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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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You might also like:

You know you’re a Notary Public when… (36 examples)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16038

Honey, you can kiss my app!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14902

Notary aptitude test
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15853

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July 10, 2021

The Notary Chip

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 3:13 am

This is not the type of chip you eat with salsa. It is a chip that you implant in your brain. It will automatically connect you with what we call, “Universal Notary Consciousness” and it is for your benefit, and for your safety. You will be required by law to have this chip implanted by a doctor, otherwise you would be too risky to have a Notary commission.

This chip will have several functions, all of which are critical to our industry.

1. It will track whether you really meant it when you swore to support and defend the constitution. If you meant it, that is a problem because the constitution defends liberty and was specifically crafted to fight tyranny. If you believe in the constitution or America, you are a potential trouble maker.

California Notary Oath of Office Verbiage
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? When are you required by law to do Oaths?

2. It will track if you are thinking for yourself, as it can read thoughts. If you are, it will shut your thoughts down.

3. If you need thinking help from UNC or Universal Notary Consciousness, it will help you. That way, if you are in a difficult notarization, that involves giving someone a vaccine, the consciousness will tell you how to handle differences in opinion and help you find the “correct” ideology to promote. The main thing is to assure the signer that the vaccine is good for them and will make them stronger and better. It will help them think in new ways, and make new friends. And it is for the benefit of society to keep others safe from them. And that they would be a risk to society if they didn’t take the vaccine.

You might be thinking, what does being a Notary have to do with vaccinating people? The masks, social distancing, shutdowns, endless rules, vaccines, and social control are all about the same thing — controlling you, demeaning you, and eventually reducing the world population.

But, it will be very hard for people to succeed in their agenda if even 1% of the population stands up for themselves. People are so passive these days. Boys are taught not to be toxic and given drugs if they are. This all leads to a population of sheep who never stand for anything and can be sterilized, put out of work, or murdered through covert means.

The sad news is that Notary chip is already in you. It is called lamestream media and it tells you how to think, and most of the words that come out of your month about meaningful issues are verbatum from fake news — or from Fox news which preaches the opposite. But, few of us have our own thoughts.

So, if you think this article is “scary”, the article is not what you should be afraid about. Go outside your house, looking around, and tell me what you see — tell me what you see is not scary. Not a single person is coughing, not a single person is sick, yet 90% of society thinks we are in a pandemic. Is that not brainwashing? The Notary chip is already in you. Wake up!

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May 1, 2021

Precautions as a notary are like wearing your seat belt

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 6:28 am

One out of seven seasoned Notaries I talked to has ended up in court at least once. Generally this happens because of something outside of the Notary’s control. Fraud, theft, or someone taking advantage of a confused elder are the main reasons for court cases.

Notaries who have never been to court think it will never happen to them. It is like car accidents. Bad ones do not happen much, but when they do, if you are not wearing a seatbelt and/or don’t have good airbags, you might be in big trouble. Just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it won’t happen tomorrow, or in twenty years. So, take precautions. Think of these as wearing a facemask if that makes it more relatable.

If a signer is senile, elderly, in a hospital or nursing home, make sure you can identify they correctly and that they can explain to you what they are signing. Don’t ask yes or no questions as they will say yes to anything and are probably on morphine and not all there. If they go over the document point by point, then they know what they are signing today. They might not remember a year from now though, and that is dangerous for you if it goes to court.

Your journal is your only evidence, so if you say, “My state doesn’t require a journal” you are a fool. The state might not require it, but a judge or investigator needs the journal as that is your only evidence of what actually happened.

PRECAUTIONS
1. Make sure the name on the ID proves the name on the document. Don’t use the “you can have more but not less” rule, because notaries always forget which document you can have more on – the ID or the document. So, remember my rule. “The name on the ID must prove the name on the document.” The ID name can be matching but longer, or matching and identical to prove the name.

2. Take a thumbprint unless your state forbids it. I personally might take a thumbprint anyway in Texas because the state forbids selling or distributing that information and not taking it — and that is your only hard evidence of the identity of the signer. Fake ID’s abound, but fake thumbprints do not.

3. In the “Additional Notes” section of your journal write down about the situation, the mental state of the signer, who else is there, and that the signer explained the document to you. This could save your rear if you go to court three years later because you will not remember what happened off the top of your head. Write down anything else noteworthy about the situation to job your memory when investigated.

4. Decline jobs that are too sketchy or if you are unsure that the signer knows what is going on.

5. Have the signer verify who the other people are with them if they are elderly. Sometimes they are not related and sometimes they are scamming the signer.

6. Make sure you know how to give Oaths correctly. You could lose your commission if a judge finds out otherwise.

SUMMARY
I was investigated 3 times, but had my paperwork and thumbprints in order. It took me minutes to query jobs done a year or so ago since I had a stack of journals all in chronological order. I always identified people correctly and took notes in my journal for credible witnesses and other pertinent facts. Be sure to do the same, or even more. If you do everything correctly, you still might end up in court, but it will be a shorter case as you have more compelling evidence as to what happened — especially the thumbprint which is your only hardcoded proof of identity.

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April 29, 2021

A Notary notarizes the My Pillow Guy

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 6:08 am

NOTARY: Hello Mike, how is everything?

MIKE: It’s been rough. People are cancelling me left and right because of my political beliefs. It’s like living in a communist country.

NOTARY: Well, I’m not going to cancel you. May I see some ID?

MIKE: Here you go.

NOTARY: Let’s see, you want to be notarized as Michael J Lindell, but your ID says only Michael Lindell. Sorry… I’m canceling you based on your ID, but not your political views.

MIKE: It has the J there. Time to see an eye doctor.

NOTARY: I just don’t like the way people cut you off, and without any type of landing pad. There was no cushion to your landing. And all because of your PILLOW-tical views.

MIKE: It’s because the pillow guy is “in bed” with the enemy, at least from their point of view. On the other hand, maybe the cancellers got up on the wrong side of the bed.

NOTARY: For them, every side of the bed is the wrong side.

MIKE: I’ll sign to that!

NOTARY: Well maybe you should resolve your issues with the left by having a pillow fight. By the way. I just love how you get all excited over something so mundane as a pillow. You get as excited about pillows as I get just thinking about my future trip to Japan where I will do sake tasting, see amazing parts of Tokyo with the most unique shopping on the planet, and see Buddhist temples in Kyoto.

MIKE: You’re right. I guess I’m a bit eccentric. But, that Egyptian cotton is something else.

NOTARY: I bet Amazon probably cut you off. They have become a bunch of Piranhas in the last few years which is an interesting insight. I guess their business name has a lot of metaphysical impact on their character.

MIKE: Hmm. Very interesting. I never thought of that. So, what does my business name make me — a big softy?

NOTARY: Actually, you kind of act like that… I think you are correct in your assertation. (pause) Please sign here. (pause) According to Judaism, your name is very important. The most famous story in the Torah is when Rachel’s son Benoni’s name was changed to Benjamin. From: son of my sorrows to: son of my right hand. Rachel had to change the boy’s name otherwise he would attract a negative and sorrowful future. But, you are named after an angel, so I guess you are on the right track. And I think angels like pillows.

MIKE: I should order some new wings from Amazon assuming I’m not banned from there. I should get a warranty on angelic wings too if I get some. Angel wings, not teriyaki wings — just wanted to clarify that.

NOTARY: Can you sign the journal? Uh-huh…. Okay. I’m going to stamp the document. You are good to go. Your new pillow contract is good now — REST ASSURED.

MIKE: Another pillow reference.

NOTARY: Have you ever thought of making coffins too? Dead people like to be comfortable too — I’ve heard.

MIKE: I would like to create a coffin for dead people who vote by mail who need to get in and out of that coffin and go to the post office. There’s a big market for those folks, at least as of 2020.

NOTARY: Good point.How about a briefcase with a very soft exterior, or a Notary journal with a very soft cover?

MIKE: Not much of a market for that, but sounds like a great idea. Well thanks for the Affidavit, do I need to swear to anything?

NOTARY: Your notarization was an Acknowledgment and doesn’t include an Oath. But, I am so good with Oaths, I can give them in my sleep… I swear it!

MIKE: Uh…. another pillow reference. I saw that one coming. Okay, it was fun. Let’s hope that this cancel culture ends soon.

NOTARY: And if it doesn’t, you can suffocate it with one of your products.

MIKE: Another one. That one I didn’t see coming!

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April 16, 2021

Trick questions — you already gave them a choice

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 8:00 am

I have a trick question in one of my email quizzes. In the question, the affiant requests an Oath for a document about whether he likes Starbucks or not. It is a sort of a nonsense Oath, but goes over some critical knowledge about Oaths as silly as it sounds.

The answers have to do with the first words the Notary should say when administering the Oath. Some of the answers include:

1. You should ask if the signer wants an Oath or Affirmation
2. Do you swear or affirm that…

These particular answers (and there are about seven total answers to this question to see who really knows their stuff and who is guessing or fudging.) reveal a lot. The signer already request an Oath, so you have already fulfilled your obligation to let the signer choose what type of notarization they want. So you don’t have to ask again what type of Notary act they want. If you answered 1 or 2, you are being redundant and those answers are therefore not good answers. You should then say,

“Do you solemnly swear that you love Starbucks?”

They should raise their right hand and say, “yes” or “I do.”

The purpose of this question is to see who thinks straight and who does not. People who have illogical thinking are not the best people to hire. On the other hand, I recently learned that people who ignore emails are even riskier to hire because they are negligent by definition!

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April 15, 2021

Notarizing at an insurrection!

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 6:36 am

Paul the Notary navigated his way around a huge crowd on his way up the steps to the Capitol. He had never seen so many MAGA hats in his life. He had been hired to notarize Mark who called from within the Capitol building for a last minute emergency signing.

NOTARY: Hello, I’m here. Who needed a Notary?

RANDOM PERSON: Buddy, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

NOTARY: It’s not like I’m committing a capitol offense… well actually, bad choice of words, perhaps I am. I am on restricted Federal property — but, I didn’t see a sign, so that makes it okay.

BUBBA: Are you the Notary? We’ve been waiting for you.

NOTARY: Yeah. Who am I notarizing? Is it Confederate Flag guy over there, the guy running around with zip ties, or the guy with the painted face and the horns. Oh, goodie, I hope it’s the guy with the horns.

BUBBA: No, it’s Ramsey over here. He’s been shot and needs a Power of Attorney to authorize his sister to take care of his property.

NOTARY: Ouch. Is he going to get arrested in the middle of the notarization?

RAMSEY: Here, I am weak, but I can sign that journal.

NOTARY: Sign it in blood. Oh, wrong time for that joke.

RAMSEY: It’s okay, I always wanted to die this way.

NOTARY: So, if you die, would you die fighting for your country, or against your country… I’m having trouble figuring out who is who over here.

RAMSEY: We’re fighting for what our country stands for.

NOTARY: And the opposition can’t STAND that, right?

RAMSEY: Another joke. Basically, they sit for justice, we stand for it.

NOTARY: And you can’t SIT injustice.

RAMSEY: Right now I’m lying, but I’m not telling any untruths.

BUBBA: He lies about everything, but only when he is dead tired. Now, I’m doing it.

NOTARY: So you lied beside a Notary, but not to a Notary. Good thing you are not under Oath. You’ll have to sit up for your Oath so you are not lying. Please raise your right gun… I mean your right hand.

RAMSEY: Okay… Uh oh, gunshots. (bang… bang)

BUBBA: Better put your hand down otherwise you might lose it.

ONLOOKER: He won’t be needing it… at least not the way he is going.

NOTARY: Was that friendly fire or un (bang…. bang.) I better get down too. Put your hand out horizontally. Or should I say, LAY your hand out. Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this document are true and correct.

RAMSEY: Yes, but this document is intended to get an Acknowledged signature which doesn’t require an Oath.

NOTARY: Hmmm. Maybe you should be a Notary in a future life. You are correct. Okay. Here is my stamp. You better give this document to your document custodian.

BUBBA: I know his sister so I’ll take care of it.

NOTARY: So, if I say I support the constitution and love the flag, does that make me a white supremicist?

ONLOOKER: Only if you mean it!

BUBBA: Which flag, the American or the Confederate flag? These days they are considered to have the same implications. I was asked to take the American flag off my textbook at school because it was too, “controversial.”

(Later that day on MSNBC)

REPORTER: A white supremacist sympathizer Notary arrived at the Capitol to notarize a man committing treason.

BUBBA: I thought we were protesting against treason — I should start my own news outlet. Why do they always twist facts.

REPORTER: But, the Notary was not wearing a MAGA hat or holding a flag. Looks like these supremacists are hiding under the radar these days. It’s hard to identify them without any distinguishing markings. They look just like regular people without the red hats and the flags.

NOTARY: I’m just doing my job. I am neither for these people or against them. I don’t even know what they were doing, what they thought they were doing, or what they planned (if they planned at all) to do. Do we have to distort every single fact that we talk about?

BUBBA: On their network that is an essential part of their business model.

NOTARY: Does anyone else need a Notary? I need to make a little more out of this trip to pay for my parking. I had to pay a mint for parking, walk over half a mile and risk my life to get here.

SALLY: Do you do Oaths?

NOTARY: Funny you should ask. Please raise your right hand, oh, and that will be $10 please, but hold the ten in your left hand. The other left hand… there you go…

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April 12, 2021

10 things you need to know as a Signing Agent

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 7:28 am

Most people are confused when they begin their career as a Notary signing agent. They don’t know what they need to learn or do, or how to get clients. Those in the business for many years have the opposite problem. They think they know everything while they know very little — at least when I test them. Here is what I think Notaries should learn and how to learn it.

1. Be a good Notary. What does that entail?
You need to know the rules for each notary act and how to fill out forms. You also need to know how to administer Oaths correctly and few Notaries do this well or take it seriously. You can lose your commission if a judge finds out you didn’t give an Oath on any particular Affidavit, Jurat or sworn statement that you notarized. It is easy to learn how to do this, but few make it their business to know their job. Read your state’s notary manual regularly. You can also read blogs from NNA, 123notary or other Notary agencies. But, your state notary division is gospel, and the agencies are sometimes wrong — so treat their information as commentary. Keeping a journal is also imperative, because when you are in court, and 15% of serious Notaries end up before a judge sooner or later, your journal is your only evidence. The more thoroughly you keep your journal, the happier the judge will be with you. If you identify someone incorrectly or carelessly you might be empowering an imposter to steal a house from someone or commit fraud. We teach all of these points on our blog on Notary Public 101.

Summary of point 1.
Understanding All applicable Notary Acts, Identification procedures, Journal procedure, and Oaths are the bedrock of being a good Notary.

2. Understand The Right to Cancel
Residential owner occupied Refinances typically have a Right to Rescind document. Understanding how to date this document properly is not rocket science, but experienced Notaries flake and goof and get the dates wrong when I test them on a regular basis. It is not rocket sciencem, and no, the NASA website doesn’t cover this, it is a matter of counting to three and not counting Sundays or Federal Holidays.

3. Understand FAQ’s about loan signing.
When is my first payment due?
Where is my rate, APR?
Do I have a prepayment penalty and where is it?
Where are my closing costs and fees itemized?
Do I have to send a check or other documents not included in the package?
How long can I read my borrower’s copies before rescinding
How do I cancel my loan?

Many Notaries feel that they need to be experts at all of the documents. As a general rule, you should know the difference between the Correction Agreement LPOA and a Compliance Agreement, although there are so many variations in these documents that they are all different and you have to read each one — but, being familiar and knowledgeable about these document variations pays off as this is a FAQ that people are concerned about. Most loan signing courses go over this information and you should memorize this as people at signings will ask about it.

4. Understanding Reverse Mortgages, TRID, Helocs, Purchases, etc.
LSS’s course seems to do the best job teaching these types of loans (or documents) that are new in popularity over the last few years. Most signing courses were written ten or twenty years ago when Reverse Mortgages either didn’t exist or were not a popular item. Since as a Notary, you are not allowed to explain the terms of a person’s loan, but only allowed to help signers find information within the loan, it is NOT critical to understand these loans or documents, but make you look good if you did. So consider point four to be a plus, but not a necessity.

5. Explain or don’t explain
In our various blog courses we go over point by point what a Notary should explain or not explain. The 30 point course discusses this in detail. This is critical because otherwise you might get yourself in trouble talking about what you have no business of talking about. Or you might talk about something you know nothing about. Or, you might not answer a question which you should know the answer and express the answer about. Boy, this is complicated.

6. How to find new clients
There are many ways. We write about this in the marketing section of our blog, but you might have to scroll.

7. How to background screen clients
Not all clients are pleasant or pay on time. Use the 123notary or Notary Rotary forum to see which companies are worth working for. Please be informed that in the last two years there has been a drastic decline in forum commentary on our forum and on NotaryRotary’s, although theirs is much more well trafficked than ours. There is less quantity of reliable information about the various signing companies. But, still do your research.

8. How to collect from clients
Some people don’t pay on time, so you have to know how to keep records, how to bill people, and how to threaten them the right way if they keep you waiting for payment. We go over this in our courses.

9. Where to learn about general information
You should read the various blogs out there. NNA and 123notary have interesting blogs where you can learn and source information from antiquated entries on particular topics.

10. How to handle tricky situations
In Notary Public 101 we go over many sticky situations and explain how to think about them and how to handle them. Understanding this content makes you a more confident, trustworthy and safe Notary! It’s like a vaccine made out of knowledge!

Further Reading
As a general rule, I recommend getting certified by various entities, not just one. I recommend Notary Public 101 and the 30 Point Course in our blog as well as reading our blog articles about marketing and notarial issues in particular. LSS offers a very practical course that is more sensitive to what is going on in the industry now. Notary2Pro seems to churn out the best trained Notaries of any certification. 123notary has the hardest certification test and passing it will prove yourself better than the other certifications.

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March 20, 2021

If you do well on our email quizzes, will you do well on clicks?

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 4:47 am

Number Crunching
Based on previous number crunching sessions, I learned that those who do well on our certification tests or email quizzes tend to do well in life and getting clicks, jobs, etc. Knowledge is power — and you must make sure never to misuse your power. Just kidding — you can misuse it. Just don’t do anything illegal.

20% More Clicks?
However! I decided to learn if any particular questions influence your fate more than other questions and I was blown away by what I found. I analyzed about 30 listings that had taken my email quiz. I learned that people who answered questions about how to ID a person correctly did a lot better on click results. Those who followed directions fared well too. Those who could give proper oaths got more clicks as well. With these questions, a single correctly answered question resulted in 20% more clicks — wow!

The Fedex Question
But, there was one question where you got more clicks by answering it wrong — what gives? It was my infamous drop the package question that most people to this day disagree with me about. Basically, if you almost finish a signing, but the signer refuses to sign a particular disclosure, you call your contact person, send texts, leave messages, etc., but don’t hear back from him, then what? How long do you wait to drop the package because of a single non-notary document that is sitting on the borrower’s table after you leave?

My Answer
My answer is that ideally you should wait 90 minutes from your initial message, and feel free to keep calling after that. Drop it, because if you don’t, you might forget to drop it, get sidetracked by another last minute job, get in an accident, or get caught up in something else. If you don’t drop it, chances are the docs will go back at least one day late and you will get in trouble. But, there is a one percent chance it will be two or more days late for a variety of reasons in which case you will be in big big trouble.

Most Notaries prefer to wait until right before pick up at Fedex and then drop the package or wait until they get a return call. If the Loan Officer is in the hospital, you might never get that return call, meanwhile the loan docs will be collecting dust in your car. These situations happen, although not that often

The irony is that those who answered this wrong according to my analysis, who held on to the documents got a lot more clicks as a result. But, why? I feel that these Notaries exhibited conscientiousness by waiting for instructions even though it was not in good judgement to do so. They exhibited caring and responsibility to do a wrong thing that seemed like a right thing. However, I feel that these Notaries did not think the situation through carefully and are more likely to get their clients in trouble in the long run.

It is my practice to elevate free listings higher on the list if they get high clicks, and then to lower their placement if they score poorly on my quizzes. It looks like this is the ideal question for those with high clicks who are a danger to the public who need their placement lowered.

My Question to Myself
My question to myself is — should I not ask questions that lower your clicks by answering them correctly, or ask more questions with the same attribute, or not care either way? After all, I am measuring the safety of the notary and not how popular they are by quizzing them so why should it matter? Hmm. A question to chew on.

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November 30, 2020

What do people like about being a mobile notary?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 5:59 am

There are many reasons why someone would become a mobile notary. There are also other reasons why a person might continue to be a mobile notary. Here are a few.

1. Work your own hours
Are you tired of the 9-5 hussle and hassle? Working your own hours is great. You can also do other gigs between notary jobs, or take other gigs when there normally aren’t any notary jobs. You can also work a part time or full time job and keep doing signings.

2. Drive
Some people were born to be on the road (again). If you love to drive, being a mobile notary will keep you busy. You can work on the road, eat on the road, and just remember not to sleep on the road as that might be dangerous.

3. Meet new people and then notarize them
It is like being in the armed forces. Go to foreign countries, meet new people and then kill them. Instead of killing them, you notarize them — it’s the next best thing — trust me. You will meet people from all walks of life. You will know every end of the spectrum of middle class (boring) as well. Just like a snobby British upper class lady once said, “A marriage made in middle-class — how pedantic.” And then the sarcastic New Yorker said, “She could have done worse.” So take your pick. You can also meet criminals, kidnappers, arsonists, frauds, strippers, porn actresses and more. But, for the most part you will meet very “pedestrian” middle-class Americans who are so boring that you should have a cup of Joe before the signing to ensure you don’t fall asleep. On the other hand if boring is your thing — you will meet the right demographic. On a brighter note, if you live near a fun town like Santa Monica or Hollywood, you might meet more fun people.

4. Deter fraud
It brings meaning to my life to be part of reducing the amount of fraud in this world. Fraud creates uncertainty and suffering and the angels would prefer that we keep our world clean and orderly and that is why I believe they chose me to run this directory as I try to keep things ship shape. Notaries who are thorough make it very hard for frauds to get away with anything. Using that raised seal embosser on every page of every document you notarize, checking ID’s carefully and thumb printing makes it hard to do anything suspicious.

5. Reading our blog
Some Notaries like being a notary just so they have a legitimate excuse to read our zany blog. Yes, the comedy articles on the blog make the whole nightmare of being a mobile notary all worth it in the end. Laugh your way to success.

6. Money
Believe it or not, some people make good money in this profession, or at least used to. And others make a good supplement to their income too. If you are efficient allocating your time, you can make good money at least on an hourly basis. You should see what Carmen rakes in for very quick jobs taking less than an hour from door to door.

7. Retirement
Being a mobile notary is a great way to spend your retirement. It is hard to work full-time as an elderly person, but as a notary you can work as much as you feel up to it.

8. A good job after you have been in Mortgage
If you were in Mortgage for years, being a mobile notary is a natural continuation as your knowledge will carry over to a particular extent as a notary.

9. Stamping
Some people find it theraputic to stamp things, and as a notary, that is what you do every day. It might make you feel official.

10. Reading up on legal aspects
Being a Notary means you have to read up on the legal aspect of being a Notary Public. You need to know all of the identification procedures and all of the various notary acts. There is a lot to know and many people enjoy learning the legal distinctions. And then there are others who are so afraid to commit UPL that they fail to learn Notary law themselves and end up committing crimes out of ignorance on a daily basis. You might like giving Oaths too — I swear! Hmmm.

So that concludes my little article on why you might like being a mobile notary. I hope that you all now see the positives in your career and don’t regret being in this profession.

You might also like:

Certain things you don’t learn from experience
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22572

Is prioritizing a skill a notary should have?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22291

13 ways to get sued as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19614

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November 13, 2020

Penalties for Notary misconduct, fraud, and failure of duty

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:23 am

Originally posted in 2018

Notaries by and large do not willfully engage in any type of illegal activity or illegal notarizations. The normal types of crimes Notaries commit are due to complete ignorance of Notary procedure, Oaths, and certificates. The only serious and purposeful crime I have ever heard of a Notary associated with us committing was one that assisted someone in fraud concerning real property — and the Notary ended up in jail. Please keep in mind that Notary law is different in every state and changes all the time as well. Penalties and fines for Notary misconduct are different in each state, California being the most stringent.

Negligent vs. Willful Misconduct

In California, the penalties are much more severe for Notaries who have engaged in willful misconduct rather than just making a careless mistake or omission.

Failure to keep your seal & journal under lock and key.
In California this is very serious and is a crime. You can keep your Notary equipment in a bag with a small lock that locks the zippers together. If you are the only one with access to your car, then the trunk of your car could work as well.

Unauthorized Practice of Law
The definition of UPL differs from state to state. However, offering opinions on legal matters or offering to draft legal documents might constitute UPL. For a professional opinion — ask an Attorney!

Asking a notary to do an improper notarization.
This is a misdemeanor in California. If it involves real property, then it is much more serious. Clients might ask you to notarize their signature using a different name variation that is not documented on their identification, or put a false date. This is illegal. They would guilty for asking you to do this, and you would be guilty if you give in to their pressure. If you have driven forty minutes to a signing job, in a sense you have a beneficial interest in notarizing their document unless you have gotten your travel fee up front when you walk in the door. So, to be prudent and avoid this issue, you MUST get your travel fee BEFORE you see the document, or are informed who the signers are, or see their ID, because a conflict of interest can easily happen. If someone asks you to do something illegal, you can threaten to report them to the Secretary of State’s office. This is a serious crime and you should treat it as such.

Issuing a false certificate
A notary who signs and seals false certificates, and this could include backdated certificates would be guilty of a misdemeanor. A false Acknowledgment certificate constitutes FORGERY. Additionally, the notary public could have their commission revoked if found guilty of this crime, with an additional fine of $1500 per incident in California (fines change over time so look this up in the statues).

Failure to Identify a Credible Witness
A fine of $10,000 per incident could occur if a notary fails to check a credible witness’s identification documents and see that they have acceptable identification.

Failure to get a thumbprint!!!
This is my favorite. Thumbprints are critical for identifying a signer if fraud is suspected. Powers of Attorney and Deeds require a journal thumbprint in California. A fine of up to $2500 per incident would be the penalty. Most other states do not require thumbprints, and Texas and Florida actually recommend against thumbprinting as those states do not trust Notaries with biometric data which is the only foolproof way to identify a signer. How ironic!

Failure to administer an Oath
A fine of $750 per incident could be incurred, not to mention revocation, or suspension of a notary commission, or refusal to grant a commission. I heard that some Notaries in Oklahoma had to go to court for a loan document signing in question. The Judge found out that the Notaries had not administered Oaths on the Affidavits in the loan package. I heard that the Judge overturned the loan and had the Notaries commissions permanently revoked by their state.

Felony Convictions
If you have a felony conviction or have been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude, you will most likely not be allowed to get a notary commission in the first place. If you already had a notary commission, it would be suspended or revoked the minute your state’s ntoary division finds out about it!

Professional Misconduct
This refers to dishonesty in your professional activities. The penalty would once again be suspension, revocation, or refusal to grant a notary commission.

Failure of Duty
This means that you refuse to serve a member of the public who has a legitimate request for a notarization. However, if the signer doesn’t have proper identification, or doesn’t have a properly filled out document, or seems very questionable, you have the right to refuse service to such a client. The penalty would be refusal to grant a notary commission, suspension, or revocation of a notary commission. Additionally a fine of $750 could be imposed on the California notary public.

Falsely Acting as a Notary
This is a misdemeanor. Borrowing someone’s Notary seal and doing Notary work is a serious crime. If you are a Notary, keep your seal and journal locked up.

Making false statements to a notary
Anyone who induces a notary to make an improper notarization with regards to real property can be found guilty of a FELONY. This is the most serious type of fraud possible in the notary profession.

False or misleading notary advertising
Making false statements in notary advertising is illegal, and the penalty for a California Notary is $1500 per incident. Additionally, such a notary’s commission could be suspended, revoked, terminated, or there could be a refusal to issue a commission. Claiming to be an immigration expert, or be able to give legal advice could be a serious example of false advertising and perhaps unauthorized practice of law.

Selling personal information
It is illegal for the notary sells or misuses personal information of those he/she has notarized. Remember to keep your journals locked up, so that nobody can have access to that information. When making copies of journal entries, make sure that the neighboring journal entries are covered, so that their information is not shared with the public. Once again, your application could be denied, or your commission could be revoked or suspended for this type of crime.

Misstatements on a notary application (Application misstatement)
Your notary commission could be suspended, revoked, or refused if you are guilty of this misconduct

Here are some other crimes… I will just list them here, but may or may not describe the penalties.

Failure to deliver a journal to the county clerk at the end of your commission. – misdemeanor
Failure to safeguard seal and journal – revoke/suspend/refuse
Failure to report a lost or damaged seal – $1500 fine
Nonpayment of judgement / Refusal to pay child support – refusal to issue a commission
Failure to keep a journal – such notaries will be prosecuted

There are a few others laws that I am not going to mention, but these were the interesting ones…

You might also like:

A Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because someone changed a name on a certificate

Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because fraud adds name to Acknowledgment certificate.

All you need to know about notary work

All you need to know about notary work

How to complain about a notary public

How to complain about a notary public

Notary Fines and Penalties

Notary Fines & Notary Penalties (gulp)

Fraud and Forgery in the Notary Profession

Fraud & Forgery related to the notary profession

Notary Public General Information

Notary Public Information

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