journal entry « Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com
123Notary

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com Control Panel

November 17, 2013

Intergallactic Notary Luke Skywalker has Chinese Food.

In our Notary Wars trilogy, we get to the third film. The return of the NNA. In any case, while our friend Luke is on his way to get an intergallactic journal on planet of the national notary federation, he gets hungry. Due to intergallactic regulations, you need to pair a physical journal with a cyber journal. C3PO always helps with scanning and online journal entries. Luke liked the NNA notary journals because they had space for thumbprints and comments which proved to be useful keeping him out of court in Tatooine years before.

But, hunger was creeping up on this young Jedi knight & notary. Luke remembered what Yoda had said about always being aware. He decided to practice awareness and not concentrate on his hunger. A good Jedi must be detached from his feelings after all. But, Luke started getting fatigued from the hunger. It is hard to fly a spacecraft under so much physical exhaustion.

So, he saw a Chinese joint on a nearby space station where the food was nothing short of being “stellar”.

They had:
Wookiee War-Mein (servings are generally generous for this item)
Bantha Guy-Fun
Naboo style Neng-Myon
General Jabba’s Chicken
Tuskan Raider’s double cooked Pork
Lando’s favorite egg rolls
Roasted Womp Rat with hoi-sin sauce
Diced three headed Mandalorians
Federation Fried Rice

Luke was baffled by the choices. So, he ordered the Roasted Womp Rat for old time’s sake. When it was finally served to him, he couldn’t figure out how to eat it. He tried, and tried and tried. 20 minutes went by and poor Luke kept struggling. He used his Jedi concentration, innovative skills and patience, but nothing worked. Finally, he heard a voice that seemed to come from the distance…

“Use the FORK Luke, use the FORK!”

Luke immediately put down his chopsticks, asked for a fork and knife, and his problems were over!

You might also like:

What if extra terrestrials settled on earth?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2580

The husband’s ghost walked by us in a 14-room Victorian house
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3464

Share

October 16, 2013

Self Service Notary

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:34 am

Self Service Notary– (you fill out the journal and the forms yourself)

After a visit to CVS, I came up with idea. I was forced with a choice of standing in an endless line, or using one of those machine things that talk to you. There is nothing I hate more than a talking machine. But, I was in a hurry, so I used the machine. I couldn’t figure it out, but customer service was there to guide me through. But, what if this concept could be used for notary work.

Here, fill in the journal entry yourself. Watch this computer demo and it will tell you how. Fill it out digitally, and then when the real notary gets around to showing up, he will click the approve button, and it will be inputted into his journal. Next, fill in the acknowledgment wording. Did you sign your document as your name is printed? Do you have your $10 cash ready? Please pay the machine right here. Ooops, sorry, do you have a bill that is less wrinkley?

Machine: Super, you did a great job. Please wait, the notary will be arriving shortly.

Customer: Super

Machine: I’m sorry, I couldn’t make out what you just said. Did you say Yes, No, or… Representative?
Customer: Super

Machine: I think I heard you say…. super? uhh… I’m sorry, but “Super” is not one of the words I’m programmed to understand. Please wait and a representative will be with you shortly.

(a few minutes later)

Notary: You did a good job. I will affix my seal now and sign the form.

Customer: Super

Notary: I’m sorry? did you just say Super?
Customer: Yes

Notary: We don’t understand that word around here.

Customer: So, I found out.

You might also like

My Date with Jeremy
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4473

The Starbucks Notary Wises Up!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4207

Vampire Notaries: 24 hour service
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4094

Share

September 16, 2013

What happens to journals after your term is up?

Filed under: Journals — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 8:38 am

This is a no-brainer! During your term, keep your current journal locked up. Your used journals, you keep safe in your closet, or other safe place. In California, your used journals do not need to be kept under lock and key, but keep them safe in any case! After your term is up, ask your state’s notary division what to do with them. Some states don’t even require the use of a notary journal. In California, we take our journals to our County Clerk’s office and they keep them safe over there. If anyone has a query about a journal entry, they have to go through the County at that point. I’m not sure how efficient the County Clerk’s people are, but then, I am not sure how efficient most notaries are either!

When I was a notary, I had only three inquiries in two terms. But, I got back to the people quickly and mailed them a copy of the journal entry in question. How fast are you? Remember, a notary’s job is to protect the public from fraud and to protect the integrity of signatures. So, fulfilling query requests is as important or more important even than notarizing documents! This is because the queries are from situations where fraud is suspected. That is where you are really useful to your community by helping to prevent fraud in a critical situation! Take your notary journal seriously as that is your evidence in court and your tool to protect the public!

You might also like:

Another notary saved by a journal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3355

10 years of e-notary work records in the garbage
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3918

Share

November 19, 2011

How do I fill out a Notary Journal Entry?

How do I fill out a journal entry?
 
Please keep in mind that rules and standards for notary procedures can vary from state to state across the United States.  As a general rule, there are certain areas of confusion that we want to make it a point to clarify.
 
Q. Do I need to have a separate journal entry for each signature that I notarize
A. Yes!  Imagine that you are notarizing signatures on a set of loan documents.  Let’s say that there are four documents to be notarized and both husband and wife need to sign each one — you have eight notarized signatures and eight journal entries. 
One journal entry per notarized signature.
 
Q. Does each journal entry need to be signed?
A. Yes!  The individual whose signature you are notarizing needs to sign the corresponding journal entry.
 
Q.  What about thumbprints? Do I need to take a thumbprint?
A.  Sometimes!  For Deeds and Power of Attorney documents in California, you must take a thumbprint.  For other states, there are different standards, but it is always better to have a journal thumbprint just so you can be 100% sure of the signers identity.  ID’s can be forged, but thumbprints of a live person in front of you can not be forged!
 
Q.  What goes in a notary journal entry?
Date &Time,
Type of notarization (i.e. acknowledgment, jurat, oath, affirmation, protest, etc.)
Name of the document being notarized (i.e. affidavit, deed of trust, occupancy affidavit, etc.)
Document date (documents don’t always have a document date, but if you have 20 documents called “affidavit”, you need to distinguish them somehow and a date might help)
Name and address of signer
Identification of signer
Additional notes
Signature of the signer
Thumbprint of the signer (optional in many states)
 
Q.  What if I’m doing a signing that starts at 11:55pm and ends at 12:05am the next day, what date do I use?
A.  You can use either day, but I would date the notary act at the exact time that the signer signs your journal since that is a definitive POINT in time, rather than a range of time.  Some notary acts allow the signer to sign the document BEFORE they see the notary making the document signing a poor choice for a definitive point in time to date the transaction.
 
Q.  Can I make recommendations for what type of notarizations the signers should get since I know more than them?
A.  No! That is considered giving legal advice  (unauthorized practice of law) in many states. Let them choose on their own, although you can tell them what is “normal” as well as explaining the characteristics of each type of notary act in your state.
 
Q. What if many documents I am notarizing all have the same name?
A. It is good to distinguish documents by other characteristics. If you have 20 Grant Deeds to be notarized by the same signer on the same day, you can note the property addresses indicated on the Grant Deed to distinguish which document you were really notarizing. Otherwise, if you ever go to court, you will not be able to tell the judge if you notarized a particular Grant Deed for that particular signer. Imagine what would happen if he did a 21st Grant Deed after you left and forged your seal on the certificate section and claimed that you notarized it.  If your journal doesn’t describe EXACTLY which documents were notarized, you can get duped by a sophisticated fraud!
 
Q.  Name and address of signer, do I have to write this for each entry?
A.  You can write the name and address of a particular signer, and then draw an arrow down for all documents with that person’s signature being notarized. Each document gets it’s own journal entry per signer.  If you have Joe signing four documents and Sally signing four documents, make sure the journal entries for Joe are all sequential so that they will be consecutive and all in the same place.  Then below those entries you can write Sally’s name and address and a separate entry for all of her documents that she is signing.  Example: Lets say your journal page has eight entries.  Entry 1, 2, 3, and 4 would be for Joe. Joes name and address would be on the first entry along with a particular document name and other information.  For entry 2, 3, and 4, you would see different document names, and an arrow indicating that the signer was still Joe and that his information was the same.  Journal entries 5, 6, 7, 8 would be for Sally and her information would go on entry 5 along with a particular document’s name, and then 6, 7, 8 would have document names and an arrow in the name/address field to indicate that it is still Sally who is the signer.  Make sure Joe signs all four of his entries, and that Sally signs for all four of her entries, otherwise you get in trouble if audited.
 
Q.  How do I identify a signer?
A. Rules are different from state to state.  Some states allow a notary to personally know a signer to constitute being positively identified.  Others allow credible witnesses.  All states allow a signer to be identified through the use of current identity documents such as drivers licenses, passports, state identification cards, etc.  The documents (cards) must have a photo, signature, physical description, name, address, expiration date, and serial number to be acceptable.  Some states allow a card to be used for a grace period after it expires.  If your state allows the card to be used five years after it’s issue date, then you need to be able to read the code on the card to figure out when it was issued.
 
Q. Additional notes — what is that for?
A.  If you use credible witnesses, you document their signatures and other information in the additional notes section.  If you want to document unusual situations, or unusual characteristics of the signers, that is the place to put it.  If you are ever called to court, the information in your journal is the ONLY way you will remember the signing in many cases, especially if you do four signings per day over a course of 12 years.  Example: “The male signer Joe looked like a walrus.Sally had a squeeky voice and seemed nervous.”
 
Q.  Signature area – who signs in the signature area?
A.  The signer of a particular document signs in the signature area (not the notary).  Only one signature per journal entry.  If two people are signing the same document, just create a new journal entry for the second signer with the same document name.  This is not rocket science!
 
Q.  Thumbprint area – do I need to have a thumbprint?
A.  Please educate you on your state law. Some states require thumbprints for particular documents and others don’t.  It is better to have a thumbprint just in case you are called into court.  Your court case might be faster (or not happen at all) if you have proof of the identity of the signer such as a thumbprint.

You might also like:

Rude Notaries!

The 2 strike policy - from a notary in Arizona

The dog ate my journal

Saved by the notary journal

Share

November 11, 2011

Notary Journal Thumbprints – they can save your neck!

Notary Journal Thumbprints
 
How adamant are you about taking journal thumbprints?  As a California notary public, you are required to take notary journal thumbprints for deeds effecting real property and power of attorney documents.  Notary thumbprint taking is a serious business and can keep you out of court.
 
Taking precautions as a notary
I have written other blog posts about precautions that notaries can take.  Notaries can use an inkless embosser in addition to an inked seal.  They can emboss every page of every document they ever notarize as a precaution against page switching which is a common crime that takes place after multi-page documents have been notarized. Taking a precaution of taking journal thumbprints is smart also, and can keep you out of court.
 
Suspicion of identity fraud
Let’s say that you notarized a signature on a document and that someone involved in the transaction suspects identity fraud.  The first thing they will do is to track down the notary who notarized the signature on the document and start asking questions about the signer. You will not remember the signer well, unless you took notes in your journal about what they looked like, how they acted, how old they were, etc.  But, if you have a thumbprint, that is absolute proof of the signer’s identity.  No two thumbprints are identical, and you can’t fake a thumbprint (forge a thumbprint) in front of a notary.
 
The investigation ended once I produced a thumbprint
If someone questions you about a particular notarization, and you say you have a journal thumbprint, the investigation might just end right there.  It happened to me as a California notary public during my first four year term. I saved myself from a potentially long visit to court.  I got a phone call from someone investigating fraud.  Someone had cheated some elderly people whom I had notarized.  One of the documents used to allegedly cheat them had been notarized by myself in my capacity as a California notary public. Since I had a journal thumbprint, the identity of the signers was no longer in question.  The person said they had no further questions the minute I told them I had a thumbprint. They didn’t even want a copy of the journal entry with the thumbprint.
 
Weak thumbprints with the elderly
The flaw of thumbprints are that elderly people often lose the tread on their fingers.  I am talking about really old people, perhaps in their eighties or nineties.  There is nothing you can do in that case, but at least you have a print, no matter how featureless it is. Personally, with signers over eighty, I recommend a retinal scan, which is not possible for a notary to take in 2011, but maybe in 2015… we can always hope.
 
Regardless of your state of commission
Whether you are a Florida notary public, a California notary, or notary in another state, if you are notarizing signatures on a power of attorney or real estate deeds, get a journal thumbprint whether it is required by law or not. That thumbprint could save your neck.  It is not a bad idea to require signers to give thumbprints for all documents and even oaths or affirmations.  It keeps them honest.  The minute they start making excuses why they shouldn’t have to be thumbprinted, that is suspicious behavior, and you might want to refuse service to them.
 
Bring wipes!
Don’t forget to bring wet naps or wipes of some sort.  It is polite to have something for the signer to wipe their hands off with.  Even with the NNA’s inkless thumbprinter which is a product I always had several backups in stock of, you should offer a wipe.  I strongly recommend having at least one inkless thumbprinter in your notary carry all bag!

Please visit our notary search page to see our notary public California page and notary public Florida page!

Share

September 7, 2010

Everything you need to know about journals

Everything you need to know about notary journals.
Not all states require a journal of official notary acts. However, it is wise for notaries to keep a journal, as it is a record of all notary acts that they have ever done. A notary journal is a bound and sequential book containing records of all notary acts done by a particular notary. If a notary completes all the entry of a particular journal, they can start a second journal.

What goes in a journal entry?
(1) The date and time of the notarization
(2) Type of notarization
(3) Name of the document and document date (if there is one ),
(4) Name and address of the signer
(5) Type of identification ( personally known to the notary, credible witnesses, or ID document )
(6) State/Country, Serial #, and expiration date of the ID.
(7) Additional notes
(8) Signature of the signer
(9) Thumbprint of the signer
(10) Notary fee charged (if any)

The additional notes section is a part of the journal not understood by many notaries.
If credible witnesses are used, their signatures and ID’s should be recorded in the additional notes section.
If any unusual situations arise during the notarization, or there is anything unusual about the signer or the venue, that should be documented in the additional notes section. If travel fees are charged, that too can be documented in the additional notes section.

Journal thumbprints
Not all states require journal thumbprints. However, documents effecting real estate or large amounts of money should have a journal thumbprint accompany their notarization. A thumbprint is the only absolute way to identify a signer if fraud is suspected. ID cards and signatures can be forged, but a person’s thumbprint is unique to that individual. If a notarization is ever investigated due to suspicion as to the identity of the signer, a thumbprint can end the investigation cold in its tracks and possibly save the notary from having to appear in court.

Lock and key
The notary must keep their journal under lock and key. Bosses, co-workers, family members, and strangers alike are not allowed to inspect the notary journal without the presence of the notary. They are not allowed to do notarizations with the notary’s seal and journal under any circumstances.

Lost, stolen, or damaged journals
If your journal gets lost, stolen or damaged, contact your state’s notary division immediately and let them know what happened in writing.

What do you do with your journal when your commission is over?
If you don’t renew your commission, ask your state notary division what to do with your journal. It is most likely that they will need to be submitted to your county recorder’s office.

Where do I purchase a journal?
Notary journals can be purchased from the NNA, or from many other vendors on the internet. Some local office supply stores might have journals too, although that is not a predictable place to buy journals unless you are sure they have them.

How many journal entries do I create?
If one signer signs one document, create one journal entry. If one signer signs two notarized documents, that would necessitate two journal entries. If three signers each sign two notarized documents, thats six journal entries, all of which need to be signed by the corresponding signer.

Where do I keep my journal when I’m not using it?
Keep it under lock and key. You can have a notary carry all bag with a mini-lock, or keep it locked in a desk drawer to which only you have the key. Nobody else should ever be able to access your journal

What if someone has an inquiry about a particular journal entry?
Just ask them what the date of the notarization was and the name of the signer, and look it up in your journal. If you have several journals in your archives, you may have to go through your archives. You can make a copy of the journal entry and send it to the person making the inquiry, but hide information pertaining to notarizations of other individuals on that same page.

You might also like:

The dog ate my journal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3368

Saved by the notary journal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3353

I need a new journal every week
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2605

How do I fill out a NotaryJournal entry?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1725

Share