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August 17, 2016

The mafia guy who could make witnesses disappear

It was late at night in front of the local bank. Two guys were doing a heist. But, there was a problem. There were two witnesses. Luckily, their Mafia friend Gioseppe happened to be at the scene. His specialty? He’s good at making witnesses disappear. But, how?

There was a Notary in the neighboring building who was doing a loan signing and a Will signing. The Notary advertise that he could provide witnesses. But, the signers didn’t give the Notary advanced notice. So, what was he to do? The Mafia guy (who had eyes everywhere) happened to see the Notary (Fred) and asked him if he could make some witnesses “disappear.” So, the Notary walked over and offered them some dough to witness the Will signing providing they “didn’t see nothing.”

The witnesses were confused. Isn’t the whole point of witnessing to see someone sign? The Notary said, well, yeah, but you didn’t see nothing else — capiche?

So, the bank robbers did their work, the witnesses appear where they were needed and disappeared where they were not, and all was well… until… the silent alarm went off. The robbers got caught a block down the street by some fast cops with GPS systems from hell. The witnesses didn’t see the crime, but did witness the conglomeration of twelve police cars. As the witnesses were walking down the street the police questioned them.

POLICE: Did you see anything?

WITNESSES: Only some crazy Notary guy who offered us $15 bucks to watch some sap sign his Will.

POLICE: Where were you before the Notary picked you up?

WITNESSES: Right next to the bank witnessing the bank before it got robbed.

POLICE: Did you notice anything unusual about the bank then?

WITNESSES: We noticed that it was not being robbed. Then, once our backs were turned, everything changed.

NOTARY: Walking by. Hey guys, please give my card to the criminals just in case they need a Notary who travels to jails. I also can act as a witness.

POLICE: Did you witness anything tonight?

NOTARY: Hey buddy, I charge 10 bucks to act as a witness – in advance. You’re seven minutes too late. Maybe next time. But, you gotta pay me a few minutes BEFORE the robbery, that way I can witness it — capiche?


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The Notary, The Mafia & The Fedex Drop Box


July 12, 2016

Subscribing Witnesses Explained

There are TWO types of subscribing witnesses.

1. The person who appears before a Notary on behalf of someone being notarized with a Proof of Execution is called a subscribing witness or executing witness. The actual signer cannot appear before a Notary Public, so a witness is used to sign on the principal’s behalf and swear. The basic idea is that the subscribing witness witnessed the principal sign the document.

2. A person who witnesses a disabled person who is signing by X in a document is also called a subscribing witness.


As a Notary Public, you may come into a situation where the signer is not able to sign. Most Notaries are not trained in how to handle such situations. If you do hospital notarizations you will deal with this situation a lot. Some signers cannot move their arms properly. Others cannot sign their name. If you can get them to sign an X in your journal and an X in the signature section of the document with two subscribing witnesses watching. You are in luck.

You need to have the subscribing witnesses sign your journal and input their drivers license info as well. Additionally, the subscribing witnesses sign the first and last name of the signer on the document which sounds like forgery, but many states allow this. Check your state notary handbook to see if this procedure is legal in your state.

Signature by X from A to Z

Subscribing Witness Glossary Definition

What is Signature by X or Signature by Mark

Types of witnesses in the notary profession



April 20, 2013

Types of witnesses in the notary profession

Types of Witnesses in the Notary Profession

All the names of witnesses in the notary profession can be confusing if you don’t know your terminology. I am going to write a brief tutorial of various types of witnesses.

Anyone who witnesses a signature can be a witness. In general you should be 18 years of age or older to serve as a witness. A witness could engage in the act of witnessing a signature.

Credible Witness
Most states allow the use of Credible Witnesses to identify a signer. Some states will allow two Credible Witnesses who know the signer, but do NOT know the notary. Some states will allow one Credible Witness who knows the signer as well as the notary. Some states will allow one or two Credible Witnesses. Consult your state’s notary handbook for details.

Credible Identifying Witness
A more legal or technical term for a Credible Witness

Executing Witness
Also known as a Subscribing Witness that would be used in a Proof of Execution signing. Don’t make a mistake on this type of notarization or the joke is that you will be executed!

Subscribing Witness
A witness who watches someone else sign their name. The word “sign” can sometimes be synonomous with the word “subscribe”.

Subscribing Witness for a Signature by X signing
A Subscribing Witness is also the term for someone who watches and assists in a Signature by Mark or Signature by X signing.

Witness to a Jurat Signature
Notaries are required by law to witness signatures that correspond to Jurat notarizations. Signatures that are to be acknowledged on the other hand, do NOT need to be witnessed, and can be signed before (even years before) the signature is acknolwedged.

Witness to a Will
Being a witness to a Will is similar to any other type of witnessing, except for the fact that the witness might need to (or probably should) document the fact that they witnessed a will signing on the signature page of the Will. Wills are by definition, orten much more serious than any other type of document.

They are often more important even than Power of Attorney documents or Grant Deeds. Another reason why witnessing signatures on Wills is so critical is because the signer will probably be dead if and when the document is disputed. It is too late to drag someone into court to testify if they are deceased!

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Can a notary witness a Will or notarize one?

Credible Witnesses from A to Z

Identification requirements for being notarized