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September 12, 2011

Deceptive Identities – Companies that change their names

Companies that change their names
 
If you read the forums much, and you are advised to, you will have some idea of what is going on in the notarial world.  Signing agents are being low balled, not paid, strung along, and worse.  Some of the players or characters in this drama either change their company name, or transfer to another company, whose identity is unknown to the notaries as a group. This is very sneaky and deceptive, but the notaries are a fast group to catch on to scams and publish information on the forum.
 
Moving to a new company
From time to time, notaries will post about this phenominon.  An agent from a signing or title company of a particular name, will leave one company and start working for another company.  A notary, or more than one notary will find out, and post about it on the forum.  Believe me, if Jill at XYZ company didn’t pay you, then the fact she is working for a new outfit won’t make her pay you.  Of course Jill will give you the run around and say that it was out of her control, and that it was up to payroll or accounts payable.  How can you blame Jill for what was out of her hands?  My opinion, based on spiritual knowledge and common sense is that like and like attract.  If you are a screwball, you will be likely to work for screwballs. If you are honest, how long will you stick around with crooks once you figure out who they really are?  So, if the problem is in accounting, I think you are guilty by association.  What do you think? Additionally, how can I be sure that accounts payable calls the shots of who gets paid. In companies with ten or twenty people, it could be anyone. 
 
Changing company names
Sometimes companies will do business under one name, and then perplex everyone and pick a new name.  Nobody can figure out who they really are anymore. Notaries will tell endless stories on the forums, but there is always confusion, no matter who says what, or when.  I met someone by phone on the East coast who had a small signing outfit who wanted to change their name and enlarge their scope.  I told him to get a unique name, or keep the same name. Don’t fool around with names.  Names are how people know you and identify you.  If you pick the wrong name, you will be confused with crooks for the rest of your career and you will regret it.
 
Trading places?
Some companies have a similar name to other companies.  The only way to identify the company is by their town.  But, what happens when they move from Irvine to Simi Valley. Then, you completely lose track of who they are.  The confusion is unbearable.  You have to ask them if they “used to be” located in Irvine just to keep them straight.  With my luck, if I’m trying to figure out who a company is, I’ll see all of their various addresses, look them up on google, try to guess which years they were in which place, and then I will find out that they are out of business.
 
Similar names
How can you keep these companies straight?  I give up. It gets too confusing.
 
Notary Direct, & Notaries Direct
 
ASAP Processing, ASAP Settlement, ASAP Loan Docs, ASAP pro notary services & ASAP signing services,
 
Cal docs notary Vs. California notary and doc signers
 
California professional signing group, California signature service, California signing services
 
Central escrow & Central signing service
 
Doc Pro & Doc Pros
 
National Title & National titlenet
 
The bottom line
If a company has a confusing identity, just make sure you get their address.  The address proves who they are, unless they move around a lot.  I would be less inclined to trust a company that moved around too much.  Background check all companies on 123notary.com/S on your mobile phone and then you will know if they have a good track record.  A good history doesn’t guarantee you payment, but its ten times as safe as working for an unknown company!

Tweets:
(1) Some of the most infamous signing companies in the business changed their names. But, the notaries caught on!
(2) Some signing companies have almost an identical name to other ones. The only way to tell them apart is their address.

You might also like:

Business cards & registered business names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=36

Business licenses & company names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=742

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January 11, 2011

Names for Notaries to name their children

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: — admin @ 11:31 am

We think of Notary work as something that we just do. But, what if we encourage our children to become Notaries? It might help if they had a Notarial sounding name to do well in the industry. Here are my ideas.

Sealmore
Venuetta
Juratella
Stampella
Enenay
Affi-David — you can name his brother Affi-Goliath
Rescinda / Rescindo
Stamper
Affirma — sounds like a health product or hair care.
Embosston — sounds more like a city.
S. Crow
S.S. — comes next to the venue.
Oatha
HUD-son
Journal — keep it simple
Signarturo
Notario — just don’t use this name in Texas without a disclaimer.
Durresto
Witnessino
Ginnie Mae
Hague
Heloc
Lockworth
Manual(a)
Non-conformito
Paula Ursula Davenport — initials would be PUD.
Respa
Rider
Ferdinand Harry Armstrong — initials would be FHA.
A. Paul Steele

Feel free to leave your comments if you have any other ideas.

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You might also like:

Names for notary businesses with commentary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20765

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

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November 30, 2010

CW’s When ID and Docs Have Different Names

Credible Witness Discussions on the Forum

Here are some excerpts for discussions about credible witnesses on our forum. Please remember that many states require the signature of a credible witness in your journal and that roughly 90% of states allow credible witnesses to identify a signer. Its a great idea to also record the identification information on credible witnesses as well as getting a phone number recorded just in case. Don’t forget to administer your oath to the credible witnesses asking them to swear that the person in front of them is Jimmy Doe! These commentaries are taken from a forum post. Please feel free to scroll to the bottom and click on the link to see the original post.

Use of CW’s when ID and Document have different names

Larry Said:
It has been suggested that credible witnesses would be an appropriate method to establish the idenity of a signer when the docs had the name printed as James Doe, and they had to be signed that way, and the drivers license the borrower presented had the name Jimmy Doe. My take on this is that credible witnesses could NOT be used but that reasonable reliance on the drivers license photo, description and signature match would allow me to notarize the signature as James Doe. Am I wrong here? I’m in California.

Deborah Bond Said:
 I have had this exact situation previously. I was lucky. Docs as James, ID as JIMMY. I asked for additional id and was handed Passport, Social and birth certificate and was shocked to find Passport said Jimmy, Social James and Birth James…Hence I had plenty of info stating Jimmy was James.

I did not get copies of all this but called my contact LO and advised of name issue and that LEGALLY his name was JAMES but 1/2 ID said Jimmy and they wanted copy of the DL…which had the wrong name. Per the LO his ID Affidavit showed both names when we were done and on the copy of the drivers lic we had him state that is is known as Jimmy and had him sign as James…

Now if he had not the additional id’s I would have had to adjourn because in Massachusetts CW are not a viable option. CW needs to be known to both the NOTARY (highly unlikely) and the person being id’d. The chance of that is slim. I liken it to asking my neighbor Bob (who I know) to ID another neighbor Chris who I know but has no ID. Chance is unlikely that would EVER happen.

Joe Ewing Said:
You are correct Larry but Jimmy goes on the Acknowledgment. The AKA statement that the signer signs under oath would have him signing as Jimmy and James. Credible witnesses when told that they must swear under penalty of purgery (a felony) punishable by 2-4 years in prison that their neighbor goes by a nickname will generally refuse to cooperate and rightly so.

I have used credible identifying witnesses on many occasions. When the signer has an expired ID or no ID at all a credible witness is necessary to establish the current identity of the signer without satisfactory ID.

* Missuse of credible witnesses by Notary Signing Agents

The credible witness codes were NOT created to determine the correct spelling, the presence of a middle name, whether the signer is a junior or a nick name is the real name. When a signer has a current acceptable ID that shows a slightly different spelling of the signers name that is printed on a set of loan docs, it is not appropriate to call two neighbors into a notarization to swear (a felony) not to someones identity but that the signer is actually a junior or that Joe is actually Joseph. That act by the notary in itself is inapproriate.

You (NOTARY) are looking at a picture, a description and a signature. It is the Notarys duty to make a resonable determination as to the identity of the signer based on that current satisfactory ID presented to him. If the notary is unable to do that then the notary should resign his commission. 

Shannon Said:
Joe, I’m concerned that you seem to be indicating that there is somehow some discretion by the notary on whether to notarize. I prefer to rely on what is more black or white. The ID is going to be what the ID is….I would never feel comfortable with a name that is even partially different. Although I can’t quote exact statute, I seem to recall that credible witnesses are not to be used for “convenience of the signer” for example: If the signer left his ID across town…..       Any thoughts on this?

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You might also like:

Credible witnesses – the ins and the outs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19634

Credible witnesses – the process explained
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16695

Notary Public 101 – a comprehensive course about Notary work.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

Identification for being Notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

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January 16, 2022

Quiz: You know you’re a good Notary when you…

What type of Notary are you? A good one or a bad one? I’m not sure who created the questions for, “You know you’re a redneck if you…”
So, I’ll create my own version of this satirical banter, and come up with my own version for Notaries that will have some technical merit.

You know you’re a bad Notary when you…

(1) Do you fail to call the borrower to confirm the appointment that signing company set, and just show up?
If you don’t call and make sure that all parties involved (watch out for spousal signatures) will be there and on time, with a current ID with matching names — you might be in for some wasted time. If you don’t get the documents signed, you might not get paid. You might waste two hours for nothing because you don’t think you “need” to call the borrowers, or because you were asked not to. It is your appointment and your responsibility!

(2) Do you send loose certificates in the mail?
Lenders and Title companies are notorious for asking notaries to break the law and send loose certiifcates. In some states it is a Misdemeanor if you ask a Notary to do something illegal. Report all illegal requests to your State Notary Division immediately. No second chances!

(3) Do you fail to get certified by all agencies that you purchase “effective” advertising from? Or do you say, I don’t “need” your certification because I’m already “certified” without even disclosing the name of the organization who certified you? There is no such thing as just being “certified” as notary certification is not regulated by any government.

(4) Do you say, “I have my Notary” when you really mean you have your Notary Commission?

(5) Do you fail to use a Notary Journal or Seal simply because your state doesn’t require it? What happens if an investigator asks about a potentially fraudulent transaction you were involved in and you have no evidence for the court? The court case might be really long and you might get in really big trouble.

(6) Do you fail to keep thumbprints of signers in your journal because your state doesn’t require it?
Guess what? You might end up in court if you don’t take thumbprints, especially on transactions affecting high dollar figures such as properties.

(7) Do you fail to administer Oaths to credible witnesses or for Jurats because you are not well enough trained to know how, or even to know that you are required? Or, perhaps you don’t even know what a credible witness even is. Better look this up in your state Notary handbook.

You know you’re a good Notary when…

(1) The hair on your neck stand up straight when you see someone try to sign with a middle initial that doesn’t exist on their identification.

(2) You use an inked seal and an embosser with a raised non-inked seal to make it detectable if pages are swapped or photocopied.

(3) You take copious notes in your journal about the signers, what went on in the signing, and the building / neighborhood where the signing took place to job your memory should you ever be summoned into court.

(4) You sell your car, and buy a few top spots on 123notary.com!

There are many other technical points and best practices that we could address, but for this hopefully entertaining blog entry — that’s all folks!

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Honey, you can kiss my app!
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Notary aptitude test
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January 9, 2022

Which rules are laws, Lender practices, or best practices?

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Notary Rules or Industry Rules?

It is confusing with all the standards in the Notary business. When 123notary teaches Notary practices, we are not teaching laws, but solid practices. Many Notaries argue with us about our practices because they are not required by law. That is the whole point — we are not teaching law because we are not authorized to, and because we don’t know it. We do know solid notary practices, and teach it as you can get into trouble for not knowing your basics. However, notaries have many misconceptions about the rules of the industry. So, let me clarify.

1. You can always over sign — industry practice (not a law)
Is this a Notary law, industry practice, or what? This statement means that you can sign a document with a name that is longer than the name typed in the signature line. However, that does not make it legal to notarize that longer name unless you can prove the name with an ID. Pleasing the Lender is one aspect of being a Notary. Obeying the law is a much more important one. If you displease the Lender you get fired. If you get in trouble with the law you can end up in jail. Pick your poison.

2. The name on the ID has to match
Please keep in mind that there are four names we have to keep track of:
(a) The name on the ID
(b) The name typed on the signature section of the document.
(c) The name signed on the document
(d) The name on the acknowledgment.

In theory these names could all be different variations, but it is cleaner if they are identical. The critical points are that:

(e) The name on the Acknowledgment must be identical or matching but shorter than the name on the signature line of the document. If the signature on the document says John W Smith, you can put John Smith or John W Smith in the Acknowledgment to please the law, but the shorter name might not please the client.
(f) The name on the Acknowledgment must be provable based on the name on the ID, but does not have to be an exact match. The ID could say John W Smith and you can put John Smith in the Acknowledgment if you like.
(g) The name signed on the document can be identical or matching but longer than the name typed on the document to please most Lenders, but legally notarizing the longer signature or shorter signature is dependent on proving all of the components of their name with an ID.

3. The Lender is the boss of the Notary Public (true for signings, but not for the actual notary work)
The Lender is your boss as to the general assignment, and what happens with loan documents. They are NOT your boss about Notary issues and you should not ask them for Notary advice ever as they might have you do something illegal out of ignorance or greed. You ask your state’s notary division if you have a Notary question and perhaps the NNA hotline and that’s it. The Notary can ask the Lender their preference in how something is notarized if there is more than one legal way to do it, but you can not ask a Lender how to do your job. You are the appointed Notary, not them. If they want to do it their way, they should come over with their stamp and do it their way which hopefully is legal — but, it is their commission at stake if it is not legal. Don’t risk your commission depending on the Lender or Title for Notary advice.

4. The Notary is the boss of the Lender?
The Notary is a state appointed official who represents their state, although the state is not the entity that pays them. If there is a discussion between the Lender and the Notary as to how a Notary act is done, the Notary dictates how it should be done. If there are multiple legal ways to do something such as fixing a mistake by crossing out and initialing vs. attaching a loose certificate — then, the Notary can ask for the Lender’s preference, but not for advice. However, there are liability issues with doing cross outs and initialing. It looks like tampering and you don’t want to end up in court. So, once again, it is the Notary’s discretion as to how problems are solved when there are multiple methods to solve. You can ask the Lender what they like or you can dictate to the Lender what you are going to do. But, the Notary is the boss of Notary work. If they don’t like it, they can find another Notary. It is best if you explain the reasons why you want to do something a particular way. If your reason sounds prudent, there is a chance you might get some respect for your decision. Most Notaries don’t think issues out carefully and do not have well thought out reasons for anything they do. Read our course more and become reasonable! Your commission might depend on it.

5. Send me a loose certificate or jurat in the mail (illegal)
Acknowledgment or Jurat certificates must be stapled to the documents they are associated with. If there is one floating around, you cannot create another one until you destroy the original yourself. Some states do not allow creating new certificates for botched notarizations and require you to do the notarization all over again. Consult your notary handbook on this issue, especially in California where there are many new rules created in the last few years that I have heard about but not actually read to my satisfaction.

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The ID says John Smith
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19953

What is the cleanest way to rectify an error on a certificate?
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13 ways you might get sued as a Notary
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5 books every notary should own (and read)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3668

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December 31, 2021

The future of Notary work

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:03 am

The way the world looks, the way things are going, it looks very bleak, but not for notarizing those who are owing (borrowers).

I looked into my crystal ball, and it was revealed to me. And no, I didn’t get the cheap kind at crystal balls for less. I saw a world of chaos, turmoil, crime, strife. Perhaps inflation would go way up, and interest rates too. People would be dying in mass from the long term side effects of the vaccine that was supposed to keep us “safe”. Where is your safety now Fred said looking down at his demised wife Sylvia lying in her grave three years after taking one of the vaccines. Did the FDA approve it? Was it tested in the long run? No, because there was no time. We had to administer it to as many young and middle aged people as possible who had a one in ten thousand or less chance of dying from Covid, and that was to keep them “safe.” They were more in danger of dying from being struck by lightning or being molested by a variety of politicians in NY or NJ whose names we won’t mention. But, I digress.

Then, it seems that God is upset with the world and upset with America. He has retracted his blessings. But, what does that mean for the Notaries of America? Is that good or bad for us they ask? Here is my thought.

Between disasters, war, vaccine related deaths, and economic chaos, there will be more people buying and selling properties. Notaries these days do lots of “buyers” and “sellers.” Foreclosures often require a notary too. Refinancing tends to be higher when interest rates are low, but in this crazy reality we are entering, people might get refinances if interest rates go up in anticipation that they would go up much more.

I don’t know exactly what the future holds for us other than WW3, Armageddon, The Messiah, and hopefully a store near me that sells powdered Mexican style pequin pepper (goes great in stir fries). But, I see that Notary work will be busy probably for the next ten years or more.

I believe that the angels got me into this business partly because they knew it suited me. And partly because in 2000 when they got me into this, they saw the shutdowns and quarantines coming and wanted me to have a job I could do from home so I would be economically stable. Well, I am feeling very fortunate and grateful for the good graces of these higher beings who saved my rear that time and many other times.

My only advice to you Notaries out there is:
Get more reviews
Get a catchy business name and register it.
Become an expert at writing a compelling notes section
Stay close (or closer) to God, so when he destroys the planet he’ll consider saving you as an individual even if he sacks your community (no joke).
And try the Thai green curry on Wilshire — it’s really excellent; just the right amount of spice.

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October 26, 2021

The goal of 123notary

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 8:03 am

The goal of 123notary is to keep title companies who use us happy. 123notary gets more title and escrow searches than any other directory out there. I have to compete as an individual human with 100 million dollar companies. They only way I can do this is because we live in a talent market these days rather than a purely capitalistic system.

I focus on having the best notaries, filtering out free listings that don’t measure up, filtering up good listings that deserve higher placement, etc. All of this is to give the best search results for title.

I quiz people, help them with their notes, coach them on getting reviews, teach industry competency, and even help people choose business names from time to time.

The goal is not to have the most listings, but to have a critical mass of Notaries who are worth calling and who have very complete looking listings. And I feel I have achieved that goal, although it is a lot of work to maintain!

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July 8, 2021

Business name ideas for a Notary in Vegas

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 3:10 am

I had this client who has been with me for years. He dropped out and then reappeared out of nowhere kind of like an Ace of Spades that got buried in the deck only to reappear just when you need it. I looked at his profile. There were two business names in use — one on his email, and another on his site which he said was outdated. I told him that both of the names were average. Not terrible, but neither had a ring. So, I sat down with him (by phone) and looked at some ideas that had some pizazz. Here is what we came up with and my commentary.

Wild Card Notary Services
Wow — amazing, mysterious and powerful. Really catches your attention in a good way and has a very Vegas feel to it.

High Limits Signing Service
There is a sense of excitement, risk and danger in this name. I wonder if this name would attract clients with deep pockets.

Royal Flush Notary
This name has a very elegant and opulent ring to it. I bet James Bond would like it.

Deuces Wild Signing Service
This name has Vegas written all over it, but also has intrigue due to that word, “wild” which adds such an interesting dimension to the name.

Stardust Notary Service
Named after an antiquated casino.

Silver Mine Notary Service
Very historical Nevada type of a theme.

Silver State Notary Service
A synonym for Nevada once again and a little bit more classy than saying, “Nevada Notary Service.”

Jackpot Notary Service
Sounds like a winner to me

High Wager Notary Service
Sounds like a gamble

Blackjack Notary Service
Classy, and has an Old West flavor to it.

Buy In Notary Service
A classy gambling term integrated into a Notary name.

Casino Notary Service
Sounds great, but sounds like you do mostly smoke filled casinos and get tired of having buffet seven days a week.

Good Odds Notary Service
A fun name, and the customer will probably have good luck with that service too.

Anti-Up Notary Service
I bet Kenny Rogers would approve of this name.

SUMMARY
I liked all of these names. I don’t know if my customer will register any of these with his county, but I think the top name really has a wow factor and an appeal to it. It sounds like an older guy who’s done it all, seen it all, and been in all types of hair raising situations. And in reality, he was in a few scary situations.

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July 4, 2021

Kaizen – constant improvement applied to the Notary profession

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 3:09 am

Toyota uses this Japanese concept of Kaizen. That means that you are constantly trying to improve yourself and how you do things. I am always trying to improve myself too. This is how we attain mastery.

As Notaries, what happens is that the new people tend to be very motivated, pass a bunch of tests, get background screened, get a million in Errors and Omissions, and try hard to do well.

The problem is that once people are in the door, they tend to stop trying as hard. I think that constantly reading up and trying to master Notary principles, sharpening up your marketing techniques and passing new certifications is a good thing. If you want maximum market share, you have to make a list of things you can do that you are not already doing — or, a list of things that you could try to do better.

Always making your notes section better every two or three months is another critical thing to do. Always asking people who like you for reviews is essential as well.

The most critical thing that motivated Notaries do is to email me and ask for tips. I remember the last Notary in Texas who asked me for tips. She was ALREADY doing a bang up job as far as I am concerned. She had a good notes section, reviews, and was getting experience. She had a good personality as well. She needed to get certified by us and a few other agencies for best results to impress people. But, she had a boring business name. So, I told her that a business name that has a feel to it would help. I made some suggestions of names that will have a warm and fuzzy effect on people. We’ll see what she does with the tips. The main thing is that she asked for tips, and she is always trying to improve herself.

The other thing you could do to improve yourself is to learn Japanese and visit the original Toyota manufacturing plant in Japan — and one more thing — don’t forget to bow, very important.

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June 10, 2021

Comments on good journal entry procedure

Filed under: Journals — admin @ 3:09 am

I have written thorough information on journal keeping in other articles. But, here is a summary of some of the more critical points.

1. KEEP A JOURNAL – or else. Even if your state does not require you to keep a journal, it is your only evidence if investigated by the FBI or if summoned to appear before a Judge. This happens more than you think to Notaries so be prepared and keep records in a journal.

2. Don’t forget to enter the type of NOTARY ACT that you are performing in the journal. This is generally a Jurat, Acknowledgment, Oath or Affirmation. Copy Certification might be considered a Jurat in some states, but you could put both names to be thorough.

3. Obviously enter the ID INFORMATION in your journal unless you live in a state that forbids that. Otherwise you have no evidence that you looked at their ID. Make sure the photo looks like them and that the signature on the ID matches the one in the journal and the document. If you want to get cute, ask them their sign and see if it matches their birthday.

4. THUMBPRINTS are almost foolproof. ID’s can be faked, but all thumbprints in the planet are unique to a particular individual. To deter fraud and help the FBI catch very very bad people (and yes we have stories from 123notary members about exactly this.) then keep a thumbprint for all notarized documents in your journal. NNA sells a nice journal with room for thumbprints and you need an inkless thumbprint pad too which is not expensive.

5. DOCUMENT DATES
Most people don’t know what a document date is or what it means. It is an arbitrary date inscribed within the document which normally corresponds to the date the document was drafted or signed. It is yet another indication of which document you are dealing with, just in case you notarize two documents from the same signer with the same document name.

6. SIGNATURES
Signers must sign all journal entries that pertain to documents that they are being notarized on.

7. PRICES. The price you are charging the signers should be indicated in the journal. If you are charging a travel fee, or a flat fee for a mobile signing, indicate this somehow in your records, perhaps on the top entry of a particular signing.

8. ADDITIONAL NOTES? The NNA journal has a section for additional notes. If you have credible witnesses, they sign there. If you notice anything unusual about the signing, write it down as that could jog your memory when you are in court several years after the fact. It is hard to remember all of your signings and roughly 15% of our full-time Notaries who have been around for several years have been to court due to Notary related reasons.

9. STORAGE. Keep your used journals in a safe and dry place. You might get a query for an old journal entry and you need to be able to find them. Your Notary division might want your journals if you quit your commission or you expire, so keep them where you can find them where nobody will steal them.

That’s all for today!

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