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November 18, 2021

Notary almost loses commission over botched Oath

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 8:50 am

A Notary in Maine was talking to me a while back. She said that she gave an Oath rather than giving a choice of an Oath or Affirmation. The Maine Secretary of State threatened to take her notary commission away if she made that mistake again.

I learned this because I gave her a phone quiz. I asked her to give me an Oath for a document that said, “I love starbucks double shot” (which incidentally is not sold in stores currently due to supply chain issues.)

She offered me a choice of an Oath or Affirmation after I had requested an Oath. That is similar to a customer ordering coffee, and then the waiter asking if he wants coffee or tea. He just said that he wanted COFFEE.

The signer has the legal right to choose the Notary act, not the Notary. So, if someone chooses an Oath, then give them their Oath. Most signers are clueless and don’t know what to choose – in that case, offer them a choice.

Would you like an Oath or Affirmation?
Affirmation

Would you like cream or sugar in your affirmation?
Soy milk please.

See how easy that was.

What most people do, including in court these days is to say, “Do you solemnly swear or affirm that…..” This verbiage includes both acts in one, so you don’t have to offer a choice. However, if someone asks for an Oath, and then you say, “Swear or affirm” you are overriding their choice of an Oath, and still offering them a choice after they very clearly made their choice.

But, take this seriously, because if you goof, you could lose your commission.

SUMMARY
1. Give the signer a choice of notary acts if they haven’t chosen.
2. Don’t override their choice if they already chose.
3. Bring soy creamer just in case.

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January 22, 2021

Are you dual commissioned? Should you be?

Filed under: (5) State specific — admin @ 1:26 pm

Do you live near a state border? Not all states allow out of state notaries to become a notary in their state but some do. To the best of my knowledge here is a list of states that allow dual commissions, or at least where one of the pairs or multiples of states allows out of state notaries and where we list notaries with multiple commissions.

WA, OR,
WA, ID
ID, MT
MT, ND
KS, MO
NY, NJ
NJ, PA
NE, IA
TN, MS
FL, GA
GA, SC
RI, MA
DC, MD, VA
Possibly More…

Being dual commissioned might cost more. You will have to have two sets of stamps and perhaps journals. Two sets of bills. Two sets of many things.

123notary can list you in two states. However, there would be two listings, two sets of counties, and we hate it when people mix their list of counties between two states. But, two listings, means logging into two listings every 120 days, and perhaps double the business.

Additionally, being dual state is impressive. It means you are serious. Nobody fooling around will bother getting commissions in two or three states.

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October 13, 2019

Should the cost of your commission, phone, equipment factor into your prices?

Filed under: Notary Fees & Pricing — admin @ 11:27 pm

A handful of Notaries responded to an old article about doing some job with fax backs and eDocuments for $75. The question was, is it worth it? I also mentioned that in India people would cut off their left arm to have such an offer, but I got only sarcastic responses stating that they didn’t live in India.

Many Notaries wrote back that when calculating your fee, you should consider:

1. Cost of commission, licenses & memberships
2. Study time
3. Cell phone cost per month
4. Equipment costs
5. Advertising costs & the time spent generating business
6. Auto expenses
7. Printing expenses

The fact is that expenses from 1-5 are fixed expenses and have nothing to do with a particular job. Expenses 1-5, if too much, should influence your decision to stay in the business or leave altogether as those expenses do not go up or down based on whether or not you take a particular job.

The real cost is whether you could do something else with your time such as a more profitable job, billing clients, sleep, spending time on errands or with family. If $75 is your best offer, then take it whether it is “fair” or not. There is no fair in business — only relativity.

Additionally, if you lived in India, you would be working all day long for a few dollars and would not get to eat in restaurants hardly ever unless you had a swanky job. You would have bare bones conditions and people nagging you all day long. Don’t take for granted that you live in an affluent society because that can be taken away from you in the long run. Yes, sarcasm is good, but try to see what is going on in other countries and realize how good you have it compared to the 3rd world folks.

LINKS
You might also like:

Is $75 enough to print 2 sets of docs, notarize and do fax backs?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10369

$300 in 13 minutes — how Carmen cleans up in the Notary business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19284

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April 3, 2013

How many years is a notary commission good for?

How long does a notary commission last? How many years is my notary commission good for? How many years is my term of office as a notary public?

The answer is that it varies from state to state.

An Arizona notary commission is good for 4 years
A California notary commission is good for 4 years.
A Florida notary commission is good for 4 years
An Illinois notary commission is good for 4 years
A Pennsylvania notary commission is good for 4 years
A Texas notary commission is good for 4 years
A Washington state notary commission is good for 4 years

But, some states have an unusually short term of office for notaries like Delaware which is only a 2 year term of office.

Arkansas notaries are commissioned for 10 years.
Louisiana notaries are commissioned for life and have the hardest training program of any state.
Some states have a short term of office, while others have a longer one.
The majority of states have a four year term, but a few have a five, six, seven, or even longer term.

Our forum article below covers even more states and their lengths of notary terms of office.

You might also like:

How long is a notary term of office? (more states covered)
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3955

Random yet interesting notary facts — did you know?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2818

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

Notary Funeral – when the commission expired
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17076

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October 4, 2012

New Jersey Commissioner of Deeds – Information

New Jersey Commissioner of Deeds – Information and History

The title of Commissioner of Deeds was established in the 19th century because only a judge could acknowledge an out-of-state deed, and it was difficult to find a judge to acknowledge a deed for a property located outside of the state. At this time, property deeds could be acknowledged only by a notary belonging to a particular state, New Jersey, for example, and a deed for a property from another state could not be acknowledged by a notary from New Jersey. The office of Commissioner of Deeds might thus be seen as a higher rank than a notary.  When states came to accept the acts of notaries from other states, the office of Commissioner of Deeds was no longer needed.
 
In New Jersey, the person is sometimes called a Foreign Commissioner of Deeds because he could acknowledge even deeds to property outside of the U.S.  These days, the Department of State strongly suggests that Secretaries of State not appoint commissioners of deeds to perform acts in a foreign country until it is made clear, with the Department’s help, that the foreign government would not object. In other words, the office of Commissioner of Deeds is outmoded.  There is no evidence that the State of New Jersey is still appointing Commissioners of Deeds, and no information on how to apply for such a position; the neighboring State of New York is no longer appointing such Commissioners.

Please see our New Jersey Notary Public Search Results!

You might also like:

They claim they never signed the deed
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19479

Quit Claim Deed
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18905

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April 11, 2012

New Hampshire Commissioner of Deeds Information

New Hampshire Commissioner of Deeds Information

The State of New Hampshire, a congenial state, still appoints Commissioners of Deeds for a fee of $75 for a 5-year commission.  The application can be done online and is submitted to the Governor and Executive Council.  In 4-6 weeks, you will receive your appointment and will need to sign and take your oath before a judge, who will then sign your commission.  When your oath of office is returned and filed, you will be able to act as a Commissioner of Deeds.  In other words, you will have the right to:

It is recommended that you use an official seal, even though New Hampshire state law does not require it.   The Commisioner of Deeds may charge a fee of $10 for each witness, oath, or certifications, and may charge between $5 and $50 for depositions.  The general requirement is that you be a resident of the State of New Hampshire; no minimum age is given, but it is assumed to be at least 18, as for a notary.  The Secretary of State website information is clear and simple, and also includes an online handbook–at least for Notaries.

Please visit our New Hampshire Notary Public Search Results!

You might also like:

What is a Magistrate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1887

What is a Justice of the Peace?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=103

New Hampshire Notary eccentric rules
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=103

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January 21, 2011

How many years is a Notary commission good for?

How long does a notary commission last? How many years is my notary commission good for? How many years is my term of office as a notary public?

The answer is that it varies from state to state.

An Alabama Notary commission is good for 4 years

An Arizona notary commission is good for 4 years

Arkansas notaries are commissioned for 10 years.
A California notary commission is good for 4 years.

A Colorado Notary commission is good for 4 years
A Florida notary commission is good for 4 years
An Illinois notary commission is good for 4 years

Louisiana notaries are commissioned for life and have the hardest training program of any state.

A New Jersey Notary Commission is good for 5 years
A Pennsylvania notary commission is good for 4 years
A Texas notary commission is good for 4 years
A Washington state notary commission is good for 4 years

But, some states have an unusually short term of office for notaries like Delaware which is only a 2 year term of office.

Some states have a short term of office, while others have a longer one.
The majority of states have a four year term, but a few have a five, six, seven, or even longer term.

Our forum article below covers even more states and their lengths of notary terms of office.
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3955

Penalties for notary misconduct, fraud and failure of duty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

How much does a Notary cost in 2019?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21308

Notary Public general information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20075

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January 7, 2011

Notary Funeral — When the Commission Expired

Filed under: Andy Cowan — Tags: , — admin @ 12:03 pm

NOTARY FUNERAL – WHEN THE COMMISSION EXPIRED

We’re gathered here today to celebrate the life and times of a man who made the world a better place. Since he’s no longer here, I don’t have to swear to that. He first knew he wanted to make a mark on the world when he asked to witness others making marks on pieces of paper. Other kids learned the three Rs. Our friend who we miss so learned the three-kinda-looks-like-Rs-but-better-make-sure-they’re-legible-before-he-definitely-calls-them-Rs. He was accepted as a Navy Seal, but chose to join the Notary Seals. His most dangerous mission – asking for Edward Scissorhands’ signature. He switched from pre-med to pre-notary in college, because he wanted to witness legible handwriting instead of his own horrendous handwriting had he stayed a doctor.

He was a good man who never backdated. He met his dear wife on the notary dating site, affiant.com. His wife tried to get his death certificate notarized, not realizing you can’t notarize vital records. We don’t measure his life in years, but the number of commissions he held, ever since he was of legal age. He signed, sealed, and now he shall be delivered.

Instead of being cremated, he requested to be shredded.

In lieu of flowers, his family requests pens. He never had enough pens.

You might also like:

Notary Hell — Yeah, but it’s a dry heat
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13196

Witnessing intake forms for Notary heaven
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8832

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January 2, 2011

Commission Impossible…

COMMISSION IMPOSSIBLE

Your commission, should you choose to accept it, is for an impossible mission that few notaries’ businesses live to tell about… The ones not worth commissioning…

Look out! The signer isn’t present! Right behind you! That document is incomplete! Not a good sign – The signer is the notary’s spouse! Watch out! The signer can’t produce acceptable identification! If their driver’s license picture is Waldo of “Where’s Waldo” fame, beware! Whether you can spot him in a crowd, or not, Waldo doesn’t really exist! Danger! The notary has a financial interest in the transaction! In that case, your interest must be in finding a commission impossible!

Oh no! The document doesn’t have a prepared notary certificate! Prepare yourself for disaster or no commission, whichever comes first! Danger! The notary thinks the signer is being coerced to sign! Coerce yourself out of that situation! What’s that, you say? The notary suspects the transaction is fake or deceptive? That’s as conducive to landing a commission as landing a punch in a fake wrestling match!

Look out!! The signer can’t pay the notary’s fee? Commission impossible! The signer’s a minor? Commission impossible! The signer seems drunk? Face this sober fact – Commission impossible!!

Don’t let the signer intimidate you into notarizing when the law prohibits it! If you use good judgment, you’ll get the commission the right way. Oh, and since this is “Commission Impossible,” at the end you’ll also get the girl, even if you’re not Tom Cruise. If you’re a female notary, you’ll get the guy. Even if he’s not Tom Cruise!

You might also like:

Deceptive fax backs: the good old bait and switch tactic
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14040

Deceptive identities — companies that change their names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1090

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January 24, 2022

Notary Happy Days Goes to China!

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:29 pm

This was originally published many years ago.

Intro Joke:
A New Yorker was in the middle of downtown Shanghai with his wife and
kid. They walk into a restaurant where everybody in sight is Chinese
and nobody speaks a word of English.

The wife asks, “Where’s the bathroom?”
His kid asks, “Do you have egg rolls?”
And the guy asks, “Is the food authentic?”

I grew up watching Happy Days. I loved Richie, Potsie, Chachi, and
the gang. But, a Notary recently had to fly to Shanghai to do a
notarization for the Chinese version of Happy Days called “Yu-Kuai
Tian” which loosely translated means cheerful or happy day(s).

A Notary was called in to do a notarization for the staff of Yu-Kuai
Tian. He thought the notarization would be for a screenplay or a
writer’s contract. Boy, was he wrong.

NOTARY: Hi, I’m here for the notarization.

MANAGER: Solly no Yingrish! You wait!

ASSISTANT: Oh yes, we have been expecting you.

NOTARY: So, who am I signing for? One of the managers or the writers?

ASSISTANT: Oh, they didn’t tell you? You’re signing for the Chinese
Henry Winkler — “The Fong.” He’s late today because he was out last
night with one of his lady friends. One of his classier girlfiends who
doesn’t slurp when she eats her shark fin delight of three soup.

NOTARY: Sounds like an Ayy! One gal.

ASSISTANT: He’s out in back finishing repairing the transmission in a
rickshaw. He won’t be ready for you until 3pm. You can try one of our local restaurants.
They are quite good.

NOTARY: Yeah, that’s a good idea. I’ll try the one with the green
sign. I’ll just hope for the best.

ASSISTANT: But, before you go, please meet Mr. Yu and his guys. We
call them Yu’s guys!

NOTARY: Okay, how Yu’s guys doin’? This is how we talk in New York by the way.

(At the restaurant with the green sign. All of the staff are Chinese
and speak almost no English and all of the customers without exception
are Chinese as it is in downtown Shanghai.)

WAITER: Hello, I your waiter. My name Cha-Chee Wang.

NOTARY: You’re kidding. Cha-chee, like in Yu-Kuai Tian?

WAITER: Yes, I work there on my off day as wing man for The Fong. With my husband, Jo-Nee.
Jo-Nee love Cha-Chee.

NOTARY: I don’t care what I eat, but there is one thing that matters to me.

WAITER: You like dish called Potsie Sticker. It kind of dumpling.

NOTARY: Well, what I wanted to know is — is the food authentic?

WAITER: Yeah, food authentic all right. Half hour after you eat, you hungry to breathe
Oxygen. We in China after all. No Americanized food here. We don’t even know what that mean.
But, today long day. Potsie also work here. He having worst day in life. He so
out of it, it take him half hour to make “minute fried rice.”

NOTARY: Well maybe you should have Joannie come and help him.

WAITER: We try, but Joannie Chan busy. Anyway, one order of Potsie
Sticker coming up. By the way, last week was Chinese New Year – year
of the monkey, but sorry, we not serve monkey here. Try down street.
Delicacy — very expensive.

NOTARY: Thanks, but when I said authentic, maybe I had no idea what I
was getting myself into.

(30 minutes later)

NOTARY: Thanks for the great meal. Let me give you 40 ren-min-bi,
that should cover it. Back to the set.

THE FONG: Heyyyyyy!!!!! (with two sexy Chinese girls: one on each
side of him in cheerleader outfits.)

NOTARY: Wow, I get to meet the Chinese Fonzie in the flesh.

THE FONG: No, don’t touch the leather. Just got it restored at Wing’s
leather repair down street. And don’t touch the hair either.

NOTARY: Okay, I promise not to.

GIRLS: We promise not to either! hee-hee-hee…

THE FONG: Eyyyy!!!!! (puts two thumbs up.)

NOTARY: Good thing we’re not doing thumbprints.

THE FONG: If we did, you not need ink, plenty of grease already on
thumbs from mechanic work not to mention coconut oil on hair for good
look.

NOTARY: Okay, I’ll need to see some ID.

THE FONG: Okay, legal name Fong Xiao-Leng, similar to Bruce Lee’s
Chinese name. But, people call me The Fong!

NOTARY: In real life I am not allowed to notarize outside of the State
of New Jersey where I am legally commissioned as a Notary Public, but
since this is a fictional comedy blog, I will take some liberties and
illegally use my stamp here in Shanghai.

THE FONG: Okay, so where do The Fong sign?

NOTARY: Right here

(The Fong signs in the wrong place and Notary scolds him)

NOTARY: No not there. You signed in the wrong place!

THE FONG: Wait second. You say The Fong… w-w-w-w-wong? The Fong NEVER wong!!!

NOTARY: Yeah, you were supposed to sign right here, and you signed
down there where the signature of the Notary is supposed to be.

THE FONG: Nobody say The Fong w-w-w-w-w-rong…. Not even The Fong’s mother.

NOTARY: Just admit it… You were wrong.

THE FONG: I can’t say it. I was w-w-w-w-w-w-… I just can’t.

NOTARY: Try one more time. Never mind. We’ll sign this fresh duplicate
I brought. Be more careful this time.

THE FONG: Okay. (scribbles The Fong on document)

NOTARY: No, that’s wrong. Your legal name is Fong Xiao-Leng, not The
Fong. The Fong is your nickname. You can’t legally be notarized using
that name.

THE FONG: Hey, this is blog entry. I do what I want. But, you say I
w-w-w-w-wrong again? We take this outside! NOBODY say The Fong wrong.

(The Fong grabs the Notary and takes him outside behind the garage)

THE FONG: You want on chin? Hurt more — show less. Or on gut? Hurt
more, nobody see.

NOTARY: What are you talking about?

THE FONG: You say The Fong wrong. Nobody say The Fong wrong and live
to tell about it. I punch you hard. You choose place.

NOTARY: Go for the gut. My dumplings weren’t that good anyway. I
think I prefer Americanized Chinese food come to think of it. But, I
have one condition. You can only punch me if you admit that you were
wrong.

THE FONG: Deal… (punch)

NOTARY: Oh my God… What are you, a Shao-Lin monk? That really hurt.
Ouch. I’ll spend the rest of the day bent over. Now it’s your turn.
You have to keep your end of the bargain and admit that you were
wrong. Fair is fair.

THE FONG: Okay. I keep bargain. I was w-w-w-w-w-w-w….

NOTARY: Yes, this is a Deed for the sale of one of the rick-shaws you repaired.

THE FONG: Do you notarize auto-sale paperwork?

NOTARY: I notarize any documents about anything that starts with a key
and goes vroom vroom!

THE FONG: Eyyyy!!!! That sound like something The Fong would say.
Anyway… I was w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w.

NOTARY: You can do it. Good thing I ate lightly.

THE FONG: I was wr-r-r-r-r… It so hard. I was w-w-w-w…. WONG! I was wong!

GIRLS: I can’t believe he said it. The Fong was wrong!

NOTARY: Okay, now sign this 3rd copy I made as Fong Xiao-Leng and
we’ll be all done and I’ll take the next flight back to America.

.

You might also like:

You know you’re a Notary when…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16038

The Lonely Italian — parody in a notary context
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15842

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