition to their signature either a raised seal, or some other tamper resistant protection. It is for that reason that the package is acceptable for use in other countries.

Now comes a request for me, the humble notary to “certify” a copy of the entire package! It’s not even easy to make a copy because of the grommet holding the pages together. The only way to make a copy is to fold the prior pages “out of the way” leaving the grommet at the top left intact.

The photocopy would be a mess, and look it. But, it is technically possible; with parts of the underlying documents “cut off” because the non-removable grommet blocks the photocopying. OK, now http://kenneth-a-edelstein.com has a “somewhat” complete copy. How can I “certify” the copy? First, it’s illegal in New York State for a notary to certify ANY copy, only the owner of the document can make a statement that the copy is complete and unaltered; assuming it’s not on the “no photocopy” list. It’s common to notarize a photocopy of an electric bill to be part of proof of residency. But, it’s a long step from electric bill (with affiant present) to educational degree with Apostille attached and no affiant. The only legal way would be to do the complete job twice.

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You might also like:

How do I get an Apostille or Authentication?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1793

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March 24, 2019

So the Mobile Notary Well has gone Dry

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 2:51 am

I usually don’t date my scribbles. Rather, I try to write what I perceive to be “eternal” truths. Wow, that sounded pompous; even for me. Well today is March 11, 2019, and the calls are down. Not “down and out”, but significantly lower than a few months ago. I don’t know or care about your political leaning; and I’m certainly not going to share mine. Though it probably would result in some interesting comments!

What to do when the well has gone dry? Basically there are only two real options. Ya dig another well or move on to where water is plentiful. If you can think of a practical and creative third alternative please enter some constructive and informative criticism of my analysis.

Dig another Well

Very few of us are likely able to provide “revenue for a family” from mobile notary revenue. I’m not talking about the “higher ups” who get a slice of many pies. I’m referring to the “rank and file”, the troops in the field who actually stamp, emboss, administer the oath and sign. We are legions of “side gig” entrepreneurs eking out a modest supplemental income. I suspect many of us are retired and use the signing fee for a modest night out. Probably a goodly number are youth who eagerly expend major effort, using their endless energy for usually small rewards.

There are many ways to dig that supplementary well. You can knock yourself out distributing business cards and seek the direct calls. Some will take the gamble and pay highly per click. Many will up their visibility by seeking better placement on notary directories. But, as I see it; these strategies, while valid; are chasing the limited demand. Being different, or more accurately, doing different IS digging another well.

Most mobile notaries run their business the same way; no matter what. I have had emails that state “I enjoy processing loan packages and don’t want to do anything else”. OK, you have chosen to starve, certainly in the current notary signing agent environment. Diversify is the word. You have to use your notary standing to offer to do many things. Learn to do fingerprinting, to process Apostilles, Letters of Protest, obtaining birth, death, marriage, divorce and how to work with educational documents. There are many other “authorities” granted to you by your status as a notary. The more you know how to do, the greater your chances someone will hire you.

Move on to the Water

Your status as a notary is an “edge” you have making you more desirable in many functions. Of course you should still market yourself as a mobile notary – great extra income when it fits into your schedule. But, quite frankly it’s not a gold mine currently. That may change – but probably not soon. So, take a real job; one where your notary skills can be an advantage. Use some of the “real job” revenue to maintain your current advertising and directory listings. I can picture some rural lawn signs: “Notary Public and lawnmower blade sharpening”. IM(not so)HO probably the worst thing you can do is chase the 35 dollar edocs. Do the math; there is virtually no profit. Face the reality, be flexible, ADD a few additional skills; notary skills – of course; but don’t limit yourself to solely notary income. When you dig that new well you just might strike oil!

You might also like:

Snapdocs — are the jobs just too far away?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21003

The art of the decline to new jobs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15783

Will the next election help our Notary industry?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22267

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October 5, 2018

Index of posts about Notary Acts

Here is my index of posts about various Notary acts including Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, and more.

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GENERALLY BEST ARTICLES

Notary Public 101 — Basic Notary Acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

Oaths — how notaries completely screw them up
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

Airline meals versus Oaths & Affirmations (very interesting and informative)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

How do I get an Apostille or Authentication?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1793

Notary Public 101 — quick review pointers (includes notary act info)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19679

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AFFIRMATIONS & OATHS

Affirmations — pleasing politically correct people while offending everyone else
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19606

Should you use book wording for Oaths or improvise?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19660

Oaths and the art of improvisation
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19367

Notary perjury and Oaths
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6917

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Notary Acknowledgment Wording
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18858

Notary loses $4000 because fraud adds name to Acknowledgment certificate
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19477

California Acknowledgment Wording explained
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8459

Optional information on Acknowledgment Certificate
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4407

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OTHER

Interesting and uncommon Notary acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=483

Information about various notary procedures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2268

Which Notary act does not require the personal appearance of the signer?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19668

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May 21, 2018

Names for Notary Businesses with Commentary

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 8:15 am

Notaries love to read about names for Notary businesses. Some names are geographical, some are funny, and some get you in trouble. Others sound cliche and a few are catchy. Here are some names we see and a few we made up for fun.

Notary 4 U
Now there is a name that works well on an email address.

Signatures 4 Less
Sounds like a bargain

Notaries R Us
Sounds like a Toys R Us commercial. Affidavits are in aisle three.

Seals on Wheels or Notary on Wheels
This on is popular.

Seal the Deal Mobile Notary
Talk about getting things done.

The Notarizer or The Noterator
I think Arnold has registered this name already.

Have Stamp Will Travel
Brings back memories of the old West.

What’s Up Docs
This signing service ended up not doing that well. People thought their name was goofy. But, Bugs Bunny liked it and that’s all that matters to me.

A1 Notary Services
Try this service out when Worcestershire Notary Services is busy!

Notary 90210
Great service, but discounts are probably not their thing in that zip code.

Notary Now
On a busy day, they temporarily change their name to Notary Later.

Jesus (pronounced Hey-soos) & the 12 Apostilles 24 hour Mobile Notary
“We’ll get the job done come hell or high water.”
Sounds like a great name for a Hispanic Notary & Apostille / Authentication Service.

Vampire 24 Hour Notary
“We are Vampires and never sleep. Our price for a Jurat is half a pint of blood with a straw.”

Right on Time Mobile Notary
If you worked for Domino’s Pizza you’ll have an in getting a job from these guys.

Prestige Mobile Notaries
I think the 90210 is still a better idea. Don’t say it — show it…

Royal Notary Service
I’m sure this is where Queen Elizabeth gets her Affidavits.

A. Paul Steele
Sounds like a great name unless your clients want an Authentication!

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You might also like:

Names for Notary businesses that can get you in trouble
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19064

Geographic Notary Business Names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19060

Notary Business Names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2302

Choosing a name for a business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7103

You could get sued if you don’t have a business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7100

Deceptive Identities – Companies that change their names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1090

Stealing a Business Name
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2660

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May 15, 2018

Know YOUR State Notary Law

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:23 am

Know YOUR State Notary Law
Groan, I just passed off an assignment to a different Notary. Not just any assignment, and it goes to a Notary+ I write this on Nov 5, 2017, it’s a Sunday and also the day of the New York City Marathon. The fact that it’s Sunday is no big deal, usually a quiet day. But the Marathon is one of the few events worse (for traffic) than the first week of the UN General Assembly. The one with all the leading diplomats with the closed streets and Police caravans. But I stray.

The task was across Manhattan, at a hospital. Specifically, the task was to notarize a Will. It’s a good thing that I require What, Where and When to accept an assignment. In New York State it is illegal for me to notarize a will. That requires a “Notary+” someone who is both a Notary an also is an Attorney. That isn’t me. However, I do know of such a person and routinely provide contact information. I also explain exactly why I am prohibited. There is one weird exception to that rule. It’s called a New York State Attestation Section. With that as the signature page, then I only notarize the statements of the witnesses, but not that of the Testator.

Sayeth the caller: You can do it. The Will was prepared by a Virginia Lawyer, and it will be processed in Virginia. My Lawyer told me any Notary can notarize a Will. The Lawyer is using knowledge of Virginia Notary law; and projecting it as being applicable in New York. Such is not the case. A document needs to be notarized legally where the notary processes it. The Will could be for any location on planet Earth. The notarization follows local state law. Period, nothing else matters. Possibly an Apostille will be subsequently added, or translation, or embassy legalization; but the notarization is the foundation and follows local state law.

I mentioned today is Sunday, I must keep in mind a Sunday only restriction – one of the many strange New York State regulations. Today it’s illegal for me to notarize a Civil Deposition. Monday thru Saturday only for those. Perhaps the next caller might not be civil, they might be downright criminal. That’s OK today; notarizing a Criminal Deposition is just fine on Sunday.

This site, similar sites, legal opinions and internet gurus rarely specify the applicable state when they make their profound opinions known. Of course there are some valid generalizations; it’s likely that each state requires, for a routine notarization, that ID be shown. Some have mentioned on the Forum their state list of acceptable ID. That is good. My New York State Notary regulations cite that I must view “adequate proof” and leave me to wonder. So, I set my requirement as “Government issued Photo ID”, and ask each caller what ID they have.

Thus, even something so basic to notarization varies by state, probably a US passport is OK to use in every state. But, there might be a requirement out there for multiple IDs to be shown.

The take away from this installment is really knowing your license law. Everything other than what is in your state regulations is subordinate to those laws. Even the truly wise writings on http://123notary.com be it the blogs or the Forum, are just background information. Your state laws are “the only thing that matters”. When the LO or Title or the Signing Service or anybody else suggests something that conflicts with your state laws; tell them you are a “by the book” notary – “no can do what you want”. Of course you must not just be “familiar” you must know your state regulations. They can change, when is the last time you read ALL your notary laws?

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April 4, 2018

123notary Elite Certification Study Guide

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — Tags: , — admin @ 12:24 am

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ELITE CERTIFICATION

To get elite certification, you need to do well on the regular certification topics, and then know a lot more. Here are the items we quiz about for elite certification. We test by phone for the elite, and if you study hard and know your basic documents, scenarios, and Notary knowledge plus the content on this page, you could pass.

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Documents you have to understand intimately

Recorded Documents
Riders
Subordination Agreement
Residency Affidavit
Owners Affidavit
Deed of Reconveyance
Deed of Trust
CD & HUD-1
Please read the details of the required documents. Read more…

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Procedures or Acts to Understand

Signature by X or Mark — read more…
Apostilles and Authentications — read more…

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Other Terms or Information
Please click on the links below to get detailed information on the following points.

The term Elizor — read points 23 on this link. An Elizor is a court appointed official that can sign over property when the owner refuses to cooperate in court.

Explaining beneficial & financial interest. A Notary may not have beneficial interest or financial interest in anything he is notarizing. A beneficial interest could be construed as …

Federal Holidays in chronological order (memorize these). Let’s start with New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day …

Fraud Prevention & types of fraud that happen in the Notary world. Falsified identification, incorrect dates on certificates, using someone else’s Notary seal …

Authority – Who has the highest level of authority if there is a question about a notary act or document at a signing? The Notary is the authority as to how a notary transaction happens, but…

Annual Percentage Rate — a detailed understanding is required. The APR is based on the amount borrower after certain (but not all) fees and closing costs have been deducted, and expressed as a …

Pros & Cons: — Adding an Acknowledgment rather than fixing the original. if there is a mistake on a preprinted form. It is cleaner to add a new form, but there can be recording fee issues involved…

What to do if John & Sally’s names are inscribed in an Acknowledgment by the Lender and Sally can’t make it. — Cross out or add a new form? This is similar to the last point, but there are some extra snags…

Handling name variations and discrepencies such as: ID Name, vs. Typed Name, Signature on Doc, and Name on Ack. Relationship between these names if they don’t exactly match. The main thing is to obey the law first…

Understanding dates such as: Transaction Dates, Signature Dates, Rescission Dates, and Document Dates… A transaction date is the same as a signature date, but a document date is arbitrarily chosen, but by whom?

Loan Signing FAQ’s that Borrowers ask. FAQ’s have been greatly reduced by Lenders being required to explain documents to the borrowers in advance. But, you still might be asked why the APR is …

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December 13, 2017

My Reply to Vague Incoming Email

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (some) — admin @ 8:23 am

My Reply to Vague Incoming Email
We receive email that is vague, but asks for specific commitment on our part. Some examples:

How much is a notary? Can you notarize my document? My boss wants to know how soon you can be here to notarize some stuff? Where are you located? Do you charge a fee for your services? What are your office hours? Can you open a few hours early, I can only be at your place at 7AM?

I used to waste time typing an answer to these generally unsigned, no phone number spam-like emails. Then I decided to reply with a canned “macro”. On the PC I use keyboardexpress, on the cell phone (Android) my Profimail email program has a similar facility. This is my reply:

Thank you for your inquiry.
I am a Mobile Notary and go to the location you specify; I do not have a walk in facility.
My fee is based on:
1. How many signatures are to be notarized.
2. Where I would be going to do the notarizations.
3. The date & time of day you wish me to arrive.
Please also include your phone number and the nature or title of what is to be notarized.
As soon as I know the 3 items above I will be able to send you a price quote.
If some aspects are not available I can make an estimate based on information provided.
I need your assurance that the person(s) to be notarized:
1. Have government issued photo ID (typically a driver license, non-driver ID, or passport (any country).
2. The name on the ID matches the name on the document to be notarized.
3. Is able to speak directly with me in the English language.
4. Is not impaired in their ability to sign and understand the document they are signing.
5. Have reviewed the document(s) and desire to sign them.
6. Will be available to meet with me when I arrive.
Note that not every document can be notarized, let me know if your requirements include:
A Will, Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce or Education related documents

Further information is available about me on my web site. Specifically:
My A+ Better Business Bureau Accreditation via hot link bottom left my home page – directly to BBB.
My 500+ positive reviews on 123notary.com (the Reviews link, in my signature, goes there).
You will also find a large amount of useful information (not sales hype) on the topics of:

Notarization
Apostille Processing
Embassy Legalization
Obtaining Birth, Death, Marriage and other official documents.
Fingerprinting Services
PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=LVZJXNQQB2LV8
Web: http://kenneth-a-edelstein.com

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You might also like:

Are you the notary people will wait for or the one who keeps people waiting?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20022

Answering the call and then not wanting to talk.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19640

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