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August 18, 2012

A Texas Notary Runs Scared

Often people will ask me if I’m scared to go out to someone’s house, especially at night. Once, when I was almost through with a late-night signing, the signer suddenly said he had to get the signing done that night because he had to go back to jail the next day. I left as soon as I could.

Once, once when I was a new Texas notary public, I got the date wrong and had to go back and do the whole thing over. Why did that happen? The client told me the date—and I did not check. Now, I always make sure I know the date of the signing. Remember that you are in charge—not the signer.

I’ve been in all kinds of houses and have seen all kinds of people. I’ve been at signings where cockroaches were running across the table, or where the smell of animals in the house was so strong I almost fainted. Atone signing, I was pregnant, and I had to ask the family if I could do the signing outside because I felt sick. It was actually the smell inside the house that was a problem—but I just smiled my way through it, and didn’t make them feel it was in any way their fault. They ended up recommending me to some really nice other people who didn’t have any animals at all.

I get a lot of work as a Texas notary. Definitely explaining to people what they are signing helps, and that’s one of the things I’m known for. Remember that for a Texas notary, it’s necessary to prepare an invoice for all signings, so be sure you have all that done in advance. I’ve done signings on top of cars at midnight, and because I was prepared, it was pretty quick. Once I had to do a signature by mark for a whole document (250 pages) because the woman had arthritis. It took a long time but I just had to be patient. Patience pays off—because so many people show no patience at all today. If you have it, you need to spread it around. Being a notary is one way to help others see that being a decent person is still in style.

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January 31, 2012

What is Signature by X or by Mark?

What is a signature by X — What is a Signature by mark?
 
Please check your state notary rules to see what is allowed in your state.  Many states allow for people to sign by x, or sign by mark. This procedure is generally only for very frail and elderly people who are bedridden.  We have a number of posts about this topic, and we invite you to view these posts to learn about the details regarding how to get a notary for a bedridden signer, and what the procedure is.
 
Please see these posts for details:
 
Signature by X from A to Z – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=203
 
Dragging the person’s arm – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=610
 
A tale of four notaries in hospitals – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=463
 
Hospital notary jobs from A to Z – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=76
 
 
 
Please note that you need 2 subscribing witnesses for a signature by mark.  Also, the signer of the X needs to be able to sign the X without someone moving their arm for them which is sometimes a challenge.  This type of signing normally happens in a hospital room or nursing home where the signer is bedridden.

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November 24, 2010

Signature By X

Signature by X — Signature by Mark
Many notaries go through their entire career without understanding the necessity and importance of the Signature by X / Signature by Mark procedure  (Notarizing an X). If you have ever done a hospital signing, or signing for elderly, you might be accutely aware of the limitations that a signer has in tasks we take for granted.  Many elderly signers with physical disabilities can not even sign their own name, or more their own arm with any coordination.  This necessitates signature by X procedures.
 
What is Signature by X?
Signature by X is where the signer being notarized signs an X instead of a regular signature.
(1) You need two subscribing witnesses who witness the signature by X.
(2) The signer signs an X in your journal and on the document.
(3) Witness one signs the person’s first name in the document and journal
(4) Witness two signs the persons middle and last names in the document and journal.
(5) Document the ID’s and signatures of the witnesses in the document and journal
(6) Keep in mind that this is a very unusual notary procedure and is tricky.
 
Be careful!
If you have ever done a hospital signing, the signer could be drugged, may not have current ID, or may have overly zealous relatives who move the patient’s arm to get them to sign their name. This is not acceptable. The signer must sign their own name.  Arms of others may be used as braces to limit the motion of the patient’s arm, but you may not actually move the signer’s arm around, otherwise that is like forgery — well intentioned forgery — which is still illegal.
 
Subscribing witnesses?
What is a subscribing witness?  Anyone who witnesses someone signing by X is a subscribing witness.  They sign the document and the journal.  In California, one witness signs the signer’s first name and the other signer signs the signer’s last and milddle name (if there is one ). Its good to create documentation to accompany the document as to what this odd procedure is, since it is uncommon and looks strange.  Its prudent to indicate the subscribing witnesses names on the actual document and that they witnessed the signature by X.
 
Comprehension
When notarizing the elderly, make sure they understand the document. The last thing you want is to end up in court because an elderly person has been defrauded out of their life savings with paperwork notarized by you.  Make sure the signer has read all the documents.  Elderly people get scammed much more than the rest of us simply because they are more vulnerable and less on the ball, especially when they are regularly drugged in a hospital.
 
Related Terms:
http://www.123notary.com/glossary/?subscribing-witness
http://www.123notary.com/glossary/?signature-by-mark

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Where do credible witnesses sign the notary journal book?
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http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2447

Common notary acts from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2392

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November 3, 2010

Notary Public – Ohio odd rules

Ohio Notary odd rules and practices

If you are interested in oddities of notary laws in various states, rules for Ohio Notaries can sometimes be odd.  Here are some odd Ohio Notary rules / Ohio Notary Laws.

Here are a few examples.

(1) Signature by X
Many states allow signature by mark where the signer signs with an X. This is generally for very elderly signers who can’t sign their name properly. In California and many other states, two signing witnesses are required for this act. If you are an Ohio Notary, you can use a specially worded acknowledgment called a “Signature by mark acknowledgment”. I think this wording is helpful, because it helps to remind the notary what this odd procedure entails. Notaries do signatures by mark very infrequently and most don’t even know how to do it. The wording is:

State of Ohio
County of __________________

On the ____ day of ____, _______, before me, the undersigned notary public, personally appeared __________, personally known to me or proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person who made and acknowledged his/her mark on the within instrument in my presence, and in the presence of the two persons indicated below who have signed the within instrument as witnesses, one of whom, ________________________, also wrote the name of the signer by mark near the mark.

Witness my hand and official seal

_____________________ (Seal of Ohio Notary)

(2) Attorney in Fact Acknowledgment
An Ohio notary public can also use the form called an Attorney-in-fact acknowledgment individual. This particular form has he/she, his/her, etc., and is meant for an individual signer, not a duo, or multiple signers.

(3) Corporate Acknowledgment
There is also a corporate acknowledgment that Ohio notaries can use which documents the corporate position of the signer. I inserted the term (capacity), meaning the person’s job title. Here is the official Ohio notary verbiage  / Ohio notary wording:

State of Ohio
County of ____________

On__________, 20__, before me, the undersigned notary public, personally appeared _____________,
personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person who executed the instrument as the ___________________ (capacity) of _____________ (name of corporation), a corporation, and acknowledged to me that such a corporation executed the within instrument pursuant to its by-laws, or a resolution of its board of directors, and that the seal that is affixed to the within instrument is the corporate seal of the said corporation. Witness my hand and official seal.

_________________________ (Seal of Ohio Notary )

(4) The term of office
An Ohio Notary Term of Office is five years. This is roughly the national average for number of years of a notary commission.

(5) An Ohio notary can take depositions
– can transcribe a testimony in a law suit in court.

(6) Credible Witnesses in Ohio
A credible witness can identify a signer for an Ohio Notary. However, no oath is necessary for the credible witness. Many other states require the credible witness to raise their hand and swear under oath to the identity of the signer.

You might also like:

Credible Witnesses when ID and docs have different names

Become an Ohio Notary public

Can a notary be a witness?

Ohio Notary Stories from the Edge

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