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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
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Is $75 enough to print 2 sets of docs, notarize and do fax backs?
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$300 in 13 minutes — how Carmen cleans up in the Notary business
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February 21, 2019

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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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!

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They claim they never signed the deed
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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!

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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.

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Notary Hell — Yeah, but it’s a dry heat
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Witnessing intake forms for Notary heaven
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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!

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Deceptive fax backs: the good old bait and switch tactic
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Deceptive identities — companies that change their names
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October 3, 2019

Help!…getting a divorced but husband has my stamp!

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:19 pm

Got a call form a frantic notary that is in the mist of a seemingly nasty divorce. She has a question and it is obvious right away that she is clueless as to what her notary laws are. She states that she may be calling the wrong place but her husband has her seal. She also wants to know if she is still an active notary? I’m thinking; “Oh boy”. I told her first off lets address the fact that you should know that your seal an journali (if required or not to keep one) is to remain with YOU at ALL TIMES in a secure locked location and secondly, you should be fully aware whether your commission is active or not. I mean if she doesn’t know (besides the SOS who would know) And, I am sure they will think it odd of her to be asking. I can’t for the life of me understand why folks are so lax and nonchalant with their seals. The power of the seal is enormous. It can create havoc on peoples lives and cause many financial problems.

In my humble opinion, it seems to me that if you are going to take on such a responsibility being a notary public that you would try at the very least to learn everything you can about being a notary public for your state. There are what I call the ‘rules of engagement’ and one should do their best to know them. Once you become a notary public you are considered a government official and you need to know what you ‘can and cannot do’. There are rules to be followed and you should know them.

It really terrifies me that we have thousands of notaries throughout the county that have no clue of what they are doing. They just tell me that they want to make a quick buck, or its just a side hustle or I just what to do loans. There is way more to being a notary then making a fast buck, etc. There can be financial devastation to you and/or others if you don’t know what you are doing. If you mess up someones paperwork it will be on you. And if you leave your stamp just laying around ‘willy nilly and it is used for fraud god forbid that to, will be on you. So for her to leave her stamp with her soon to be ex-husband was IMO gross negligence and I told her so. I recommended that she contact her husband immediately and secure her seal and journal (if he had that as well).

Please folks read your handbooks and learn all you can. It’s WAY more to being a notary than making a fast buck or side money….

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September 28, 2019

For God’s sake take a notary class. (if you can find one)

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:15 pm

Got a call today from a new notary in Texas with a question. The first thing I ask her was how long she had been a notary. She is brand new-only a couple of months. I let her know (just like everyone else) that she needs to know her notary laws. She was not aware that this was of the utmost importance but then none of the new notaries do. They are foccused on loan signing. Never realizing that without basic knowledge of their notary laws they will fail and make countless errors. Definitely not a good way to start a business. So while we were talking, another notary called in. I ask her to hold and answered the call. Ironically, it just so happened to be another notary also from Texas that had a question on how to fill out a notary acknowledgment. She tells me that she pulled an acknowledgment off the internet and was perplexed as to how to fill it out.

I let her know, I just so happened to have another notary from Texas on the phone and it might be a teaching moment for the both of them and would she mind if I merged her into our conversation since they both were new ( I assumed this based on the question she was asking) and from Texas. She readily agreed and I merged the calls. I introduced them to one another and then asked the notary who had the acknowledgment question to to proceed with her question.

The notary had received an assignment to print a 3-4 page document, travel to the signer, have him sign, notarize and scan back to the attorney for a fee of 80.00. (decent fee btw.) She completed the assignment but for some reason (it is not clear why) she gave the notarized page to the signer. When she returned home from the job she realized her error and proceeded to find an acknowledgment certificate online and was trying to fill it out. I asked he how long she had been a notary and she stated that she had been a notary sine 1988. No disrespect to her but I find that to be a little disingenuous and very hard to believe considering the circumstances. To be a notary that long you would know what to do.

First off why she gave the notary acknowledgement to the client speaks volumes on its own. This is a rookie move; a person who has no clue as to what they are doing. Secondly, to not know how to fill out the notarial section is another rookie move. I told her that she should really consult her handbook as to what goes where. Hopefully, they address how to fill out a notarial certificate. I also let her know that she could take a picture of the acknowledgement and I would be more than happy to go through it with her. However, her best option would be to get off the phone with me and call the signer and go back and get the original acknowledgment certificate she had left with him. As of this writing, I have not heard back from her. Hopefully, for her sake, she got it all figured out.

The other notary remained silent until I let the other notary go. And she too now understood that she was also in the same position. She knows nothing about where to put what on a notarial certificate or just being a notary in general. I told her to also try and find a notary class and read her handbook cover to cover. Learn it-know it. If you are good notary you will be a great signing agent. After all the whole reason you would be called on to do closing/signings in the first place starts with you being a commissioned notary for your state. And guess what, they expect you to know your job. PERIOD. If you don’t know what you are doing you are just asking for trouble. So read and learn up like your life depended on it. Because guess what- it does.

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July 27, 2019

Texas suspends notary who handle Stormy’s hush money

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 2:11 am

Stormy Daniels signed a document regarding being paid $130,000 in hush money before the 2016 election. A Texas Notary named Erica Jackson notarized that non-disclosure agreement document concerning the money. But, the State of Texas terminated her Notary commission as a result. The Notary claims she did nothing wrong, yet got canned anyway?

However, the plot thickens. After I watched a video about what had happened, there was a stamp on the signature page, but no notarial certificate verbiage and no notary signature. The notary claimed that the Acknowledgment page which was the third page (that was no longer attached) that stated who was being notarized, etc., was omitted.

Additionally, there was an accusation that the Notary notarized without a signature of the Notary, but the Notary claims that she signed on other pages which were attached.

There was also journal record for the corresponding document, and the journal seemed to have been filled out correctly.

Jeremy’s Comments
If you are a Notary Public, it is quite likely that you could end up on the 6pm national news. So please take your job a little more seriously and get rid of this “I already know it all” attitude, as it is that attitude which prevents you from learning.

This Notary did several things wrong.
1. She stamped the signature page with her Notary seal but omitted Acknowledgment and/or Jurat certificate verbiage. She also omitted a Notary signature to accompany her notary seal which is illegal and she should be terminated if that was the case. It is hard to see what actually happened when you have an inconclusive video.

2. She attached a certificate that was to constitute page three, but that page three ended up missing. Your stamp can not be on page two when the certificate wording is on page three. Those legally have to be on the same page. If the stamp had been on page three where it was supposed to be, she wouldn’t be in a world of trouble.

3. I originally thought (because I prejudged the situation) that the Notary was in trouble because of her association with some dirty business. That was how her improper notarization was discovered, but not why she got in trouble. Interesting in any case.

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Penalties for Notary misconduct and fraud
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