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May 4, 2016

At 123notary, we treat you like you’d treat you

NOTARY: I have an error on my commission

123NOTARY: Errors and omission?

NOTARY: My commission. My name is wrong with my Notary commission?

123NOTARY: No problem, just ask the Lender if you can cross out and initial.

NOTARY: No, not on a loan signing on my commission

123NOTARY: Oh, your commission. Just use white out. Or actually, contact your state Notary division.

NOTARY: State Prison

123NOTARY: Notary division

NOTARY: Notary Prison

123NOTARY: I think we’re on the same page here.

NOTARY: Yes. But, I can’t notarize that page until I fix the error on my commission.

123NOTARY: No problem, the NNA sells great E&O insurance at affordable prices. Just contact them. We don’t get involved in that.

NOTARY: The National Medical Association? The NMA

123NOTARY: No, the NNA. The National Notary Association. They are a great spot for one stop shopping. They even have a hotline in case you have a question at a signing about a technical or notary law matter.

NOTARY: Got it — errors and omissions insurance.

123NOTARY: Yes, errors and commission insurance.

NOTARY: Errors and omissions.

123NOTARY: Errors and commission

NOTARY: I think we’re on the same page here. You know, calling you is just like me helping me, if I were you.

123NOTARY: And if you were me!

FLO: Now, that’s Progressive!


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The Flo-tary and the name your price tool special

Wheel of fortune Notary edition


April 8, 2016

Notaries in Cuba — the clock stops in this comedy

Cuba remains a land lost in another time. The clock just stopped many decades ago. It must be hard keeping track of the vintage of family photos there (if they have working cameras) because the cars in the background have been from the ‘50s ever since the ‘50s!

Cuba has old cars, and old notaries. Every current Cuban Notary’s commission expired in 1959 it seems. Yet life goes on. Rather than discarding those older Notaries, they supplemented them with innovative repairs and smuggled parts. When the old notaries passed on, they handed over their commissions to younger Notaries.

Meet Juan Gonzales. He took over the Notary commission for Octavio Gonzales, his uncle.

JUAN: I took it over, his Notary commission. It seemed like the right thing to do. Over here, we have family traditions. Some families have been making cigars for generations. Others have plantain recipes going back to the 1700’s. Others tell stories about shipwrecks dating back hundreds of years. Cuba is like this. Every time I do a notary job, I have to write the expiration date of my seal which is 1958. It doesn’t matter. It is just for records. Nobody minds just as long as it is recorded.

INTERVIEWER: How is medical care for notaries in Cuba?

JUAN: We are laughing at the United States. We have better medical care and cooler cars. We all look as cool as Elvis in our 50’s cars. And when I got Notarial Elbow from overdoing it with my 1958 seal (which has a new suspension) I was treated immediately. We’re on pins and needles waiting to get acupuncture in Cuba. I know, that sounds redundant. The embargo includes needles used for medical work, so we might have to wait.

INTERVIEWER: One more question. Do you think you can notarize the authenticity of these cigars I just got?

JUAN: If they were made here, they are the best in the world. Ask any smuggler. They’ll swear under Oath. Why do you think there are so many proud fathers here? It’s from passing out Cuban cigars outside the delivery room. Beats passing out inside the delivery room.


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I love Lucy — The Power of Attorney

Jeremy doesn’t want to be 44


March 2, 2016

Commission Impossible…


Your commission, should you choose to accept it, is for an impossible mission that few notaries’ businesses live to tell about… The ones not worth commissioning…

Look out! The signer isn’t present! Right behind you! That document is incomplete! Not a good sign – The signer is the notary’s spouse! Watch out! The signer can’t produce acceptable identification! If their driver’s license picture is Waldo of “Where’s Waldo” fame, beware! Whether you can spot him in a crowd, or not, Waldo doesn’t really exist! Danger! The notary has a financial interest in the transaction! In that case, your interest must be in finding a commission impossible!

Oh no! The document doesn’t have a prepared notary certificate! Prepare yourself for disaster or no commission, whichever comes first! Danger! The notary thinks the signer is being coerced to sign! Coerce yourself out of that situation! What’s that, you say? The notary suspects the transaction is fake or deceptive? That’s as conducive to landing a commission as landing a punch in a fake wrestling match!

Look out!! The signer can’t pay the notary’s fee? Commission impossible! The signer’s a minor? Commission impossible! The signer seems drunk? Face this sober fact – Commission impossible!!

Don’t let the signer intimidate you into notarizing when the law prohibits it! If you use good judgment, you’ll get the commission the right way. Oh, and since this is “Commission Impossible,” at the end you’ll also get the girl, even if you’re not Tom Cruise. If you’re a female notary, you’ll get the guy. Even if he’s not Tom Cruise!

You might also like:

Deceptive fax backs: the good old bait and switch tactic

Deceptive identities — companies that change their names


December 20, 2015

Go to jail, but DO collect $100

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:19 am

Go to Jail, but DO collect $100
As a notary on official business, not to become a “resident”. I’ve been to several jails. They, so far, have shared a virtually identical routine. Oops, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. First, you need the assignment. In your profile on did you check the box for Jail Signings. You can access that part of your profile by selecting “Edit Additional Info”. While there glance at your commission expiration date – often overlooked, it needs to be kept current. OK, now you do qualify to show in a search for Jail.

Once the call comes in, obtain the basic information; stressing the need for ID. Not just asking that it will be available; verify that your state mandated ID will be available. The jails I have visited issued a “must carry” photo ID to each inmate. I do not accept that ID. Often, you will be meeting an attorney who needs the inmate signature notarized. Once in a while an attorney will present their interpretation of what is proper ID. They tend to be good talkers. True, it’s a different environment; but you know notary law; they don’t. Have the ID issue fully handled prior to any making any commitment.

You might not be admitted. Accept that as a fact. The facility might have a rule that only the attorney and family can visit. Make it absolutely clear to your client that your fee is earned by meeting them at the facility and putting forth “best efforts” to complete the job. My visits have always been with attorneys. They say the right things to the admitting guard. But there are no guarantees; they are not (IMHO) obligated to let you in. With ID and getting in being issues, all jail Notary assignments are prepaid. Make sure to have your driver license and current proof of your notary commission.

You should prepare for your visit. What works for me is having two zip lock plastic bags. One is for what I wish to bring in, the other for what I cannot bring in. After checking in, the two bags are surrendered at the window. They are very choosey about what goes in. Your embosser will probably be forbidden, stamping device usually accepted. However, a better strategy is to go in with absolutely nothing. Do the notarizations in the lobby, after you leave the secure area. On those days I wear my Velcro closing belt, without a bit of metal. When I tell the metal detector operator it’s Velcro and has no metal; I’m usually allowed to wear it.

It’s a Jail. You will be told what to do. Avoid asking any questions and comply immediately with what you are told to do. Doors slide open and clang shut. Your photograph may be taken. Your hand might receive a visitor stamp, similar to the “paid for admission” at many events. You will be told to sit someplace and wait. They are not in a hurry. Time is what they serve, often in great quantities. Eventually, the prisoner will arrive; sometimes you will be directed to a conference room. The cardinal rule is to give nothing whatsoever to the inmate. Nothing. If you had to bring in a pen, make sure you leave with it.

ID checked, signatures given oath; take possession of the pages with the signatures witnessed. You don’t want your client accidently adding or changing documents for different ones that were also signed. Making certain to enter the correct county in the Venue; complete the process after your “release”. You should do at least one Jail “visit”; strict adherence to notary law will follow.


You might also like:

7 steps for jail notarizations

Do criminals deserve to be notarized?

Meeting clients at a jail


July 8, 2015

Although it is illegal to use a CA Notary Commission in Mexico…

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 11:14 pm

I was reading on Notary Rotary how some lady wanted to use her California Notary Commission in Mexico. This is completely illegal and I can’t believe she would publically ask this and make a fool out of herself. But, to each her own.

The answer is that you can use a California Notary Seal in any part of California — wherever your two feet may land. However, you may not use it in other states or countries. I’m not sure if you can use it in other states of mind. You might have to put “State of twisted consciousness” if you had too much Cabernet Sauvignon or something stronger.

But, the good news is that if you break the law in Mexico you can always pay a bribe. So, if you get caught in Mexico for using your seal, you can slip the police a few Pesos and nobody will be the wiser. The bad news is that if you get caught after returning to the USA, the punishment will probably be a lot more severe. Heavy fines and possibly losing your commission for good. So, put that in your Margarita and drink it!


April 30, 2015

JOBS: More jobs, less jobs, taking jobs away, taking bigger cut of money from jobs

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:47 am

Did you ever look up at the sky on a hot July night and wish for snow? That’s exactly the same approach some notaries use to “grow” their business. Wishing won’t cut it. It’s not as if you do not know what needs being done. It’s just that sloth sets in, sometimes followed by despair. This leads to the self fulfilling prophecy of anger, bad attitude (you can’t mask it – all can sense it) and poor job performance. You can have more jobs, you just have to work for them – the basic step of distributing a business card is cheap and effective. Have you placed a few dozen in the right hands of prospective, currently non-clients? Probably not. DO IT, the ROI is fantastic, get more calls!

Speaking of ROI (Return on Investment), sometimes “less jobs”; or, to be more accurate; the selective acceptance of Notary jobs is the best path. With the exception of some notaries, no reasonable business owner accepts every offer. Try walking into Burger King and offering a buck for a Whopper! Carefully consider the offer. Is it profitable? Will you have to expend a great deal of time and effort for “chump change”? Just say no. If you, really implemented paragraph one above, the calls are coming in. You will not have the time to accommodate El Cheepo, especially considering the additional requirements; and the difficulty of collection.

The vast majority reading these words are competitors – we do not cooperate much with other notaries in our area. Sure, there are some exceptions – but each and every one of you wish someone in your area retired. But chances are they will continue to lowball, and the folks at El Cheepo will tell you that they have many others eager to do the Notary job. They are taking away jobs that you do not want; don’t let it bother you. You are smarter than the lowball acceptor – you have clients who pay a fair wage for your perfection. I get many lowball offers from the bottom fishers, the calls tend to be brief after I mention that my non-negotiable fee is about double their offer. You can also receive many “Tier One” calls; those are the jobs where you are doing the “taking away”. They are not offered to those in the computer as being “White Glove fee” acceptors.

Finally, there is the issue of taking a bigger cut of money from Notary jobs. Bigger Cut? Well, that’s just another way of saying the “P” word. Profit. Some almost seem to whisper that word, after looking over their shoulder, lest someone notice. The bigger cut is what remains in your pocket after all, and I do mean all; expenses, costs, taxes, etc., are deducted from the “R” word – Revenue. Oh, you majored in accounting? Then you can just use Gross for Revenue and Net for Profit. I will stick to P and R. Obviously, you want more R, without R there can’t be P. Your true goal is to have a very large Profit, expenses drain money from Revenue.

So now you are thinking the Ps and Rs are obvious, and you are right. So I ask why some of you are accepting a 75$ edoc that requires: printing 300 pages, driving 150 miles, tolerating endless cell minutes of checkup, faxing everything; and allowing someone else to have the USE of your money for an extended period of time? “If I don’t accept it they might not call me again”. “You have to take the bad with the good”. “Some money is better than no money”. If those reasons were valid Burger King would have given you the Whopper for a dollar. The reasoning is flawed.

You can and should do better. Your notary commission is a valuable asset; and your time + your skill is even more valuable. One of the wiser posters on the forum has a signature that includes: If you don’t value your time and experience nobody else will. So true. Eliminating the self abuse of accepting every call will let you, as Spock put it: Live Long and Prosper.

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The art of the decline to new notary jobs

How to get the best notary jobs


August 30, 2014

Taqueria El Notario — a Notary Taco Joint

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:13 am

We wrote some other fun blog articles about The Notary Hotel, Notary Fast Food, Notary haute cuisine, and others. But, this one is about a notarial taco place. Hope you like it. Just don’t over do it with the hot sauce. It is very potent here.

Dot your eyes, and cross your tortillas!
Welcome to Notary Taco, or as we call it Taqueria El Notario. Please make sure you have errors and “emissions” insurance if you eat the three bean burrito for the sake of our other patrons. Since we had a few Notary wannabe gangsta’s, instead of a drive through window, we have a drive by window. The window is extra low in case you are driving a low rider. I guess I’m a few decades behind the times, but in Los Angeles, we still have a few of those around.

Before you read our menu, please read the following disclosure:

Notice of Right to Carnitas
As a customer of Taqueria El Notario, you have the right to eat carnitas at any time during business hours. There is no limit to how many carnitas tacos you may consume. Please sign and date to indicate that you have read this document and are aware of your right to carnitas… and pastor!

Here are a few of our choice items:

Habanero Rescission Sauce
If you still alive 3 days after consuming this, you have the right to rescind.

Personally Known Pico de Gallo
Eat this regularly with our home-made chips, and you will feel like you know us.

Pollo of Attorney
I know it sounds a bit loco, but our pollo is so good, we got it patented by an Attorney, hence the name!

Backdated Burrito
The freshness of the ingredients is up to date, it is just that we put yesterday’s date on the burrito.

Salsa Verde Venue
State of California; County of Los Angeles! — The salsa is green at this venue

Avocado Affidavit
This chunky guacamole is so good you’ll swear by it!

Tequilla Lime Testimonium Ice Cream
Just be-clause…

Revoked Refried Beans
Eat these and your commission will be suspended, revoked or terminated — if you have gas.

Notary Commission Carnitas
One of our customers has been eating this dish his entire notary commission — hence the name.

Lengua Tacos
Enjoy one of these before you take an Oath.

Quit Claim Quesadillas
One customer liked these so much she sold her house to be able to afford them every day!

Many notaries come here daily. We hope you like our sauces, dishes and desserts. We hope you liked it, and we hope you come again.

You might also like:

Welcome to The Notary Hotel

A date with a notary at “Le Jurat”


January 18, 2014

You could get sued if you don’t have a business license

Legally, you might need to get a business license
Did you just get your Notary Commission? Good for you! Do you want to start a business doing notarizations? unlikely unless you have gotten huge without a business license. However, there is a small chance that someone else might register that business name somewhere in your state or county and sue you for damages. After all, you were Legally, you might need to get a business license. But, most notaries don’t get one until they want to use a particular business name. Some even advertise in the yellow pages without having a registered business name. What is the risk in not doing so? Will the state government come crashing down on you? That is using THEIR business name and they could claim to have lost money!

Changing or removing your business name
The problem is that once you put your business name in print on the internet or in printed advertising, you might find it very difficult to get change it or remove it. Google keeps a cache of old pages for months as well, so that information you posted on the internet could haunt you long after you remove it!

Notary Business names that change every month?
We have notaries on 123notary who change their business name every month. Each time it is a different variation. In October it is MG Notary Service, and then it changes to MG Properties, and then in December it is Mary’s Notary & Apostille. Which one is it? Notaries cannot change their personal or business name on our site without my intervention. But, when I see that they are changing their business name every month, I begin to think that “perhaps” their business name is not really registered, and that they don’t have business licenses. Hmmm. Once I asked someone to send me proof of their business license and they sent me a copy of a newspaper ad they had used to publish their business name. The text was different sizes and on different lines, and I couldn’t tell which part of the name was commentary and which part was the name on their business license. Good God!

Be safe and get registered
It is better to think long and hard about what your business name should be. Then, register your business name, and get a company bank account. Then you can advertise, and do business as a DBA without “as much” risk of being sued due to your business name. There can always be some clown who still wants to make trouble with you who has that same business name registered in another county, but if you are playing by the rules, it will be harder for someone to question the legitimacy of your business name and probably less likely that they can sue you for “business name infringement”. Your name on your notary commission is registered, why shouldn’t your business name as well?

(1) Did you just get your notary commission? Good! You need to get a business license now.
(2) Once your business name is registered & in print, it is not easy to change it. Think it over first.
(3) We have notaries on 123notary who change their business name every month. Doesn’t sound very legal.
(4) You might be held liable for “business name infringement” if you don’t register your biz name.

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Out of work, and operating without a license

Stealing a business name


January 5, 2014

Fear of Retaliation in the Notary Business

Fear of Retaliation in the Notary Business

What are you afraid of?
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Being reported to the Secretary of State?
Being blacklisted by ALL signing companies forever?
Being sued for libel and lose your house? — and then need a notary to refinance your new and smaller house?

Sorry, we interrupt this program.
The Palestinians & Israelis will have to wait.
The peace talks will have to be postponed
Sherry was accused of misusing her notary commission!
All television shows in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain will be put on hold while Sherry’s misdoings are discussed. Sherry backdated a Deed of Trust in a loan signing, so that the couple signing the loan wouldn’t lose their house. Now Sherry is losing her notary commission. The notary division is revoking her commission forever. For more details, look in the sky as the Notary Blimp will have the details about Sherry.

But, there is more!
Another notary wrote that Irvine Signing Company didn’t pay her on time! Gulp?
Irvine Signing Company reads the forums and blogs and found out that Suzanne wrote something about them.
Now, Suzanne is blacklisted and will never work for Irvine Signing Company again, or any of their affiliates.

We are not encouraging notaries to take this lightly. But, many Title and Signing companies do read the forums.
They might not retaliate against you like you so fear, but they might stop using you if you make an unprofessional show of yourself on any forum. So, if you plan on being unprofessional, don’t use your real name, or any evidence that could lead to your identity being unveiled. Title Companies really are watching. Fear of retaliation does have some sort of a basis.

As for the Secretary of State — sometimes they retaliate too, although it is very unpredictable. If you commit a serious crime or fraud where there are real victims who have suffered large losses, then you will get in big trouble for sure. If you do smaller acts of fraud like backdating, then it is less clear if they will catch up to you. But, why take a chance? Play by the rules. Don’t get retaliated against!

Now, back to the peace talks
Ahmed: “I feel very strongly that the security of Israel must be respected, but our claims to our ancestral lands MUST be respected as well.”
Shimon: “Your land, it is always YOUR land, according to the Torah, it says 3427 times that the land of Israel is OUR land.”
Ahmed: “Do you have a deed to the land? And was it notarized?”
Shimon: “I don’t know, why don’t you ask Sherry or Suzanne?”
Ahmed: “Can’t we all just get along?”
Shimon: “Yes, but first I want to see what this blimp is saying about Sherry”

(1) What is the worst thing that could happen to you as a signer? Being blacklisted by ALL signing companies forever?
(2) The peace talks will have to be postponed: Sherry was accused of misusing her notary commission!
(3) Moishe: “The land belongs to Israel.” Fouzi: “Do you have a notarized Deed to prove it?”

You might also like:

A client tries to blackmail a very seasoned notary

The docjacker who took a loan hostage!


August 17, 2013

Notary Fines & Notary Penalties (gulp)

People going into the notary business should be aware that there is such a thing as Notary Fines, and Notary Penalties are real! I used to be a California Notary Public and read the California Notary Handbook multiple times. There are all types of penalties that could be imposed on a sloppy notary. I could go one by one and list all of the fines and penalties in the handbook, or just write about some more common types of mistakes that notaries make that could end up in a Notary fine. Please remember, that the types of infractions of notary law we are indicating below may or may not end up in a fine in your particular state. However, to be on the safe side, we encourage you to avoid any type of legal infraction whatsoever so you stay out of trouble.

If you move…
If you change your physical address, and don’t notify your state notary division within 30 days, or however many days your state allows (which is often 30 days), you might end up in a little bit of trouble. You might get fined for this type of neglegence. The Secretary of State or Notary Division in your state wants to know where you are living — that is important to them!

If you change your name…
If you change your legal name, you are required to inform your Notary Division in writing in many states. You might be required to get new notary commission, or just get a new notary seal that reflects your new name. A California notary for instance is required to notify the notary division immediately after a name change!

If you overcharge…
If you charge more than your state’s maximum published rates for a notary act, you could get fined for overcharging. It is doubtful that you would get caught, but to be on the safe side, don’t charge more than the amount your state allows for notary acts. You may charge for travel fee in 41 states, but you need to know what the rules are for travel fees too as there are restrictions in a few states. If you are a California Notary there is no limit to what you can charge as a travel fee.

If you put a wrong date on a notary certificate
If you intentionally put a false date on a notary certificate, you might get a lot more than just a simple notary fine or notary penalty. You might be criminally liable, especially if the notary certificate is on a Deed effecting real property. Don’t backdate! It is illegal and can come back to you!

Application misstatement
A California Notary Public could have their notary commission suspended, revoked, or terminated if they made a misstatement in their application. Tell the truth, or you could get in trouble.

We might write some more blog entries in the future about notary fines and notary penalties. But, for now, we just wanted to refresh your memory to the fact that these types of fines do exist, and let you know about a few specific types of cases where you could be fined.

Have a fine day!

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