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January 25, 2018

Should you use book wording for Oaths or improvise?

Most of our Notaries either don’t give Oaths or can’t give one without their cheat sheet. Some states have prescribed wording while others do not. The main thing when giving an Oath is to have them raise their right hand and swear to the truthfulness of a statement or a document.

If you don’t practice giving Oaths how will you know how to if you are put on the spot? You can experiment at home inventing Oath lyrics.

Do you solemnly swear you are a cyclops?
Do you swear you are crazy?
Do you swear that New York has bad traffic?

What I don’t understand is why it is so hard for Notaries to put together Jurat Oath verbiage from the top of their head. You need to say swear and refer to a document. Easy!

Another thing I don’t get is that I asked one guy to administer an Oath TO ME and he kept saying what he would tell THEM. I said, leave THEM out of it and just ask an Oath question to me so I can say I do, or I don’t. He kept telling me what he would tell them rather than following instructions and asking me an Oath question.

Oaths begin normally either with the phrase, “repeat after me,” or an Oath question. It is faster to ask an Oath question. Make it easy so they just say yes.

If your state has recommended wording, then memorize it. But, if you memorize an Oath without understanding the logic of what context it is used in, then it will not be very useful. You will probably use it at the wrong time.

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October 8, 2017

Airline meals verses Notary Oaths & Affirmations

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , , , — admin @ 3:06 am

Have you ever wondered what airline meals have in common with Notarial Oaths? More than you think. In the old days airlines would only have one choice. The choice would normally have meat, and a few sides. Those were the good old days when women stayed at home and men supported them, and children had fathers. But, we solved the problem of children having fathers (so old fashioned and unnecessary.) Now, we are all the more wiser and realize that children do just fine without a live-in father and don’t need school prayer either. What a waste of time. Additionally, we have stopped reproducing for the most part which is another way to solve our sociological problems.

On the other hand, a preacher from Tennessee on television says, “If God goes out, then the Devil comes in… Since we have stopped prayer in school, there has been an upsurge in drugs, teen pregnancy, violence, and the list goes on…” But, I digress.

Now, you can get the regular airline meal, vegetarian, vegan, gluton free, high fiber, and about ten other choices. Singapore air even has some good Asian delicacies (yes please!) But, let’s get to the point of this article. It does have a point, right?

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AIRLINE MEALS

Let’s say that on Trans-Notarial Airlines you have two choices of a meal.

(1) THE REGULAR MEAL: which has a chunk of certified angus beef, two veggie sides and an embossed oreo plus a can of Affiant Cola. And then, there is

(2) THE VEGETARIAN OPTION which gives you the broccoli with tofu, their signature salad, corn, chocolate cake and a drink.

The problem is that the Notaries who ran Trans-Notarial Airlines thought they knew everything about notary food law, but didn’t. What the Notaries did was to offer vegetarians the regular meal, but remove the meat. The Notaries did not know that there was a vegetarian meal since they had not been trained.

Similarly, Notaries are unaware that most states have an OATH and an AFFIRMATION. The affirmation was created or invented as not to offend those who did not want to mention God or swearing. But, what Notaries often do is to administer an Oath, but remove the required Oath verbiage of “swear” and “God” as to please the politically correct and religious zealots instead thereby bastardizing an Oath rather than administering an Affirmation. The other mistake Notaries make is to only do Affirmations when legally they might (are likely to) be required to offer a CHOICE of acts.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS

Offer your clients a choice of an Affirmation or an Oath in a Jurat execution or if they want a purely oral sworn statement. It is their choice, so you have no place choosing for them. It is the same as offering a choice of the regular meal or the veggie meal rather than giving the regular meal without the meat. Where’s the beef? My opinion is that if you leave God out, the devil comes in. So, when you administer a sworn statement to me, don’t forget the God part. Without him/her, we wouldn’t even exist! And for New York Notaries, I recommend not doing Affirmations with the cab drivers because cabbies prefer to swear!

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You might also like:

Notary Public 101 – Oaths, Affirmations, Jurats & Acknowledgments
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http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19660

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

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September 2, 2013

Notary Perjury and Oaths

Notary Perjury

What is Notary perjury? Is that when a notary lies under Oath or when an Affiant lies under Oath to a Notary Public or other state official? In real life there is no such thing as Notary perjury — there is only regular perjury. Don’t get caught lying under Oath — tell the truth!

Penalty of perjury
If you swear under Oath to a Notary Public, you have made a solemn Oath under the penalty of perjury. Lying under Oath is a Felony and Federal crime punishable by jail time of up to five years. The problem is that Notary Oaths are not always very clear. The Notary might have you swear to a document, but what are you actually swearing to? Are you swearing that the document is true, or that you will follow the terms in the document, or both?

What types of things do people lie about?
People might lie about what their legal name is. Sometimes people want to use an alias. Sometimes the name a person has on the Title of a property might not exactly match the name on their identification document which could cause a lot of confusion and legal issues. Another common lie that I might have been told for years (no evidence either way) is on the Occupancy Affidavit. Borrowers can get a discounted interest rate if they claim to live in the building (house) they are borrowing on. The Occupancy Affidavit makes that borrowers swear that they are residing in the property as their primary residence. But, it is common for borrowers to lie and be using the property as an investment property or second home — an example of “Notary perjury”.

People don’t always take the Oath seriously
My biggest objection to being a notary was that people didn’t take Oaths seriously. I sometimes had to ask people multiple times to raise their right hand all the way up — no, not two inches up — all the way up. Mumbling an inaudible “yes” just doesn’t cut it with me. I think that as a Notary Public, you should remind your Affiants of how serious and formal the Oath actually is. I would also tend to think that your Oath takers will be more likely to tell the truth if they are aware of how serious an Oath is and if they are aware of how they could be subject to penalties of perjury should they lie. I have never heard of anyone being punished for lying under Oath to a notary. I have only heard of people getting in trouble for fraud. But, keep people honest in any case! Being a Notary Public is a serious profession that protects the integrity of signatures and society!

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June 22, 2012

Notary Public Oath of Office Information

Notary Public Oath of Office Information 

Each state has a different procedure for becoming a notary.  But, it is common for states to require a newly commissioned notary public to purchase a bond and file it with the county recorder. When the notary comes to the recorder’s office to file their bond, it is also common for them to have to take an Oath of Office, and file their oath at the county recorder’s office as well.  California requires notaries to file two completed copies of their oath with the county recorder. Remember not to sign the Oath documentation until the clerk at the county clerk tells you to!
 
The Oath of Office
Generally, the Oath will be a piece of paper with a quick statement that you swear to. You will need to raise your right hand and swear or affirm under oath that you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and you will have to agree to the terms in the document.  You need to sign in the presence of the clerk, and then the clerk will affix their stamp to the Oath paperwork.
 
Verbiage for the Notary Oath of Office
Here is some sample wording from Michigan’s Department of State:
 
Do you solemnly swear that you will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State, and that you will discharge the duties of the office of Notary Public in and for said County to the best of your ability?

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March 17, 2012

Oath of two credible witnesses

Oath of two credible witnesses
 
We wrote another quick blog entry regarding WHEN you can use the oaths of two credible witnesses to identify a signer.  We also specified WHICH STATES you are allowed to use the oaths of two credible witnesses in.  Please refer to:
 
Credible witnesses from A to Z 
to learn which states allow the use of oaths from two credible witnesses to identify a signer.  If a notary public uses two credible witnesses, then the notary doesn’t need to know those credible witnesses, however, the credible witnesses should be able to tell the notary public the complete name of the signer(s).  Please keep in mind that you should not use credible witnesses unless the signer either has no identification, or unless it is too difficult to obtain that identification (generally because it at a different place far away). 
 
Please keep in mind that the notary public must administer an oath to the credible witnesses asking them to swear under oath as to the identity of the signer, and that the credible witnesses should sign the notary journal in the notes section as well.  The notary must also identify the credible witnesses by means of identification documents such as a drivers license, passport, etc.

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March 1, 2012

Sample Affidavits & Sample Oaths

Notaries have to perform Oaths as part of their job.  But, many have no idea how to do this. If you are notarizing an Affidavit, you generally use a Jurat form, and you need an accompanying Oath. It is an infraction of notary law to omit the Oath, so don’t forget!
 
How do you word an Oath? 

Let’s say, that you have an Affidavit about some business arrangement in front of you.  You watch the signer sign the document in front of you as is required.  Then, it is Oath time… 
 
Oaths generally begin with:
“Please raise your right hand!”
“Do you solemnly swear…”  You could begin with, “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”
 
But, what is the purpose of the Oath about the Affidavit?  You need to have the signer swear that they understand the document, agree to the document, and will abide by the terms of the document which is usually some sort of contract.
 
When I was doing this job, my standard Oath verbiage was:
“Please raise your right hand… Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this document are true and correct, that you agree to it, and will abide by the terms in this document?”
 
The answer that I accept is a clear, “I do”.  I never accept grunts, or uhs, or ahs. People don’t always take Oaths seriously, but I do, or should I say, “I do!”.
 
If you are notarizing five affidavits for an individual, do one separate Oath for each notarized document or signature.
 
Good luck!

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January 22, 2011

Definition of Oath

This article deals with Oaths in general as well as how Oaths are significant in the Notary Profession.

What is an Oath?
An Oath is a solemn and formal statement of fact or promise that is worded in a sacred or official way. An Oath is a formalized vow normally taken before others in a formal situation.

Types of Oaths
It is common for people to take an Oath or swear under Oath when becoming a public official which would be called being sworn into office. People also take Oaths when they get married or when they are sworn into court as a defendant, plaintiff, Attorney, witness or juror. People take an Oath of citizenship when becoming a citizen. Those in the medical profession take a hippocratic Oath. But, zookeepers do not need to take a rhinocratic Oath contrary to popular belief.

Hand Gestures
It is common in the United States for people to raise their right hand with their palm facing forward at the beginning of an Oath proceeding. Different parts of the world might have different hand gestures or no hand gestures.

Some People Refuse Oaths
Some Christians refuse to swear under Oath as they always tell the truth (or claim to.) They seem to not understand that the purpose of the Oath is not to prove to themselves that they are telling the truth, but to impress upon others that they are — while the others might not have the same opinion as to the integrity of the affiant. The Notary profession now allows for Affirmations instead of Oaths for those religious people who don’t believe in oaths.

Affirmations
An Affirmation is a formal statement that currently carries the same and identical weight and meaning as an Oath. A Notary Public can swear someone in using an Affirmation instead of an Oath merely by substituting verbiage. Instead of saying, “Do you solemnly swear that this document is true and correct?” you could say, “Do you solemnly affirm that this document is true and correct?”

Affiant
An affiant is the person who swears under Oath typically in a written statement called an Affidavit.

Affidavit
An Affidavit is a written document, often a legal document where the Affiant swears before a Notary Public as to the truthfulness of the document.

Jurat
A Jurat is an official Notary act where the affiant swears under Oath to the truthfulness of a written statement or document. Some Jurats have handwritten statements written by the signer who is also the affiant. Others are drafted up by an Attorney, government or professional agency.

Notarial Oath
Jurats are not the only Notary act that can have an Oath. Notaries use Oaths in many aspects of their work. Notaries take an Oath of Office to get sworn into duty when their commission begins. Notaries routinely swear in Credible Witnesses who are used to identify a signer who doesn’t have identification. Notaries swear in Subscribing Witnesses as well who witness people signing a document. There are also just plain Oaths that Notaries administer. The Oath might not be written or recorded. If Notary administers an Oath, they should indicate in their journal that they gave an Oath regarding a particular subject and have the Oath taker (affiant) sign the journal in that corresponding entry.

Acknowledgments with Oaths
Acknowledged signatures normally do not have Oaths, but they could have an accompanying Oath. Acknowledgments allow the signer to sign before they see the Notary Public. However, the Oath would have to be taken in the presence of a Notary Public.

Oaths in Mortgage Loan Signings
Mortgage loan signings normally contain several affidavits such as the Signature Affidavit which requires a sworn Oath. So, if you perform Loan Signings, be prepared to be an expert at the art of Oath giving.

Question
If Physicians take a Hippocratic Oath, what type of profession would take a Rhinocratic Oath?

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January 4, 2011

Doing Oaths? Use a multiple choice form to pick a deity!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:40 am

The politically correct movement has swept the nation. Even in places like Alabama, people are shying away from the mention of God and doing Affirmations instead of Oaths. The problem I have with this is that there are customs involving Oaths that make the Oath formal and solemn, and by doing away with these customs, in my opinion, you undermine the whole Oath experience.

A traditional Oath is done with the clause — so help you God at the end.

Nowadays you can pick your favorite diety in an Oath, or at least that is what many Notaries feel. The way I teach Oaths, you can only swear to God and nobody else. If you don’t like God or the mention of God, then try an Affirmation which has you affirm on your honor. The picking of divine entities bothers me because the Oath procedure becomes a free for all. It is like Gay marriage. Now a man can marry a man, woman, sheep, or even a lion in some states (just kidding.) Below are some examples of this convoluted change in Oath procedure.

NOTARY: I am going to administer an Oath to you. So, I will need you to pick a deity to swear to. For me to do the Oath verbiage correctly, please let me know your choice of deities in advance. For God press A, for Lord Krishna press B, for Muhammad C (although that would be forbidden in Islam to swear to anyone other than God), and for Shinto-Man press D.

SIGNER: I don’t really care.

NOTARY: Oh, I am just being sensitive. Do you have a preference?

SIGNER: I’ll pick Ganesh for $50.

NOTARY: I don’t think Ganesh is for sale, but here goes. Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this document are true and correct so help you Ganesh?

SIGNER: I do. I swear by his tusk. He’s an elephant so I assume he has a tusk, unless he was detuskified.

The ironies of these types of Oaths are that the Notaries put so much effort into avoiding offending the Affiant (a word most Notaries do not even know) that they fail to maintain the legality of the Oath by giving off-topic Oaths perhaps regarding whether or not you signed the document on your own free will, or if your name is really John Smith. The Oath must be to the truthfulness of the document as a primary focus. But Notary focus is on politically correct nonsense these days and not on the law. If there were a prison for Notaries who break the law, I would put them in a very politically prison where they are referred to as Notarial-Americans instead of Notaries.

Here is another example. The signer is being particular about his preferences.

SIGNER: I need an Oath.

NOTARY: Oh, would you like to have an Oath under God, or some other diety.

SIGNER: Is it possible to swear to Vishnu because I am a Vaishnav.

NOTARY: A what?

SIGNER: A Vaishnav is a type of Hindu that believes in Vishnu just like a Shivite prays to Shiva.

NOTARY: Who?

SIGNER: How can you administer an Oath to me for a God that you don’t even know the name of?

NOTARY: Okay… Do you solemnly Affirm under the supreme rule of Vaishoo…

SIGNER: Not only did you mispronounce the name of my God, but you don’t even know the names of the words in a real Oath. In an Oath you swear not affirm, and in an Affirmation you affirm, not swear. You can’t just mix-match the words any way you like. The minute the word swear is not there, it is no longer an Oath.

NOTARY: Yes, but they are legally the same.

SIGNER: Be that as it may, I have the right to choose the type of Notarization, and you re-chose a different act on your own initiative which is not legal. If you spent more time following the law and less time playing multiple choice with deities you might be a better Notary. You might even become a law abiding Notary!

NOTARY: You’re rude! But, we’ll do the Oath again. And the deity of the day is Jupiter. I want to do a Greek God today.

SIGNER: Doing Oaths is not like deciding what type of dressing to put on your mandarin salad. This is a legal process and there are rules. You might not know what the rules are, but there still are rules. I am reporting you to the Secretary of State. I am sick of this nonsense. You are commissioned to do notary work, yet you don’t even know how to do the simplest acts. Unbelievable. My Vishnu… Ooops, I used the lord’s name in vein.

NOTARY: Don’t worry, I won’t report you.

Jeremy’s advice
Unless you have read up on your state’s laws and know which Gods are admissible for an Oath, stick to God, the founder of the universe. And in an Affirmation have the Affiant affirm on their personal honor. That is how I teach it and it is simpler that way. You may not think anyone is checking up on your when you are doing Oaths — but, God is, so use his name if you do an Oath. And if someone doesn’t like mentioning God, do an Affirmation. And remember — if they are Unitarian, the last time God was mentioned was when the janitor hit is thumb with a hammer.

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You might also like:

Airline meals vs. Notary Oaths & Affirmations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

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http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

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

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

Share
>

June 14, 2024

Overcoming Fear of Technology for a Notary Business

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — Tom Wilkins @ 12:00 am

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, it’s not uncommon for professionals, including homeowners and business owners involved in notarial services, to feel overwhelmed by technological advancements. This fear can often hinder the growth and efficiency of a notary business. However, embracing technology can significantly enhance your operations, making your services more accessible and reliable. This article will explore practical strategies for a notary business to overcome the fear of technology for a notary business and harness its full potential.

Understanding the Root of Technology Fear

The first step to overcoming the fear of technology for a notary business is understanding its origin. Many notaries experience this fear due to unfamiliarity with digital tools or the misconception that technology may complicate their processes. By acknowledging that when appropriately utilized, technology simplifies tasks, reduces errors, and saves time perspectives, notaries can begin to shift their mindset and embrace digital enhancements in their professional operations.

Education and Training

Education and training are among the most effective strategies to overcome this fear. Engaging in workshops, online courses, and webinars about digital tools designed for notaries can demystify technology and boost confidence. Learning about electronic signatures, digital journals, and online appointment systems can transform how you manage your notary tasks.

Start Small

Begin by integrating small, manageable technological changes into your business practices. This might mean starting with a basic online scheduling system to organize appointments or using digital payment methods for your services. Small successes will build your confidence and encourage further exploration of technological solutions.

Leverage Peer Support

Connecting with other notaries who have successfully integrated technology into their operations can be incredibly beneficial. Peer groups, forums, and professional networks provide insights and firsthand accounts of how technology can enhance service delivery. Sharing experiences and tips can make the transition smoother and less intimidating.

Focus on the Benefits

Focus on the tangible benefits that technology brings to your notary business. For instance, digital records ensure better security and easier document retrieval than traditional paper files. Highlighting technology’s efficiency, accuracy, and security can motivate you to embrace digital tools.

Implement User-Friendly Technology

Choose technology that is user-friendly and well-supported. Many software companies offer robust product support and training, ensuring you feel comfortable and supported as you navigate new systems. User-friendly technology diminishes the fear associated with complex interfaces and steep learning curves.

Regular Updates and Maintenance

Maintaining the technology you adopt is crucial. Regular updates ensure that your systems are secure and function efficiently. Establishing a routine for updates and maintenance can alleviate fears of technology failures and data breaches, reinforcing the reliability of digital tools.

Embrace Technology Confidently

Though initially intimidating, embracing technology in your notary business can be streamlined with the strategies outlined. By acknowledging your fears, committing to ongoing education, taking incremental steps, and keeping the benefits in mind, you can overcome the fear of technology for a notary business and transition from apprehension to expertise. This gradual approach to overcoming technological fears will make technology a reliable partner in your practice and enhance your business’s efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Moreover, as you integrate these technological advancements, complement your knowledge with additional resources, such as understanding the precise notary oath wording, to ensure flawless execution of your notarial duties. The linked resource offers vital information that augments your technological enhancements, preparing you to offer your clients top-notch service. Embrace these changes and observe your notary business’s growth and improved efficiency.

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July 21, 2023

Top Hurdles: The Problems Notaries Encounter

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — Tom Wilkins @ 12:00 am

The notary industry is among the oldest yet most critical components of business transactions and legal documents. This job involves a lot of responsibility, complex details, and potential mistakes that may only be obvious once you have experience. We’ll look at some of the top issues affecting notaries everywhere and how they can prepare for these potential hurdles as best as possible, from knowing when to refuse to sign a document to understanding common frauds that you should watch out for a while on duty. The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with comprehensive information on how to become a successful notary and maintain your success.

Notarizing Documents When A Signer Isn’t Present

One of the primary concerns among notaries is the improper notarization of documents when the signer is absent, whether physically or through remote conferencing. Despite clear warnings against this practice, notaries may face pressure from clients or fall victim to social engineering tactics, such as bogus phone calls from the supposed signer.

When the signer isn’t present, the potential for fraud increases significantly. Ethical notaries must be prepared to decline requests for executing documents without all signers present, ensuring the integrity of the notarial process.

Insufficient Signer Identification

Confirming the identity of the signer is a critical step for notaries. State statutes typically require either personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence that the individual matches the description in the document. Government-issued identification, such as driver’s licenses, passports (foreign and domestic), military IDs, and permanent resident IDs, is commonly used to verify a signer’s identity.

To ensure compliance, notaries must familiarize themselves with the identification rules specific to their state and adopt reliable methods to confirm the identity of signers.

Incomplete Certificates and Oath/Affirmation Neglect

Completing a notarial certificate before signing and stamping it is a fundamental requirement. Neglecting to do so constitutes significant notary misconduct, potentially resulting in losing one’s commission or facing fines. Similarly, not administering an oath or affirmation during the notarization of a jurat is a common error to avoid.

To prevent such mistakes, notaries should review the essential elements of a notarial certificate, diligently learn the required verbal ceremonies for each act, and affix their seal only after completing the certification and ceremony accurately.

Challenges in an Expired Notary Environment

Navigating the notary business when one’s commission has expired can be daunting. It is essential to determine whether a traditional or electronic notary is required based on document specifications. For electronic notarization, notaries need to verify if their state permits remote online notarization (RON) and seek out providers that meet legal and security standards.

Notaries should schedule appointments with suitable RON providers to overcome these challenges, gather all necessary documents and valid identification, and be prepared to cover any applicable fees. Proactive planning ensures a seamless transition and avoids disruptions caused by the expiration of a notary commission.

Notarizing Documents After Commission Expiry

Remaining vigilant about commission expiration is crucial to avoid issues related to notarizing documents after expiration. Notaries must be aware of the consequences of acting as a notary public after their commission has expired, as fines and legal penalties vary by state.

Notaries should diligently monitor their commission’s expiration date to mitigate this risk and refrain from performing notarial acts beyond that point. Before scheduling customer appointments, thoroughly familiarizing oneself with state regulations and different notarial acts is essential.

Credible Witness Situations

Credible witnesses are pivotal in notarial services addressing one of the top issues affecting notaries. A credible witness becomes invaluable when confronted with a customer who needs more acceptable identification and is unfamiliar with the notary. This reliable third party is entrusted with the responsibility of testifying to the customer’s identity, helping to uphold the integrity of the notarial process.

Before proceeding with the notary act, notaries must notarize a verification on oath or affirmation signed by the credible witness. The witness confirms the customer’s identity and attests to their acquaintance.

Overcome Challenges, Excel As A Notary, And Leave Your Mark In The Field – Success Awaits You!

While these top issues affecting notaries may present challenges, they should encourage individuals to embrace their roles as public servants. By acknowledging these challenges and proactively preparing to overcome them, notaries can ensure the effective and reliable delivery of notarial services. Should additional problems arise or further assistance be needed, experienced notaries can provide guidance and support. Together, we can tackle these hurdles and uphold the integrity of the notary profession.

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