I read a discussion on Linked In about using an embosser for Notary work. I realize that I used to write about this a lot long time ago. Perhaps it has been since 2010 or 2011 since I have written about using an embosser. Here is what you need to know.
(1) Each state has its own rules about using seals and embossers. Some states don’t even require using a Notary Seal. I personally feel that it is not professional for a notary not to use a Seal and a Journal for all transactions regardless of what their state’s standards are. I have not heard of a state prohibiting the use of seals and or journals, although many make it optional. If you need to query a critical record for a Deed for a million dollar property, that will be impossible if you don’t keep a sequential journal!
Some states allow the use of a secondary non-inked embosser. Ask your state notary division if your state allows this. California allowed the use of an inked seal, and supplemental use of a non-inked embosser when I was a California Notary Public. As a general rule, if you are allowed to use an embosser as a primary seal, it must be inked. However, I recommend using it as a secondary seal because it doesn’t fit in small places, the text is round and hence harder to read, etc.
(2) Embossers help to deter fraud.
The correct use of an embosser as a secondary notary seal is to emboss each page of every document you notarize. That way frauds will think twice about switching pages after the fact which is a common crime.
(3) Embossers help to identify fraud
If someone is stupid and decides to commit fraud by Xeroxing a notarized document, the embosser’s three dimensional raised impression will not show up in the photocopy. Additionally, if a page is swapped, you can easily identify that page by its lack of an embossed impression
(4) Embossers don’t deter fraud unless you use them on every page of every document you notarize. If you get an embosser later in your career, make a notation in your journal of the date when you started using it, and keep notes in subsequent journals of when you started using it. The notes go in the COVER of the journal where you can’t miss it. That way, if any of your notarizations are investigated, you will have easy to query records of when you were using an embosser and when you weren’t. And remember, if you only use it on some documents, if a fraud is committed, you won’t remember if you used your embosser or not, so use it on every document and on all pages, no matter how many pages.
(5) Some people like to put the embosser through all the pages of a document all at once at a particular part of the document. This technique would make it obvious if someone used a forged embosser after the fact. The location and nature of the impression of the embosser would be different and lighter on each page that it went through. I didn’t use this technique because the impression would not be legible if it went through more than several pages. I did each page separately. Some notaries even put the embosser at the edge of the paperwork so only half of the embosser’s seal goes through the paper and the other half goes through air.
(6) The NNA and other notary supply companies can help you purchase an embosser. They cost around $30 when I was a Notary. They might be more now. You might need a letter of authorization from your state notary division to purchase one. Good luck!
You might also like:
Can a notary go to jail for notary fraud?
All mortgage fraud is investigated by the FBI
My stolen identity and the fraudulent notary seal
Do a half fast embossing