Notary Archives - 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

August 30, 2018

Notary Public Information


Notary Public


If you would like general information about the Notary world, read this! There are many things to know about the Notary world from how to become a Notary, how to find one, and the particular types of jobs and Notary acts Notaries do (or commit.) We will try to elaborate on all of this information below.

.

Become a Notary Public

To become a Notary Public requires contacting your state’s Notary division. Most states have rules for who can become a Notary.

.

No felons allowed!
You generally have to be free of felony convictions or of convictions of crimes that involve moral turpitude such as fraud.

Residency requirements
You should be a legal resident of the state you want to be commissioned in as a general rule, although some states allow residents of neighboring states who work in state.

No citizenship requirements
You generally do not need to be a US citizen, although you should be able to read, write and speak English well.

You need to be 18 or older in most if not all states.

State Notary Divisions Contact Info
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1941

.

What do Notaries do?
Notaries can perform a short variety of Notarial acts which can differ from state to state. These acts include performing Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, Proofs, and some states allow Copy Certification of Powers of Attorneys or other documents, Witnessing, Safety Deposit Openings, Protests for non-payment of bills and more. Let’s focus on understanding the more universal acts first.

Acknowledgments — A Notary Public may notarize an Acknowledged signature which is a signature that a signer acknowledged signing. This involves the signer presenting a signed document to the notary, signing the Notary’s journal, and presenting current government issued photo ID to the Notary. The rules may differ from state to state, but this is a general description. Read more…

Jurats — A Notary Public may execute a Jurat which would involve the signer or Affiant (one who swears under Oath or signs an Affidavit) to sign and swear to the document in the presence of the Notary Public. Read more…

Oaths — Notaries can administer (supervise) Oaths as well. Oaths are by definition part of the Jurat procedure for Oaths on documents. But, Oaths can also be done for remote court attendance for Florida Courts by Notaries and Oaths on oral statements. Read more…

Affirmations — Affirmations are similar to Oaths. Affirmations are also formal statements made under the legal penalty of perjury, but do not use the traditional verb “swear” or the term “under God.” In an Affirmation you affirm on your honor rather than to a higher power. Read more…

Proofs of Execution — Proofs are an unusual Notary act that cannot generally be done for important documents. But, the signer can sign in front of a subscribing witness (a person who sees them sign) and then the witness can appear before the Notary and have the Notary fill out a certificate indicating the same. Read more..

.

Notary FAQ

.

Q. How long is a Notary term?
A. The term for Notary Public is generally from 3 to 10 years and is up to the state. Louisiana commissions Notaries for life.

How long is a Notary term? — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4606

Q. What is a Notary’s jurisdiction?
A. Normally, a Notary can notarize in any county of the state(s) they are commissioned in. Louisiana commissions either statewide or to their home parishes plus reciprocal parishes. There are a few exceptions nationally to this rule, and military Notaries have a very different type of jurisdiction that you can look up.

Q. Can a Notary get in trouble?
A. Notaries who break the law, make errors filling out forms, or don’t keep a journal can get in big trouble with the law, and even be treated like a suspect in identity fraud if they don’t leave a good paper trail. Notaries who cause damages to parties by upholding the law can get in trouble too if they don’t clearly explain the reason why they cannot offer services.

Q. What do I need to be notarized?
A. As a general rule, a current government issued Photo-ID, and a statement or document to be notarized is all you need.

Q. How much does a Notary cost?
A. Notary fees are set by the states and Notaries can run anywhere from 25 cents to $15. You can look up Notary fees on state notary division websites. I believe that all states except North Carolina keep their information open to the public.

How much can a notary charge — http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=how-much-can-a-notary-charge

Q. How much does a Mobile Notary cost?
A. Some states have rules for how much a person can charge for travel fee. But, generally rates run from $25 to $60 for mobile fees plus the cost of the actual notarization.

Q. Can a notary notarize in a jail?
A. Yes, but you need to make sure the inmate can be identified in a way acceptable to the state where he/she is incarcerated.

Jail Notary Jobs from A to Z — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=151

.

Additional Helpful Links

Notary Public 101
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

How to become a successful Mobile Notary from scratch
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13340

Signing Agent Best Practices: 63 Points
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

Notary Vocbulary in our Glossary
http://www.123notary.com/glossary/

.

Share
>

March 31, 2018

Who is the authority at a Notary Loan Signing?

Notary Public Authority

We often ask questions about authority to signing agents, and the results are horrifying. Most Notaries do not know who is in charge of what. So, this article will sum it up clearly.

Notary Public
A Notary Public is a state appointed state official who is paid by customers, but whose “boss” or authority is the state Notary division. Many Notaries Public seem to be confused as to who their boss is, the one paying them or the one commissioning them. The problem is further complicated by the fact that the ones paying them often pay them for more than just Notary services as travel, pick up, drop off, and supervision of non-notarized signatures and packages seem to be part of the deal if you are a Signing Agent.

The Notary is the sole authority regarding what goes in a Notary certificate such as an Acknowledgment, Jurat, etc., what goes in the journal, what is allowed or not allowed, and how a notarization should be done.

It is common that Notaries have questions during a loan signing and direct those questions to the Lender or Title representative. This is okay for Title or Lending questions, but not for Notary questions where the Notary may only turn for help to their state Notary division, official Notary handbook, or perhaps the NNA hotline.

Notaries should NOT ask the Lender for Notary advice because:
1. The Lender is probably not a Notary
2. If the Lender is a Notary they might be in a different state
3. If the Lender is a Notary and in the same state they might not be knowledgeable.
4. If the Lender is a Notary, in the same state, and knowledgeable, they might (are likely to) give you advice that would make the job go more smoothly for them, yet have tremendous liability for you.
5. You are the one appointed to the job, so even if the person you are asking for advice is a Notary, they are not the one whose commission number gets put on the certificate, and you are the one going to jail if something goes wrong. Therefor, you have to know your laws and what you can and cannot do, etc.

Who can initial and where?
Any initials on a Notary certificate are done exclusively by the Notary Public. It looks like tampering if the borrower or anyone else makes marks on a Notary certificate. The borrower may initial documents, but not the Notary certificate or Notary section in or attached to a notarized document

The Lender
The Lender is the “boss” of what happens with loan documents. If the Lender authorizes a change, initialing, cross outs, etc., on an actual loan document that is NOT in the notary section, that is up to them and they are the authority on that matter, not the Notary. The minute the issue becomes with a Notary certificate, then the authority swings over to the Notary (even if the Notary doesn’t have a clue what to do.)

The Title Officer
The appointed Title company might be a good source of information about how to handle any issues that might come up with Title documents or recorded documents. You can ask them if you have questions, but don’t let them answer Notary questions.

Issues of Preference can be asked to the Lender
Sometimes there is more than one legal way to handle a situation. If there is an error on a preprinted Acknowledgment, and your state allows a choice of crossing out & initialing vs. using a fresh Acknowledgment form, you have a choice. The Notary has the right to make that choice on his/her own and choose the option that he/she feels is more prudent or ask the Lender. However, this is a situation where the Notary can ask the Lender not for advice, but for preference. If the Lender would prefer a loose Acknowledgment stapled on to the document rather than crossing out & initialing the original form, the Notary can proceed accordingly.

The Borrower
The borrower has the right to sign, not sign, tell you where to park and more. Their preferences matter as well.

Your State
Your state Notary division decides what the laws are in your state, how they are explained or document in your official Notary handbook, etc. They are your boss, so you do whatever they say. Additionally, if you are weak on your Notary knowledge, that can lead to ending up in court as a witness, having your commission revoked, suspended or terminated. Additionally, it is possible to be convicted of a crime if you are thought to be involved in property related fraud, or if you filled out a form stating that an Oath was taken when in fact it was never taken which is a daily fraud that most Notaries engage in that is unacceptable.
.

You might also like:

Does 123notary have the authority to quiz people?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19469

Notary Public 101 Quiz Questions
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19520

Do you keep a journal to please your state, a judge, the FBI or 123notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19483

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

Share
>

February 28, 2017

The Notary of the Future

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Twitter,Popular Overall — Tags: — admin @ 9:12 pm

Evolution moves slowly. It takes a really long time for the process of natural selection to propagate a random DNA change. Evolution is one of the few things that take longer than waiting for Jeremy to reply to an email. However, there is good news; the changes coming will greatly benefit notaries. There is much to look forward to, unfortunately we won’t be here. As you know evolution favors genetic changes that facilitate adaptation to the environment. Well, the notary environment will be greatly different a few eons from now. Let’s take a look.

In that distant future, an optimum blend of evolution and cyber technology will create Notary. Free from the constraints of gender, race, and other trivial aspects of current human existence, the species Notary will be superbly adapted to thrive. No, it’s not a version of a “repair job” that created the “six million dollar person” – it happens naturally. Our future includes a few “implants”; necessary to enhance a biological organism to include non-organic components.

Above all other considerations, the Notary will be complete, and superbly equipped to perform without carrying any “baggage”. Everything is now built in. Did you ever get a rush request and not have your stamp or embosser with you? Our future Notary has additional appendages, similar to arms; one for multiple stamps, the other for embossers. Bio molecular engineering converts food, not into the current waste product; but rather into paper for the built in printer. As good as these capabilities are, they are nothing compared to Stream connectivity.

That connectivity, think of WiFi on steroids; connects the Notary to literally everything. ID is now merely touching the client – for instant DNA analysis and identity confirmation. That last minute change to the vesting on the Deed prints automatically; the data Stream knows all. Gone are the text messages and phone calls. The Stream selects the nearest Notary, and with GPS like precision directs them where needed. No wait for pay, enhanced PayPal got ya covered.

While the archaic institutions still require paper, an advance copy of the completed loan documents is sent via the Stream. The notarization proceeds via shared image and mental document signing, but the old world “face to face” propinquity requirement remains. The Stream replaces the scan and email of days gone by – now powered by mental energy. The Notary printer still has to produce the paperwork, signed, stamped, and embossed as usual. Perhaps in a few more eons the recorders at county clerk offices will trust the Stream and not require paper.

I had said the Notary was free from trivial aspects of our current human existence. However, humanity will retain brain functions. Our future Notary will not be devoid of compassion, empathy or the desire to excel. Those traits, inherited from the days when notaries were among the first “public officials” must remain. Nurture those traits within yourself, have them grow.

I saved getting adequate work for last. The virus of cattle call entities will have consumed themselves in a death spiral of greed and deceit long ago; probably in “our” time. In our future I see a “balanced” world. In that world, as we are human; we have both a right and a duty to exist. Natural selection will create an optimal quantity of the highly specialized entity known as the Notary. We can prepare now for the future by passing on to the next generation the values we hold dear. We cannot rely on external forces, evolution or technology to pass along integrity. The Notary of the future must inherit those traits from us. Each of us, after thousands of generations will be a part of each Notary of the Future, are your actions worthy of being passed on?

.

You might also like:

Psych Notary Episode
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19397

Best Virtual Comedy Compilation Updated 2018
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17693

Power of Attorney of the Future
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18948

Share
>

January 17, 2017

Notary vs. Signing Agent

Filed under: Popular on Linked In,Popular on Twitter,Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 12:21 am

We write about this topic every so often. It is so basic and so critical that all new Notaries should understand. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans become Notaries. As Notaries they can perform tasks such as Acknowledging signatures, performing Jurats, administering Oaths, and other tasks which might be state specific. Notaries can hold their heads up high as their function is to identify signers, keep good records (in most states at least) and deter or prevent fraud. But, that is only if they are doing their job correctly — and most states do not vet their Notaries well enough to know the difference.

What is a Notary?
(1) A Notary Public is a state appointed official that is authorized to perform particular Notary functions. All states allow Notaries to perform Acknowledgments, Jurats, and Oaths, while some states allow Notaries to act as an official witness, safety box opener, proof of execution, protests, take Depositions, and more.

(2) A Notary receives a formal certificate of commission from their state, and a commission number.

(3) Many states require a Notary to have an official notary seal that has the Notary’s name, commission number, expiration date, state andcounty.

(4) Many states require the Notary to keep a bound and sequential official journal of notarial acts.

To be short, a Notary can perform certain basic Notary functions that their state allows them to function. Their state offers them a formal certificate of commission, and normally allows them to get one or two official Notary seals with their name, commission number, expiration date, city and state, etc. Notaries use prescribed state specific wording for particular Notary acts and that wording can be used on loose certificates that they can purchase from businesses who sell Notary supplies. A Notary is a public official, although most Notaries don’t understand that on an emotional level. They are appointed by their state as an official who will uphold (or at least are supposed to) the laws of their state at all costs.

.

You might also like:

Would you accept a signing without a confirmation?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22588

Notary Public General Information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20075

10 rules for negotiating notary fees
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19620

Share
>

January 3, 2017

Who is the Notary?

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: — admin @ 12:17 am

Who is the Notary?

Frequently, in over a decade of doing this, an occurring event is: a request for backdating, either directly or processing yesterday’s docs today, without updating the date in the notarization. What dates are in the rest of the doc is of no concern to me. One dim bulb in escrow connected me to the LO for “clarification” of the rules. “Any date in the notary section may be used as long as you have the permission of the LO in charge of the transaction”. “The LO has final “say” in all matters”!

Readers, ya better open your window; from here on the stink will be getting worse. Sayeth the LO: the escrow manager told you how to proceed – and the “entries” in question “require” the notary section to conform to the rest of the document. You risk a costly lawsuit if you “intentionally” cause the funding to be cancelled!” That LO must have a PHD (Piled Higher & Deeper) because rarely is so much BS directed in my direction. Mr. LO: MY definition of the “notarization date” is the date the notarization was performed. LO: you are being “an obstructionist”, your insistence will cause financial damage to many, especially to you.

Well, I detect a smidgen of truth in LO’s statement. Specifically the LO will not receive, or have delayed; the commission. So, I make a “small” request. LO, sayeth this humble scribe; I was not aware of the broad scope of your authority over all specific entries in the package. Perhaps I misunderstood my reading of rules and laws governing my actions. Thank You for the new information. I consider myself a fastidious notary, and keep very detailed records regarding the assignments I process. Ours, up this point; have been verbal communications – I need but a moment of your time to add some documentation to the project’s file. Please type out on company stationary what you wish me to do and hand sign it. Also sign under a photocopy of your driver license. Email to me both attachments directly from the computer at your office, not your cell phone. Watta surprise, the requested email never arrives.

Now to today, and it’s nowhere as near egregious as the prior LO BS. Today’s issue was about one of the most basic concepts that govern our daily activities. Namely, who is the notary? Who is the ultimate authority as to what you actually do, and/or permit? It really was about a small thing. On the pre-entered Patriot Act form, the driver license number had a transposition of two digits. The simple fix would be to redo the document. But, that option was not available as the borrower copy was identical; and no blanks were available. I only mentioned it, while at my PC, because a license photocopy (only for return with the docs) had just arrived. When asked if I had the images, I mentioned the need for me to correct and initial the related document: Patriot Act ID form.

That started an email storm that numbered over two dozen! The Bank Officer was insistent that the borrower initial the change – “It’s the borrowers license number, ONLY the borrower has any right to alter what was printed”. What this notary-should-never-be failed to accept (after being told several times) is that I, and only I; am the one signing the form. It is my understanding that all signatories to a document initial any handwritten changes. Only them. It is MY statement as to the ID that I observed, and I am the only one signing the form.

As misunderstanding and not outright fraud was in play, the “signed letter” response seemed overkill. We reached a compromise; something I rarely do. But, in this case, I felt comfortable with being flexible. How about if the borrower initials after I initial? Fine, chirped the BO (sometimes an abbreviation can add a new and justified connotation); as long as I have the borrower initials I’m fine. So was I – because the “solution” came from me, based on my understanding of applicable notary law.

Yes, I know, when the borrower initialed the document, that, in itself, was a change to the document that only I signed. Thus, it “might” follow that I should initial after the borrower initials to “accept” the change (addition of borrower initials) to the document that only I signed. Sorry, I seem to have taken you from a bad smelling situation to one that is making both of us dizzy. Suffice to say that I did not re-initial. I had already initialed and it just seemed absurd to take that path. Back to the main message: you not they, must decide how things are to take place; with the highest objective being notary action legality. However the chips fall, the notary has the final/only say.

Share
>

October 19, 2016

Notary Butt Dialing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — admin @ 10:34 pm

Notary Butt Dialing – No Ifs ands or Butts

When it comes to Notary butt dialing, there are no ifs, ands, or butts. One Notary had a cell phone with a waterproof case. His acupuncturist spilled massage oil all over his last phone, ruining it. So, the Notary bought a waterproof case that gradually disintegrated over time to the point where the lock screen button in the plastic fell off. So, the Notary couldn’t lock his phone without sticking a key through the plastic to the phone’s actual metal button – and putting the metal to the metal.

So, just once, this Notary decided not to lock the phone as he put it in his pocket. He put it on the page with the 16 icons and thought — what are the chances the iphone will have the green phone icon pressed? That’s one out of 16, and if it does, what are the chances it will actually call someone. After, two minutes, the phone had already called two people this Notary actually really wanted to talk to whom he hadn’t talked to in years. He was starting to trust his butt more than his fingers!

But, what if you butt-dialed an actual signing company? Would they think that the Notary was an actual butt-head? Would the two of them butt heads together?

At least the notary wasn’t just sitting on his butt like the feeling you get from lenders who are late in sending documents. This notary’s butt was being proactive! And rather than risk a traffic ticket or his life while talking into his cell while driving, this notary could butt-dial and drive at the same time. Driver’s seats should come equipped with built-in cell phones. Rear-view mirrors, welcome your new modern cousin – rear-sensitive seats!

If smartphones can let you digitally sign for things, it might not be long before we see smartphones for butt-dialing clients. By flexing the precise posterior muscle, maybe someday they’ll be able to sign documents in remote locations. Face to face notary encounters, make way for butt cheek to butt cheek encounters.

And now for my reBUTTal: One notary accidentally butt-dialing someone he might want to do business with is like hitting the lottery – the odds are against it. The stories of desperate gamblers who think otherwise too often REAR their ugly heads. END of story. Now if you’ll excuse me, my butt is calling.

.

You might also like:

You lose $37.50 each signing you don’t answer the phone
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16562

Dumb and Dumberer for Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14102

Share
>

October 10, 2016

A comprehensive guide to Notary organizations

Are you a Notary? Do you want to join some Notary organizations? There are many of them out there. Some help educate Notaries while others have helplines or hotlines. Some sell Notary supplies while others help Notaries advertise their services.

123notary.com
http://www.123notary.com/
123notary.com has been around since 1999 and helps Notaries advertise their Mobile Notary services online. Title, Escrow, Signing Companies, Attorneys and individuals love using 123notary to find some of the best trained and most experienced Notaries anywhere. 123notary also sells loan signing courses and has a very entertaining and informative blog. Check out their list of signing companies with reviews to see who you should and shouldn’t be working for.

National Notary Association
https://www.nationalnotary.org/
The NNA has been around since 1957 as a California Notary Association to help Notaries with educational resources and tools. In 1964 it became a National Association. NNA sells Notary supplies, errors & omissions insurance, education to help pass the Notary exam and become a signing agent, andmore… Advertise your signing agent services on signingagent.com

Notary Rotary
http://www.notaryrotary.com
Notary Rotary has been around for decades and offers a very potent way for Notaries to advertise their services. They also sell seals, and E&O insurance. Signing Agents can place an add and get found based on how close they are to the zip code being searched for.

SnapDocs
http://www.snapdocs.com/
This organization makes it easy to find newer Notaries who work for cheap as well as providing a system for downloading documents. More seasoned Notaries are complaining that SnapDocs is contributing to the lowering of fees in the industry. We recommend this organization for newer Notaries who want to get their foot in the door.

American Society of Notaries
http://www.notaries.org/
ASN offers a phoneline for technical support just in case Notaries have a question while on the job. They also sell Notary supplies and more.

American Association of Notaries
http://www.notarypublicstamps.com
Buy your stamps from the AAN!

Notary Café
https://notarycafe.com/
Notary Cafe is a smaller directory of Notaries that seems to specialize in the more serious Notaries. We do not have records to show how popular their directory has been in the last few years, but they have been popular for a long time.

Pennsylvania Association of Notaries
https://www.notary.org/
Need help becoming a Notary in Pennsylvania? Try this organization.

California Association of Notaries
http://www.calnotaries.com/
This is yet another Notary directory.

.

You might also like:

Snapdocs — see our feed for posts about this company
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

The Towles Booth (pronounced Tolls)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9456

Why the Notary industry went South
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16500

.

Share
>

September 29, 2016

Notary Aptitude Test 2

(1) Notary Stamp is to Notary Seal what Attest is to:
(a) A test and a verbal verification (b) swearing and stating (c) The 123notary signing agent online test and proof (d) Oath and affirmation.

(2) Document Date is to Signing Date what Match.com date is to:
(a) Ditching date (b) Marriage date (c) Engagement date (d) Backdate (e) No relation

(3) Backdating is to signing what _____________ is to lying about your age.
(a) Match.com profiles (b) rescission date (c) Notary Applications (if you’re under 18 or not a US citizen) (d) notarizing an acknowledgment an hour before your signing appointment.

(4) Name on Title is to Name on a Document as name on Birth Certificate is to:
(a) Name on your ID (b) Your street aliases (c) Death Certificate (d) Mother’s maiden name

(5) Jurat is to Oath, what Oath is to:
(a) Quaker Oaths (b) Oath written text (c) Swearing (d) Attest

(6) Original document is to wet ink signature as commission paperwork is to:
(a) Secretary of State’s seal (b) name of your state (c) Felony conviction (d) Commission impossible

(7) Venue is to State what State is to:
(a) Secretary of State (b) City (c) County (d) Zip code

(8) Witness is to bank robbery what Notary act is to:
(a) Acknowledgment (b) Jurat (c) Protest (d) Unmarked Bills

(9) Subpoena is to testify what credible witness is to:
(a) Busy-body (b) Bank Robber (c) Subscribing Witness (d) Identify

(10) Middle initial is to document what ___________ is to identification
(a) Name (b) Middle Name (c) Matching or longer (d) Name on Title

(11) Digital signature is to an eSigning what a/an ________________ is to the future of the Notary profession.
(a) eDocuments (b) Notary (c) eNotary (d) 123notary

(12) SnapDocs is to the Notary Profession what Walmart is to:
(a) eBay (b) Retail (c) Amazon (d) Life

ANSWERS:

1. Note to readers, seal has two meanings. It could mean a stamp, or a signature). Answer (a) is correct even though it is part joke and part true.

2. (e) is the correct answer as the document date is arbitrary and could be any date, and has no relation to the signing date although it is commonly the same date as the signing date by convention.

3. (a) Match.com profiles typically have women who lie about their age and roll back the years about five to ten years. But, do men also backdate their age?

4. The name on Title is your official name that the property is registered to which carries a certain amount of official merit to it and permenance just like the name on your birth certificate. However, people do change their names after the fact that could lead to different names on the document or ID. Correct answer is (a).

5. (c) Swearing is a part of the Oath just like an Oath is a part of the Jurat process.

6-12 Figure it out on your own! That was fun!

.

You might also like:

Notary Aptitude Test
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15853

Two & a Half Notaries: Detering Notary Fraud
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10452

Share
>

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”.

Share
>

September 20, 2016

Their Signature

Their Signature

Let’s use, as a working definition of Their Signature; “somebody’s name written by him or her in a characteristic way”. Long ago, about a decade, I was often asked to provide “legible” signatures that matched the name signing. I tried that a few times, mostly with dismal failure. More often than not, the signature was totally illegible – more like artwork than written script handwriting.

Now let’s go back a lot further in the past, about two thousand years. Commercial transactions were common then as they are now. Most did not read or write, they made their mark. It was the seal of the Notary, who knew the affiant that validated the “mark”. Nothing has really changed. It is still the Notary who is supporting the validity of the signature.

They can sign many ways, with a pen, with a brush (artsy?), using their hands, feet, knees or mouth to hold the instrument of signing. Keep in mind the Americans with Disabilities Act. We must make reasonable accommodation to all who qualify for our seal. The signature does not have to be the same as, or even similar to the one on their ie: driver license. A lost limb or even both arms does not preclude notarization. Pen held in mouth is fine, the signature will be vastly different – but that really does not matter. Many elderly people have hands that shake, but their minds remain crystal clear.

Their “signature”, however written is the second aspect of accepting the Notary Oath. The first part is communicating a “yes” to the Oath; the signature is the written agreement. As mentioned – often the signature does not match the ID. Of course the picture must. There is one signature that (at least in NY State) must match – and that one is mine. My signature is recorded with the county clerk and for it to be authenticated; my signature on the document must be the same as my officially recorded one. Thus my signature cannot change.

To me what really counts is their printed name somewhere to indicate exactly who is being notarized. If it’s in my “loose ack” – I get to print the name. Sometimes it’s not that clear on the document, that is when I ask them to print their name under their signature. Notaries must take care to delimit their notarization to those actually given the oath and ID checked. When there are “other” places for signature, I often add “by affiant name” to the “sworn to and subscribed”.

Signatures vary greatly. I have seen perfectly formed cursive handwriting, squiggles and minor works of art with flourishes. Many bear no relation whatsoever to the name. Sometimes the same thing is on the ID, sometimes not. It’s my job to determine who they are, not to critique how they write their name. It would be so much more “absolute” if a DNA sample were to be added. Some think a thumbprint would be best; but not everyone has a thumb.

So, I am not a handwriting nanny. When the instructions mandate “clearly written” I tell the affiant what they “require” – and accept what they do. Usually I ask for their routine, standard signature “the way you would sign a check”. In my experience people object to being told “how to sign”. The signature, stamp and seal of the Notary makes whatever it is “Kosher”.

You might also like:

Your signature needs work
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15051

How to get something notarized that doesn’t have a signature
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4695

Identification requirements for being notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

Share
>
Older Posts »