notary commission 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

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.

.

You might also like:

I love Lucy — The Power of Attorney
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10382

Share
>

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 123notary.com 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:

Meeting clients at a jail
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=274

Share
>

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?

Tweets:
(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.

You might also like:

Stealing a business name
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2660

Share
>

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!

Share
>

April 3, 2013

How many years is a notary commission good for?

How long does a notary commission last? How many years is my notary commission good for? How many years is my term of office as a notary public?

The answer is that it varies from state to state.

An Arizona notary commission is good for 4 years
A California notary commission is good for 4 years.
A Florida notary commission is good for 4 years
An Illinois notary commission is good for 4 years
A Pennsylvania notary commission is good for 4 years
A Texas notary commission is good for 4 years
A Washington state notary commission is good for 4 years

But, some states have an unusually short term of office for notaries like Delaware which is only a 2 year term of office.

Arkansas notaries are commissioned for 10 years.
Louisiana notaries are commissioned for life and have the hardest training program of any state.
Some states have a short term of office, while others have a longer one.
The majority of states have a four year term, but a few have a five, six, seven, or even longer term.

Our forum article below covers even more states and their lengths of notary terms of office.

You might also like:

How long is a notary term of office? (more states covered)
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3955

Random yet interesting notary facts — did you know?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2818

Interesting and uncommon notary acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=483

Share
>

May 17, 2012

Can a notary from New Jersey be a Pennsylvania Notary?

Can a notary from New Jersey be a Pennsylvania notary? 

If you are a New Jersey notary public, you can become dual commissioned in Pennsylvania as a Pennsylvania notary public.  Just contact the Pennsylvania notary division and fill out a Pennsylvania notary application.  The rule is that you need to work in Pennsylvania or have an office in Pennsylvania.  I’m not sure if you can convince the Pennsylvania Secretary of State to let you get a notary commission if you plan on doing traveling notarizations right across the border, but it is worth a try.  Many of the border areas are very sparsely populated, so I feel you are doing a service to humanity be being dual commissioned.
 
Please keep in mind that if you have a dual commission, you have two sets of seals and journals.  One seal and Journal for New Jersey (or whatever state #1 is), and another seal and journal for Pennsylvania.  Please make sure that you only use the Pennvsylvania notary seal when your two feet are on Pennsylvania soil (or concrete), and only use the New Jersey notary seal when your two feet are in New Jersey. 
 
If you have one foot in PA, and the other in NJ, then I guess you could use either seal (or use half of the NJ seal and half of the PA seal) — sorry… “humor”…
 
Dual state commissioned notaries make more money!
If you are serious about making money as a traveling notary, you need to have a wide net.  You need to cover a wide territory and be flexible about where you go.  Take on new clients with far away jobs just to get in their good graces and get on their database.  In the long run this pays off generously.  To succeed in life you need a well established client base, and this is not possible if you regularly say, “no, it’s too far”.  If you live near a border, a dual commission can double your territory without doubling your travel distance!

Share
>

December 17, 2011

Penalties for notary misdeeds & misconduct!

Penalties for notary misconduct, crimes, and misdeeds 

I very rarely hear about notaries engaging in any type of illegal activity or illegal notarizations. The normal problem with notaries is lack of skill, neglegence, or bad tempers in a few cases.  I have only heard of one notary that engaged in a serious crime, and he went to jail.  This blog entry will discuss various types of notary misconduct and types of penalties for this misconduct in California. Please keep in mind that the notary rules are different in each of the 50 states, and that notary rules are also always changing.  However, if something is illegal in one state, there is a high chance that it will also be illegal in your state — although the penalties might be different. The information here is time sensitive and could change at any time. These are listed in the order of which I feel they are important to mobile notaries.
 
Asking a notary to do an improper notarization.
This is a misdemeanor.  If it involves real property, then it is much more serious.  Clients might ask you to notarize them using a different name variation that is not documented, or put a false date.  This is illegal. They are guilty for asking you to do this, and you will be guilty if you give in to their pressure. If you have driven thirty minutes to a job, you have a beneficial interest in notarizing their document unless you have gotten your travel fee up front when you walk in the door.  So, legally, you MUST get your travel fee BEFORE you see the document, or are informed who the signers are, or see their ID, because a conflict of interest can easily happen.  If someone asks you to do something illegal, you can threaten to report them to the Secretary of State’s office. This is a serious crime and you should treat it as such.
 
Issuing a false certificate
A notary who issues false certificates, and this could include backdated certificates would be guilty of a misdemeanor.  A false Acknowledgment certificate constitutes FORGERY.   Additionaly, the notary could have their commission revoked if found guilty of this crime, with an additional fine of $1500 per incident.
 
Failure to Identify a Credible Witness
A fine of $10,000 per incident could occur if a notary fails to check a credible witness’s identification documents and see that they have acceptable identification.
 
Failure to get a thumbprint!!!
This is my favorite.  Thumbprints are critical for identifying a signer if fraud is suspected.  Powers of Attorney and Deeds require a journal thumbprint in California.  A fine of up to $2500 per incident would be the penalty.
 
Failure to administer an Oath
A fine of $750 per incident could be incurred, not to mention revocation, or suspention of a notary commission, or refusal to grant a commission.
 
Felony Convictions
If you have a felony conviction or have been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude, you will most likely not be allowed to get a notary commission in the first place.  If you already had a notary commission, it would be suspended or revoked the minute your state’s ntoary division finds out about it!
 
Professional Misconduct
This refers to dishonesty in your professional activities.  The penalty would once again be suspension, revocation, or refusal to grant a notary commission.
 
Failure of Duty
This means that you refuse to serve a member of the public who has a legitimate request for a notarization.  However, if the signer doesn’t have proper identification, or doesn’t have a properly filled out document, or seems very questionable, you have the right to refuse service to such a client.  The penalty would be refusal to grant a notary commission, suspension, or revocation of a notary commission. Additionally a fine of $750 could be imposed on the California notary public.
 
Falsely Acting as a Notary
This is a misdemeanor
 
Making false statements to a notary
Anyone who induces a notary to make an improper notarization with regards to real property can be found guilty of a FELONY.  This is the most serious type of fraud possible in the notary profession.
 
False or misleading notary advertising
Making false statements in notary advertising is illegal, and the penalty for California notaries is $1500 per incident.  Additionally, such a notary’s commission could be suspended, revoked, or there could be a refusal to issue a commission.  Claiming to be an immigration expert, or be able to give legal advice could be a serious example of false advertising. 
 
Selling personal information
If the notary sells or misuses personal information of those he/she has notarized, that is illegal as well.  Remember to keep your journals locked up, so that nobody can have access to that information. When making copies of journal entries, make sure that the neighboring journal entries are covered, so that their information is not shared with the public.  Once again, your application could be denied, or your commission could be suspended or revoked for such a crime.
 
Misstatements on a notary application (Application misstatement)
Your notary commission could be suspended, revoked, or refused if you are guilty of this misconduct
 
Here are some other crimes… I will just list them here, but may or may  not describe the penalties.
 
Failure to deliver a journal to the county clerk at the end of your commission. – misdemeanor
Failure to safeguard seal and journal – revoke/suspend/refuse
Failure to report a lost or damaged seal – $1500 fine
Nonpayment of judgement / Refusal to pay child support – refusal to issue a commission
Failure to keep a journal – such notaries will be prosecuted
 
There are a few others laws that I am not going to mention, but these were the interesting ones…

You might also like:

9/11 Notary Law Changes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=212

All you need to know about notary work
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2354

How to complain about a notary public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2179

Share
>

April 15, 2011

Leave a few spaces open in your journal?

Leave a few spaces open in your journal
 
Have you ever heard this phrase before?  These are the words a lender will tell you when they want you to backdate.  If you leave a blank page in your journal a day before the signing, then it will look like you really did notarize their loan documents on the date that you claimed you did.  This is completely illegal, but this is what many lenders will ask from you when they are in a pinch.
 
The lock
Lenders can offer their borrowers a particular rate, but there are expiration dates.  If a loan has a lock that expires on the 28th at midnight, and the loan documents were not ready to be compiled, sent, printed, etc., on the 27th or 28th, then the lender is in a bind. They will have to redraw all of the loan documents all over again and have a slightly higher rate, and an irate borrower. To save themselves this nightmare, they will often ask the notary to fudge a date when in this situation.
 
It’s your notary commission
If you get involved in this type of fraud, you could get fined by your state notary division, lose your notary commission, or perhaps even be looking at jail time.  Since there is no intent to harm anyone, jail time doesn’t seem probable, but laws differ from state to state, and the laws are always changing.
 
Lose the client?
I was asked to do this a few times.  I said no, and lost the client. Maybe I’m better off. Lenders love notaries who will lie, cheat, and steal on their behalf.  They will love you if you can look at a loan which is an obvious rip off and say nothing while the borrower is signing it. Of course, its not your job or entitlement to make commentary about someone else’s loan. You will be making someone lose thousands by butting in, and its not your right.  Lenders also love someone who will forge an initial or put yesterday’s date on a Jurat certificate upon request. You would not believe how many Title company staff members have forged omitted initials on Deeds of Trust, and other documents that require initialing.  Few of them would dare forge a signature as that would involve jail time, but some feel that its open season on initials.
 
Just say no
Don’t get involved in this nonsense. Its your life, your karma, and your commission.  If you get armtwisted once, you could easily get in the habit, not to mention feel ashamed for the rest of your life.   Additionally, it is recommended that you avoid screwy companies like the plague. These are exactly the same companies who will have no qualms about cheating a notary out of their pay for little or no reasons at all.

You might also like:

Index of posts about journals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20272

Notary Public 101 – Journals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19511

Everything you need to know about journals

Signing agent best practices

Share
>

January 30, 2011

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
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8822

A date with a notary at “Le Jurat”
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4473

Share
>

January 2, 2011

Commission Impossible…

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
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14040

Deceptive identities — companies that change their names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1090

Share
>