Inkless Thumbprinter Archives - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – Control Panel

November 11, 2011

Notary Journal Thumbprints – they can save your neck!

Notary Journal Thumbprints
How adamant are you about taking journal thumbprints?  As a California notary public, you are required to take notary journal thumbprints for deeds effecting real property and power of attorney documents.  Notary thumbprint taking is a serious business and can keep you out of court.
Taking precautions as a notary
I have written other blog posts about precautions that notaries can take.  Notaries can use an inkless embosser in addition to an inked seal.  They can emboss every page of every document they ever notarize as a precaution against page switching which is a common crime that takes place after multi-page documents have been notarized. Taking a precaution of taking journal thumbprints is smart also, and can keep you out of court.
Suspicion of identity fraud
Let’s say that you notarized a signature on a document and that someone involved in the transaction suspects identity fraud.  The first thing they will do is to track down the notary who notarized the signature on the document and start asking questions about the signer. You will not remember the signer well, unless you took notes in your journal about what they looked like, how they acted, how old they were, etc.  But, if you have a thumbprint, that is absolute proof of the signer’s identity.  No two thumbprints are identical, and you can’t fake a thumbprint (forge a thumbprint) in front of a notary.
The investigation ended once I produced a thumbprint
If someone questions you about a particular notarization, and you say you have a journal thumbprint, the investigation might just end right there.  It happened to me as a California notary public during my first four year term. I saved myself from a potentially long visit to court.  I got a phone call from someone investigating fraud.  Someone had cheated some elderly people whom I had notarized.  One of the documents used to allegedly cheat them had been notarized by myself in my capacity as a California notary public. Since I had a journal thumbprint, the identity of the signers was no longer in question.  The person said they had no further questions the minute I told them I had a thumbprint. They didn’t even want a copy of the journal entry with the thumbprint.
Weak thumbprints with the elderly
The flaw of thumbprints are that elderly people often lose the tread on their fingers.  I am talking about really old people, perhaps in their eighties or nineties.  There is nothing you can do in that case, but at least you have a print, no matter how featureless it is. Personally, with signers over eighty, I recommend a retinal scan, which is not possible for a notary to take in 2011, but maybe in 2015… we can always hope.
Regardless of your state of commission
Whether you are a Florida notary public, a California notary, or notary in another state, if you are notarizing signatures on a power of attorney or real estate deeds, get a journal thumbprint whether it is required by law or not. That thumbprint could save your neck.  It is not a bad idea to require signers to give thumbprints for all documents and even oaths or affirmations.  It keeps them honest.  The minute they start making excuses why they shouldn’t have to be thumbprinted, that is suspicious behavior, and you might want to refuse service to them.
Bring wipes!
Don’t forget to bring wet naps or wipes of some sort.  It is polite to have something for the signer to wipe their hands off with.  Even with the NNA’s inkless thumbprinter which is a product I always had several backups in stock of, you should offer a wipe.  I strongly recommend having at least one inkless thumbprinter in your notary carry all bag!

Please visit our notary search page to see our notary public California page and notary public Florida page!


You might also like:

Thumbprinting in Texas

Multiple title companies told Notaries NOT to thumbprint?

Notary Public 101’s guide to Notary Journals

Thumbprint taking step by step


January 25, 2011

Notary Housewives

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:42 pm

You’ve heard of Mafia housewives, Mid-Western houswives, well now there’s Notary housewives.

WIFE #1: Honey, I thought we talked about that before.

NOTARY #1: I know, I know, I know. I was supposed to do this a month ago. Get an inkless thumbprinter so I don’t come home with ink all over my hands.

WIFE #1: The NNA sells them for only about $16. Just do it. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to take out the garbage — it’s stacking up.

NOTARY #1: So, are you still mad at me?

WIFE #1: About taking late night jobs? It’s not that. I just want to know where you are. It makes me feel uncomfortable that you’re with strange women at all hours of the night.

NOTARY #1: For your information, they’re not strange. And there are men too who I notarize.

WIFE #1: You notarize men too?

NOTARY #1: Of course I do. Men have notarial needs too. Didn’t you know that?

WIFE #1: Well, I’d just be more comfortable if you would call and let me know where you are and what you’re doing.

INTERVIEWER: I’d like to ask the other wives what type of issues they’ve had with their husbands. How about you Samantha. Tell us your story.

SAMANTHA: I met him five years ago. I thought he was the best guy on earth. I wasn’t bothered by the fact that he was a Notary. I didn’t know that had a stigma to it. It took me a year to find out why. We were at this party. They had a BBQ, kids, families. We were just hanging around mingling. It was nice. I liked it. That is the way weekends should be. Then, Bob got a call. I couldn’t believe it. And he actually answered it. It’s Saturday — how can you answer a business call on a Saturday? He told me the whole deal about how he had bills to pay. I said, your bills can wait. Enjoy yourself. They offered him $100 to come out and sign a few documents. So, he asked if I wanted to come with him. I foolishly said yes. It was horrible sitting there watching the entire family there fight while he signed some contract documents for them. I don’t see how he can handle that type of life. So, after we finished driving and doing the job, it was too late to go back to the BBQ. I wanted to make new friends. But, instead, I drove around town with my mobile notary boyfriend who I later married. Since then, it has only gotten worse.

INTERVIEWER: I’d love to learn how it got worse. But, we’re running out of time. I want to hear Gwen’s story. Gwen, tell us what happened last week with your Notary husband.

GWEN: You wouldn’t believe what happened to me yesterday. I told my husband that I wasn’t feeling like myself. I asked him if he had any suggestions. He recommended that I check my ID to see who my ID said I was. So, I did — and sure enough, I was myself. Then, he said perhaps I should have a separate ID for when I don’t feel like myself to reflect that person. What a nut! Then, I said to him — I feel like I don’t really know you anymore. He told me that I can be either personally known, or proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence. What’s that all about?

INTERVIEWER: It sounds like you’re growing apart. It’s normal for the excitement in a relationship to wear off — especially if that relationship is with a Notary.

GWEN: Tell me about it.

INTERVIEWER: Well, we’re out of time. Tune in next week for another episode of Notary Housewives called Housewives without Mortgages!


You might also like:

Notaries without makeup

Notary Oscars