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January 5, 2019

A forged Notary seal ends someone up with a prison sentence

Jeremy Belmont
8:06 PM (0 minutes ago)
to me
A man from Glendale, CA earned himself a ten year prison sentence by forging a Notary seal in an attempted to conduct a 5.4 million dollar Mortgage fraud scheme. There were two co-conspirators who each served sentences themselves. One was for 6.5 years and the other for 4. years.

The fact that the criminal had altered an “authentication feature,” made the sentencing longer according to federal guidelines. The criminal used falsified documents using his false seal to fool county recorders.

Crimes like this involving Notaries engaging in fraud relating to real property (such as houses, etc.) are the worst crimes that a Notary can commit and normally end up in jail time. There are other things Notaries typically do wrong like falsifying dates on certificates which can also get you in a lot of trouble. Notaries typically do not administer Oaths correctly, or at all which can result in your commission being revoked. As a Notary, you really need to consider the fact that if you fool around with your commission, it can be taken away from you.

There was another case where a Sacramento Notary was involved in a 19 million dollar fraud scheme by impersonating NNA’s 2007 Notary of the Year. The perpetrator fled to Lebanon and was arrested upon re-entering the United States. Sampson, the Notary whose name was fraudulently used protected herself by showing her journal to prove that she had not performed those notarizations.

Let this be a lesson to those who say, and often in a whiny voice, “My state doesn’t require journals.” Without that journal, you could be accused of conspiracy in a 19 million dollar fraud scheme or identity fraud, or worse…

You might also like:

See our string of posts about Notary fraud
http://blog.123notary.com/?s=notary+fraud

California man pleads guilty in stolen Notary ID case.
https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2012/01/california-guilty-notary-id-case

What is the burden of proof for Notary fraud?
https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/what-is-a-burden-of-proof-for-a-notary-fraud-in-ca-2629309.html

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What is the penalty for notary fraud?
Notary Fraud California
Notary Fraud New York
Notary Fraud Florida
Can a Notary be sued for fraud?
Fraudulent Notarization Pennsylvania
Fraudulent Notarization California
Fraudulent Notarization New York
What is the legal charge for witness and notary for fraudulent signatures
What is the punishment for an attorney notarizing a fraudulent document?
What to do about a fraudulent notary signature

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January 2, 2019

Fake Notary Seals

It is illegal to use a fake Notary seal, forged notary seal or fraudulent notary seal. It is also illegal to borrower someone else’s notary seal whether you use it or not. But, how can you tell a Notary seal is fake?

A real Notary Seal should display the name of the notary, county where they are commissioned, serial number and a commission expiration date. the stamp or seal should also have some sort of a border. There are various types of designs for borders such as serrated, milled, etc.

How do you know if a notary seal is fake? If the fraud is not very professional, their seal might be lacking some of the required information or might be made in a sloppy manner. However, it is quite possible a fraud could have gone to a professional stamp manufacturer and gotten a seal created, perhaps overseas where U.S. laws cannot be enforced. You might not know if a seal is fake. But, the bigger danger is that a person imposters you that you never see, and goes to a notary who you never meets and they try to forge a deed to your house. If they do, they will probably get caught and do some serious time in the big house. So, don’t lose sleep over this.

Notary Seal information from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8337

Fraud and forgery in the notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2294

Forged Notary seals earn longer prison sentence
https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2014/06/forged-notary-seals-longer-prison-sentence

What you need to know about notary fraud
https://www.farahlegal.com/news/need-know-notary-fraud/

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September 25, 2018

The glass Notary seal-ing.

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 11:36 am

Women in the Notary industry have been complaining about the glass Notary seal-ing. They feel they can never get ahead in this industry. The high paying title companies won’t hire them enough and they get too much low-balling work from $50 signing companies who require fax backs. What can they do?

One Notary made a statement by purchasing a glass, see through Notary seal to protest this glass ceiling. Another took to the streets and picketed the Secretary of State Notary Division’s office. A third rebelled by passing the 123notary Elite Test and got elite certified. That last Notary started getting a lot more work.

The secret here is to become a master of your skill set instead of letting the industry drag you around like a prisoner handcuffed to the back of a train. Study more and be the best Notary you can. And one more thought. Instead of complaining about a glass ceiling, have some glass noodles at a local Chinese spot.

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June 9, 2018

My stolen Identity and the fraudulent notary seal…

Filed under: Carmen Towles — Tags: — admin @ 8:03 am

A couple of months back I received a call from a very nice man in Florida who was calling me to verify a notarization that I had completed. Someone was trying to obtain a business loan for a VERY large sum of money and he wanted to verify my notarization as part of the vetting process. He said he had checked the online listings of current notary publics with the California Secretary of State and could not find me. I thought how odd. I am also starting to worry. I asked him for the customers information, such as date of the notarization, name and type of notarization. He gave me the information and none of it sounded familiar to me. It was a notarization that had supposedly been done only a couple of days prior to his call. I went and retrieved my journal and looked through all my entries for the date and name that he had given me and there no such entry for his client. I am thinking, my worst nightmare had finally came true. I am officially the victim of notary fraud and identity theft. The gentlemen went on to tell me that the notarization had looked suspicious (thus the reason for his call) and I asked him, “How so?”.

For starters, he tells me, that the seal was round and not rectangular. it was also an ‘electronic seal’ and had an electronic signature (a cursive font). With some relief, I told him that here in California we don’t use ‘electronic signatures’. We have to always wet sign (meaning wet ink, pen to paper). And I let him know for the record, I don’t have or use a electronic seal. So now at this point, it is time for me to see this notarization. I asked him, if he wouldn’t mind sending over a copy. He was happy to do so.He scanned the document and sent it right over and all I can say was that I was stunned. It was exactly how he had described it. However, after closer inspection, I saw that my name on the seal was crooked and they had spelled my last name incorrectly and the commission number was not mine. However, to be sure, I checked through all my previous commissions-no match, thankfully, not even close. So, I am going to assume that they just made up a number. Also, the name they used is not the name that I use on my commission. So I am pretty sure that I had been chosen at random and that no-one that actually had used my notarial services had tried to commit fraud at my expense. Needless to say, the loan was denied.

I thanked the gentlemen for calling and thanked him for his due diilgence. I was so pleased he had taken the time and picked up the phone to make sure that this notarization was authentic. Which brings me to this-I believe that EVERY notarization that is done (especially those that move property and/or money, think POA’s, and the like) from one hand to another should be verbally checked for it authenticity. This would protect the public as well as the notaries. With the rise of fraud and stolen identities, it only makes sense.

In the end, I let the proper authorities know. I am sure it wasn’t the first time and certainly wont be the last.

And as a side note: All these companies trying to push ‘electronic notarizations’ are out of their minds! This will be fraudsters dream come true!

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You might also like:

Compilation of posts about Notary fraud
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21527

Be at your best at all times
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21025

Attorneys bullying Notaries — when does it end?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19383

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April 27, 2018

Miami Vice — a shipment of illegal notary seals

Filed under: Best Humorous Posts,Sit-Coms — admin @ 10:37 am

CHIEF: Sonny, you need to take care of this. There’s a shipment of illegal Notary seals coming in, but we have no intel on it. Can you handle it?

SONNY: I’m on it. But, I don’t have any reliable sources.

RICO: We’ll use any sources we can get. But, we do have something. Remember Nuggie?

SONNY: Oh God, him again? I’m on it.

(Rico and Sonny travel downtown)

RICO: Let’s get a Cuban cafe first and then find out guy.

SONNY: Deal. I just hope our Ferrari is safe. We’ll keep it in eye distance. Besides it has an alarm.

RICO: Dos cafes cubanos por favor. Y rapido tambien. (Two Cuban coffes, and make it fast!)

(gunshots ring out)

SONNY: Get down….. (pause) I think our plan has a hole in it. Make that a coffee cup with a hole in it. I’ll call it in. (ring ring) Hey, there were gun shots on Sunset BLVD. We have no idea what it was about, but the car sped off and they’re gone now.

GINA: Okay. You can finish your coffee now.

SONNY: How did you know we were having coffee?

GINA: Oh, just a hunch. Call it women’s intuition.

NUGGIE: Hey man, how are my boys doing. The Nug-man has arrived, and arrived in style. Check out my new shades. My new wife bought me these. Ha ha!!! Don’t keep me long because the Nuggie has to Boogie, you dig?

SONNY: We dig. Listen. Do you know anything about a shipment of illegal Notary seals coming into Miami harbor on a freighter in the next few days.

NUGGIE: That all depends on who and how much is asking.

SONNY: Rico, do you have a hundred?

RICO: Here’s two Ben Franklins. This one’s important.

NUGGIE: Oh, allright. Benjamin is doing the asking in repetition. All I know if that a guy named Sanchez is moving some heavy cargo from the Dominican Republic. Word on the street is that they have a seal forging plant over there and the action is hot and humid. You dig?

RICO: Do you know anything about where and when? Or a last name?

NUGGIE: He’s in his late 40’s, Cuban and has a mustache last time I checked. His organization prefers to use fishing boats, but they switch things up quite a bit to keep the authorities guessing.

RICO: Thanks Nuggie, you’ve been a huge help.

SONNY: (ring ring) Gina, do you have any intel on a guy named Sanchez who smuggles using fishing boats.

GINA: Last I heard, he was smuggling fishing boats. What a great cover.

SONNY: Very funny. Do you have anything.

GINA: We have a profile on the guy I think you are talking about. We have names, addresses, and rap sheets.

SONNY: Great, we’ll get the bug van and see if we can pick up some knowledge tapping some phones.

(3 hours later)

VAN GUY: We got the van set up. Sanchez’s crew are in the address we are in front of. They are talking about all types of things. But, they have only mentioned stampers once. I guess by that they mean Notary Seal.

SONNY: Anything about a time or place?

VAN GUY: Nothing yet.

(six hours later)

VAN GUY: (ring ring) We got a time. Noon tomorrow, there’s going to be a transfer from one fishing boat to several inflatable motor boats. Real little ones. They will be carrying the merchandise underwater in bags. if there is any trouble, the seals will sink to the bottom and there will be no evidence unless you have frog guys.

RICO: I know how to dive. I’ll handle this.

VAN GUY: They put a big rock in the bag, so we will have to bring a decompression suit just in case you dive too deep.

TRUDY: Don’t we need a Navy Seal for this, instead of a Notary Seal. It sounds too dangerous for Rico. And where will he hang his suit when he’s diving?

RICO: I’m not worried about that because my wet suit comes with a wet tie, and matching spear gun just in case I need it.

GINA: Hey Sonny, remember that shooting when you were having Cuban coffee? I just found out that was not just a random shooting. That was a competitor of the guy you are chasing named Rubio. They have their own channels for selling fake Notary seals, and are moving in on the supplier.

SONNY: Change of plans guys. We are going to set up a rendevous between Rubio and Sanchez. Either they kill each other, or we can arrest all of them all in one meet. Rico, you pretend to be one of Rubio’s guys and set up the meet. In the ocean. The dress code is wet suits.

RICO: I’m on it.

(nine hours later — at the meet in the ocean. Rubio’s guys try to hijack the merchandise. There is a shoot out. Half of Rubio’s guys are killed and retreat at high speed far away. Sanchez’s guys do not follow. After Rubio’s guys move out, Miami Vice moves in.)

RICO: Freeze, Miami Vice.

(Sanchez’s guys drop the Notary seals into the water. Rico jumps into the water with his spear gun)

VICTOR: Bubble bubble bubble

RICO: You don’t really bubble bubble mean that bubble.

(A secret deal was going on under water. There were five guys in wet suits with underwater guns. But, the Notary seals they were selling were underwater notary seals used by Jacque Cousteau.)

RICO: I’m going to need bubble up, I mean back bubble up. There are fbub-bub-bub-ive of them and only one of me.

SONNY: Damn it. I never thought of that. Ugh!!!!

RICO: But, I brought an underwater charge. I come prepared for this kind of thing mon.

(boom… meanwhile Sanchez’s guys bubble to the surface all disoriented after the underwater blast. Miami Vice has them at gun point. Sanchez puts a gun to his own head because he doesn’t want to go back to jail.

SONNY: Don’t do it. Just put the gun down.

SANCHEZ: I am never going back to jail again. I have had enough. (bang)

SONNY: No!!!!!!!!

After that, the seals were returned to the Florida Notary commission who did not want the seals because they said, “State of Florida, County of Underwater.”

(meanwhile back on Sonny’s boat)

RICO: That was quite a bust. I’ve never seen anything like it. Not in New York, not here. What’s up with your alligator, he is trying to eat his chain.

SONNY: I call it a classic case of “areptile disfunction.”

RICO: Ha ha ha ha ha. Good one.

.

You might also like:

A Notary travels from Florida to India
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19636

Psych Notary Episode. Did the body die of food poisoning or was he murdered?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19397

Notaries in cars getting coffee
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18945

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March 30, 2018

A dream about a Notary seal and a journal sandwich

Filed under: General Stories — Tags: — admin @ 10:11 am

I had a dream that I was in a Japanese restaurant and that I ordered a journal sandwich.

It was an Official journal of notarial acts. The cover was made of a cookie and the pages were made of rice paper. I asked the waitress why there were no thumbprints in my journal. The answer was, “Sorry, no Engrish!”

Oh well. My journal was a mini-journal that came with green tea ice cream. Next time I’ll get the mochi.

I had another dream.

This time there was a Notary seal sitting on the table. It was spitting out black noodles which became an octopus which ate an Affidavit. After that it raised it’s right tentacle and swore it was delicious. Then I work up and found myself naked at Macy’s looking at a stuffed octopus.

I actually got sick eating an octopus. My psychic said that it descended into the sand at the bottom when it was being caught and played dead. The same thing happened to me when I ate it. I wanted to crouch on the ground and die. I was having trouble breathing. I got some fresh air and felt better the next day. Bizarre. I guess my health could be improved.

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June 24, 2016

The Steve Jobs Notary Smart-Seal

If Steve Jobs created a hi-tech Notary Seal, what would it be like?
I can imagine several scenarios. There could be a seal that looks like a regular Notary seal, but with a touch screen. The seal could tell you when your last ink fill up was and when the next time you will need to fill the ink would be. Or the seal could affix itself to make sure the seal’s impression was perfect every time. The real genious of Steve Jobs is that he made his inventions easy to use, cool, and personalized. His creations became an inseperable part of our lives. If only his spirit could guide some living people on creating that ideal Notary seal…

Additionally, the seal could have a smart feature that could sort through your emails and identify any emails pertaining to recent or current jobs, and even interface with your GPS to make sure that you get to your next job on time.

But, what about a more futuristic Notary Seal?
In my blog about UFO Notarizations, their notarizations were done with microchips that were inserted within the fibers of documents, or watermarks with identifying traits. I was picturing a business card shaped notary seal that could insert coding into the document using laser beams. But, also scan the name, date and other features of the document and keep an electronic record of the notarization. The device could be touch sensitive so that anyone who “borrowed” the seal from the Notary wouldn’t be able to use it. To use this futuristic seal, you would just lie it down in the seal area, press a button, and it would do it’s affixing itself.

Additionally, the Notary Seal could be used to scan ID’s and check them against records from the DMV, Dept of State, or even foreign governments. In the future, we might all be connected. Thumbprints could also be used with this tiny device. Best of all, if you lost your seal, you could call it with your cell phone and it would start beeping. With even better technology, the device would be able to identify signers purely based on their thumbprints or even have voice recognition.

Taking it a step forward, what if the Notary Seal device could have a Siri type character that would answer Notary questions.

NOTARY#1 “Siri, can I use a Military ID as identification?”

NOTARY #2 “Siri, if a California ID is expired, but it has not been five years since its issue date, can I still use it?

SIRI: Can’t you see I’m having lunch? Ask me later after I’m fully recharged… Humans!!!!

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You might also like:

New Notary apps that you really need!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9797

Apps that Notaries have never heard of that could change your life!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16311

Notary apps for the iPhone 7 that you’ve never dreamed of!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10977

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October 13, 2015

Notary Quiz — Harry Potter’s magic Notary Seal & Identification Questions.

Many notaries do their jobs just fine when conditions are good. But, what if a few snags are thrown into the picture?
Here is a quick Notary quiz to test your knowledge.

(1) What do you do if the signer has current government issued photo ID that has their name as John Smith, while the document says John T Smith, assuming the signer forgot to renew their magic wand with the DMW? (department of magic wands)

(2) Does your state allow the use of expired identification for notarizations? If so, how old are those expired identification documents allowed to be assuming they are not stored in the dungeon of the Hogwarts Hall of Records? I know of three highly populated states that allow this by the way…

(3) What do you do if the signer has no identification at all or can’t find their identification, but hasn’t lost their soul?

(4) What do you do if the signer offers you a Green Card (resident alien card), or Credit Card with a magic photo?

(5) What if the signer’s name on their ID is Reginald T Brown, Sr? How would you have the borrower initial before you damn them to eternal darkness?

(6) If a signer is signing as an agent for a Power of Attorney and the name on their ID reads John Smith, but John is signing for Harry Potter, would they sign Harry Potter’s name and be notarized as Harry Potter? How would you handle this not so unusual, but often misunderstood situation? I myself would solve the problem by taking the notarization to the castle of doom and finish it there using my magic notary seal (after doing a spell on it, and just to be safe, a spell-check)

(7) If your state requires you to thumbprint the signer in your journal (some states have this requirement and you should do it anyway for security even if not required) but the signer is missing their right thumb, what do you do, and how do you document this thumbprinting?

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You might also like:

You know you’re a good Notary when you…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14912

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December 16, 2014

A forged document vs. a forged notary seal?

What if the document was forged.
Imagine that you are a notary public who just got in huge trouble for notarizing a forged document. It is not your responsibility to know that the document was forged. It is only your responsibility to know that the person who was documented as signing the document appeared before you, proved their identity, and signed the document before you notarized it.

Forged Identification
Or what if the ID used for the notarization was forged? You can still take journal thumbprints and that can get you off the legal hook a lot faster if you keep a record of those thumbprints. But, what about a forged notary seal?

E&O won’t help unless you made an error.
Some notaries think that since they have Errors & Omissions insurance that they will be covered. But, does E&O cover legal expenses? The real problem is that E&O will probably say that the notary didn’t make any errors — it was someone else who forged their seal. Therefore it is a criminal matter, and the notary in question is not at fault — providing you can prove that the notary seal indeed was forged.

If your notary seal was forged, how would you prove it?
My notary seal’s impression was copied onto an Acknowledgment form. The notary’s handwriting on the form didn’t match mine at all and they didn’t cross out the his/her/their or the (s) on the certificate either proving that they were not me, and most likely not a notary (at least not a good notary.) If the borders on the seal don’t match yours, that is another clue. If you don’t have a journal entry of the transaction, that might void the notarization entirely in certain states — not sure what the law says about that one. But, it could constitute proof that you didn’t do the notarization in question if there is no journal entry, assuming that you always keep a sequential journal entry of all notarial transactions.

What if you are sued?
Unfortunately, as a notary, if you are sued for fraud, or being involved with fraud, you could lose $20,000 in legal expenses only to be proven innocent. You lose, even if you win. E&O insurance won’t protect you if you are not at fault. So, if you are falsely accused because someone else did fraud including a seal forger, a corrupt Title Officer, or someone else, you can get in big trouble. It is best to try to reason with the plaintiff and prove to them through whatever evidence that you have that you are not one of the parties to be blamed. You can also tell them that you will counter sue for legal expenses and time lost if proven not guilty.

Identifying the fraud
One of the issues in catching a fraudulent impostor notary is that they are hard to catch. The only people who have seen them would be notary customers. Those customers would have found the person’s number online or in the yellow pages or through a referral. Notary clients very rarely check the ID of the notary, so the notary could be an impostor and get away with it for a while without being caught. But, why would an impostor notarize many people. Chances are that the impostor notary would be well acquainted with the individual who forged loan documents, or could be the same person which means that nobody would see him or catch him. If he forged the signature of the borrower as well, then it gets very complicated. Three forgeries in one! If they forge a notary seal, the forged seal might have the name of a real notary on it. In such a case, the real notary would be able to prove through his journal that he never notarized that forged document. Additionally, the forger would have to not only forge the signature of the borrower, but also of that particular notary which would require quite some skill. I always used an embosser that left a raised seal in the document. A fraud would have to be pretty clever to forge my seal and my embosser and use it like I did — and in the one case where my seal was forged, they didn’t have the brains to do it correctly and got caught (but, not necessarily prosecuted – or at least I was not informed of what happened after the fact.)

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You might also like:

Fraud & Forgery related to the Notary Profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2294

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November 3, 2013

Notary Seal Information from A to Z

Filed under: Become a Notary,Comprehensive Guides — admin @ 1:43 am

Notary Seal Information

Some states require a commissioned notary public to have a notary seal / notary stamp while other states do not. Each state has rigid requirements for the exact dimensions of the seal, the color of ink, the border of the seal, as well as what wording is on the seal.

The notary name on the seal
Typically, the name of the notary as it appears on their notary commission should be identical to the name on the seal. Some notaries have nicknames or name variations. Female notaries often get married and change their names as well.This is a source of confusion. If you change your name, you might be required to get a new notary commission and seal in many states. Please contact your state’s notary division if you are planning on changing your name.

Information on the seal
Most states require the notary’s name, the words Notary Public, the words State of ____, the Notary commission number, and the commission expiration date.

Embosser or regular seal?
Some states allow the use of an embosser which looks like a metal clamp. Some embossers are used without ink as a secondary seal (allowed in many states — ask your notary division for details)

Storage of your notary seal
Rules vary from state to state, but it is required in some states that your current journal and notary seal be kept under lock and key.

Types of seal borders
Seals might have a serrated or milled edge border. Some states mght allow a rectangle made of
four straight lines to be the border.

Seal Maintenance
Be careful with your notary seal as they can be damaged from misuse. Keep replacement ink in stock just in case your seal needs to be re-inked. It is common for an active notary to add replacement ink to their seal once a year or so. Many states require the destruction of a notary seal at the end of a notary’s term so that it will not be used fraudulently.

Seal Impressions
The notary public should take care to leave a clear seal impression when doing notary work. If the seal is too light, smudgy, or has missing corners, the notarization could be rejected by a county recorder, bank, lender, or other agency.

Do all notary acts require a seal?
Most notary acts do, such as Acknowledgments and Jurats. But, sometimes you will need to do an Oath with no accompanying paperwork. Make a note in your journal that you are administering an Oath. Have the Affiant (Oath-Taker) sign your journal, and administer the Oath. There is no seal required for an Oath by itsself. However, if the Oath is part of some other notary procedure such as a Jurat, or swearing in credible witnesses, then the notary paperwork being used would need to be stamped.

States that require a notary seal
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

States that do not require a notary seal
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan., New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont These states have specific requirements if you choose to use a seal anyway.

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