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September 27, 2016

The Nose Best Notary

OK, I’ll admit it – I cheated. Of course the title should use the word “knows”. But, there seems to be a problem in the notary community. A disproportionate percentage of notaries feel they are a “cut above” the rest of the field. Not a tiny cut, but by a wide margin – knowledge wise. Many of us seem to consider ourselves the best – not “one of the best” but “the ultimate notary”, why?

I’ll venture a guess. It’s that the vast majority work for themselves. They answer to no one. Thus, they do their own “self evaluations” and, surprise – bask with pride at their reflected image. Wake up; you have a lot to learn. The world, security wise, is changing rapidly. The old TIL and HUD have been usurped by a CD. Are you hoping I will define that – sorry – I will not – you are supposed to know what a CD is. OK, you aced it – but how aware are you of its components?

The problem is manifested in more than knowledge of esoteric loan package forms. It goes to the heart of being a responsible public official. The county sheriff would not be in office long if they could not recognize one of the 10 Most Wanted if they passed them on the street. Similarly, you need to keep up on changing components that affect your working environment. A good start would be to review the Current Edition of your governing regulations. Things have changed since you took your notary exam. You swore to uphold those rules, and must maintain your knowledge.

Take participation in the http://123notary.com forum. Many are the posts that offer their own opinion – believing that theirs is the only right path. Few are the posts that acknowledge that someone with a superior understanding offered the right approach to the situation. It’s an interesting exercise to explore the web sites of those self proclaimed luminaries. I have done precisely that. What I found was gushing self praise and absurd proclamations. We can be at your location in 10 minutes. We know every doorman in the city. Our notarizations are much better than any other. Blah, blah, blah.

How do you throttle back your ego? One good method is to submit to standardized testing. This site offers a few varieties, as to some others. Of course there is your state notary manual, do you understand every word. Not each sentence by rote – but each concept by its essence. Did you ever call upon your licensing authority to explain a “fuzzy” concept? Or, did you just assume “I don’t need to know that. Here in NY State notaries must view “Adequate Proof”. The term is not further defined in the Notary manual. I spoke at length to them to derive their intended meaning.

Nobody is the knows best notary. Some think they are. The ones that come close are open minded and willing to learn. The foundation is, of course, your governing laws. But, it is in the application of those parameters that we exhibit our judgment; and our “wisdom”. For your business to be viable, you need to meet your clients’ needs and desires. Sometimes creative approaches, based entirely on what is completely proper are required. Given a complex situation there are those who will claim the request illegal; usually a safe choice. But, others with a greater breadth of knowledge can derive a totally legal and possible innovative solution. It is those whose clients feel that their notary “is the best notary”.

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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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Notary apps for the iPhone 7 that you’ve never dreamed of!
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September 15, 2014

How much is a notary?

How much is a Notary?
If I had a buck for every time asked that question; I wouldn’t be writing this. Rather, I would be on the beach in Acapulco admiring the views. Unfortunately, silly questions are not combined with revenue. I often give the “plumber” example. If you called a plumber and said that you had a water leak, with water on the floor; and asked how much to fix the leak – he, as I, would require more information to give you a reasonable answer. There are many notary services that are available. Some are relatively simple and quick to perform. Others involve complex and time consuming procedures with lengthy travel.

The question seems to come from two distinct groups. The major group is the unknowing, who for the first time require notary services. They are often unaware that a mobile notary fee will be greater than when they go to the bank. Perhaps they are not unaware, choosing to ignore that you will be expending time and resources to go to them. They have a mental image of the notary processing whatever they have, for a very modest fee. After all, they are getting “just a notary”.

The other group is magicians, expert at sleight of hand. They have used mobile notaries often; and are well aware of the components that add to a notary fee. They define one document as all the pages of the same loan. When needing 3 notarizations, they fail to mention that the signers are in separate and often distant locations. Despite my best efforts at not being conned, yours truly is often sucker punched. I give my lowest base rate for a single notarization at a not too far address. They gave me the street address. Unspoken was that the address turned out to be the UN building with a very extensive security procedure, much more so for my large bag of notary supplies – almost an hour to get past the long line and inspection. Ouch. You get the picture.

The absolute best defense is to get the specifications via email, along with the location. On the phone they had “a document” but the email says “documents”; get clarification. I make it very clear when I confirm receipt of the PayPal payment that it is for the work previously agreed. Any additions, extra “copies” or extensive (over 15min) wait time will be billed separately in cash. A small increase is to be “absorbed”, being petty sours the client. What often works is a base fee for travel plus a per notarization fee. This works best when told there will be “many” documents to notarize. Fine, my fee for going to you is, and my per signature notarized fee is. Please PayPal me a retainer based on a dozen notarizations; that can be augmented with cash later.

Oh, and add to my order a henway. The usual response is: What’s a henway? About 2 pounds. I know it’s an old joke. But has an analogy to “How much is a Notary?”. There is a delicate balance between protecting yourself and “turning off” the prospective client. It’s a difficult, almost impossible situation when the admin assistant calls for their boss. My boss needs some documents notarized are you available? A question or two yields nothing, they were just asked to have a notary “show up”. There is danger here. Unless you have fee agreement prior to travel; you risk a wasted trip and a very angry client. Better to not book at the moment and ask for a follow up call with the necessary details.
Turn “How much is a Notary” into your image of being a competent professional, well equipped to meet their needs for a fair fee. When “pay up” time comes, neither side should be surprised.

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How much do notaries charge?
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April 10, 2013

Grandma’s notary service & Paralysis notary service

Here are some more notary services that you probably wouldn’t want to hire!

Grandma’s notary service
No signing is complete without home made milk and cookies. And I have the experience to get the job done. I’ve been a notary for 60 years. I’ve been a notary since before many of you whippersnappers were even born! I know my community well, as I have been living here since 1924. My family has owned the house here since the early 1800’s you know!

Cleanup notary service
Half of our new jobs start out as repair work. A less experienced notary would originally be hired, they would screw up the paperwork, and I would be called after the fact to clean up the mess. And that is one reason we are called Cleanup notary service. You will know the other reason when you see the kind of obsene profits that we make!

Comfort notary service
We always make the borrowers feel comfortable. But, please make us comfortable too by paying us on time!

Roxanne’s Naughty or nice notary service
If you have been nice, you will get a present this Christmas. But, if you have been naughty, then call us!

Paralysis notary service
Specializing in hospital signings. We are very familiar with the Signature by X procedure with signing or subscribing witnesses. We use this procedure almost daily — or so it seems. We can also notarize the signatures of dead drunks. Call us for late night bar notarization services. We will notarize what is left of your signature and give you a ride home too!

ARM & LEG Notary
Specializing in Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Give us an ARM, and we will charge you and arm and a leg. How much of an arm and leg? An adjustable arm and an adjustable leg! Just call Armen Kachaturian or email us at armen@arm&legnotary.com.

The Notary Nazi
When you call me, don’t tell me your life story — I don’t want to hear it. You must communicate with me exactly as follows:
(1) Tell me your name
(2) Tell me the name of the document you need notarized
(3) Tell me what type of notarization you required. Don’t ask me to make recommendations. I don’t give consultations — Notariations ONLY! — NO EXCEPTIONS!
(4) Tell me what time you need my service
Signings are $40 travel fee and $10 per signature — No Exceptions
Any failure to abide by my clearly laid out instructions will result in suspension of notary services.
No Notarizations For You — 2 months! You are banned from using my service!

I got in this business because Elaine from Seinfeld divulged my soup recipes to everyone. These soup recipes have been in my family for generations. How could she! So, after that I refused to make soup for anyone ever again. I used to be known as The Soup Nazi. Now, I am The Notary Nazi.

Want a notarization — follow the rules — or else NO NOTARIZATION FOR YOU.

Excon Notarizations
Have your notary work done by an ex-con! And my prices are rock bottom, so it will be very exconomical! But, don’t try to fool me, you can’t fool a con! I know all the tricks. I can spot a fake ID from a mile away too. Excon Notarizations — put a little shadiness into your signings!

Shelly’s Bad Notary Service
Why should you hire us if we are bad? We are not bad. We are the notary service you call if YOU have been bad. Shelly’s Bad Notary Service — so good… it’s bad!

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October 2, 2012

Top 5 books every notary should own (and read)

In any career, being the best means that you have to participate in professional development and be aware of new developments in your field. This is even truer for notaries who can face fines, suspended licenses, lawsuits, and other consequences if they make a mistake. Whether you’re new to the notary industry or a seasoned professional, make sure that you stay on top of your game with the books listed below.

The U.S. Notary Law Primer

Published in June, this book by the National Notary Association provides up-to-date information that every notary, or aspiring notary, needs to know. For those interested in becoming a notary, it lists the necessary qualifications and gives contact information for notary regulating officials. For those new to the profession, this book includes a variety of basic information including signer identification, notary journal maintenance, and misconduct penalties.

2012 – 2013 U.S. Notary Reference Manual

In the 11th edition of this manual, Charles N. Faerber has compiled the most current notary regulations from all 50 American states and six U.S. jurisdictions. Faerber, the National Notary Association’s Editor-at-Large and Vice President of Notary Affairs, makes sure to include detailed information for each state as well as the overarching laws that govern all notaries. This information is especially useful for national companies that use notarized documents and notaries who practice in multiple states.

How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Notary Business

In this guide, Kristie Lorette and Mick Spillane not only review notary basics, but they also offer advice as to how to grow a notary business. This thorough book contains checklists, case studies, an appendix of state-specific information, and even comes with a companion CD-ROM of customizable professional forms. This how-to has invaluable information for notaries at any level in their careers.

101 Useful Notary Tips

Written and published by the National Notary Association, this handbook delivers the answers to frequently asked notary questions. Topics range from the basic (e.g., stamp expiration dates) to uncommon situations like notarizing a spouse’s document. Filled with practical advice, this book is a helpful reference for both new and experienced notaries.

Twelve Steps to a Flawless Notarization

As the title implies, the National Notary Association offers readers the twelve steps they should take each time they notarize a document. This book also includes helpful tips that notaries public should follow in order to guarantee that the notarization process is accurate as possible. The information provided will guide beginning notaries through their first notarizations and assure that practiced notaries don’t miss any steps.

These books are just a starting point in ensuring your success as a notary public. Since rules regulating notaries vary from state to state, always make sure that you are familiar with the exact laws within your jurisdiction and pay attention to any changes that may affect your notarizations. New developments in state-issued identification or the mortgage lending process affect how you do your job. Stay current by reviewing updated versions of your state notary handbook, talking with colleagues, and visiting industry websites such as this one.

Stephanie Marbukh is a freelance blogger who writes about a variety of topics including legal matters, education issues, and the importance of maintaining your home gutters. http://www.gutterhelmet.com/

Tweets:
(1) Being the best #notary means keeping up on industry trends & reading these top notary books!
(2) The top 5 books every notary should read include: 101 useful notary tips, 12 steps, law primers, etc…

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May 29, 2012

Are webcam notarizations legal in my state?

Are webcam notarizations legal in my state 

As of 2011 & 2012, webcam notarizations are not legal in any state.  The California Secretary of State even went so far as to make an official posting on their California notary division website to specifically state that it is illegal to do webcam notarizations in California and that there was a company who engaged in this illegal notarization practice.  This illegal notarization technique was used for signings in New Jersey by the company in question.  I have not heard if those individuals doign these webcam notarizations have been arrested or what.  We actually advertise them on our website, but post information stating that their webcam notarizations are illegal in California and other states.
 
As a customer for notary services, it is your responsibility to have some basic idea about notary law, and you need to know what is illegal in this business.  Any notary job that lacks personal appearance from the signer is an illegal notarization except for a proof of execution.
 
If you want to look up your state’s notary laws, each state has a notary division website where you can look up specific notary laws particular to your state. It might be hard to sort through and the legalese is not easy to read, but you can learn a lot in a short amount of time by reading through state notary division websites. 
 
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Contact information for state notary divisions

Do you accept credit cards?
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3135

Being asked to backdate
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3155

e-docs — worth it or not
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=632

Accepting verses bidding on a job
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2306

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