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October 31, 2016

Safety Deposit Box Openings

Believe it or not, a Notary in New York is authorized to perform Safety Deposit Box Openings. Yes, if you are a New York Notary, you can get paid to witness a Safety Deposit Box Opening. You would be required to take an inventory of the contents of the box. Sometimes a bank has to terminate a safety deposit box because someone died, etc. In such a case, a Notary is necessary to make sure everything id documented correctly. It sounds like a fun task if you like going to banks.

I don’t know what they can charge for such an act though. It involves driving, parking, waiting, and performing a simple clerical task. In my opinion, a job like this should be billed at $40 for travel, a dollar a minute waiting time paid up front in 20 minute increments, as well as $10 for the actual paperwork for performing the safety deposit box opening.

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December 3, 2011

New York Notary income is the highest!

New York Notary Income is one of the highest in the country. 

Notary Public NYC:
If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.
There is a lot of truth to this statement, especially in the notary profession.  Manhattan notaries are the best educated and most aggressive in the nation.  The notary with the most reviews on his profile is a New York Notary Public in NYC. The notary with the highest amount of clicks is also an NYC Notary Public (the same person by chance).  It is not a coincidence that the notary with the most reviews also gets the most clicks and the most jobs.  If you don’t have reviews, nobody wants to hire you, so the jobs go to people who are already getting the most jobs. It’s feast or famine and the notaries in NYC understand this. 
Notary Public New York: More elite certified notaries.
If you look on our NYC Notary search results, you will see more elite certified members than on any other page in the country.  There seems to be a greater drive to excel in Manhattan than anywhere else in the world.  Manhattan is a place where you have to fight just to cross the street, so trying harder is just a part of life for NYC notaries.  Life is a jungle over there.
More clicks
Notaries in Manhattan are getting more than triple the national average for clicks per capita.  If you are in Iowa and not getting enough jobs, consider moving to Manhattan. There is a lot of work to go around there.  Surprisingly, there are fewer notaries per capita in New York City than in most other cities.  I am not sure why this is.  Getting around by car is harder in New York City than in any other metro area, and that might be part of the reason.  But, you can take a cab to your notary appointment or take the subway — it’s not a crime.  Just put some mace in your notary carry all bag, you might need it if you go out at night!
$2 per signature, how do you make money?
If you are efficient and fast, $2 per signature is not bad. Just make sure your clients don’t ramble and just produce a document and an ID and are ready to sign your journal. $2 is not enough to listen to someone’s life story.  Fortunately for the notaries in NYC, New Yorkers talk faster (more words per minute) than other parts of the country, and have less time to jabber, so the process should be quick unless you get someone retired.  But, you can make a mint in travel fees. There is no restriction on travel fees, so if someone will pay you $60 to go to their office, and $120 to go to a jail, then do it.  Reliable notaries are worth this fee to many, and you will get many repeat clients.

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November 13, 2011

Can a notary witness a will or notarize one?

Can a notary act as a witness to a will — Can a notary notarize a will?
This is a very difficult topic to write about because notary law differs from state to state, and notary laws change over time as well in particular states.  As a general rule, a notary public is discouraged from notarizing signatures on any will.  If you are a New York Notary Public, you should probably avoid notarizing signatures on Wills under any circumstance since standards for what constitutes unauthorized practice of law in New York State for a New York Notary Public are more stringent than many other states.  I heard that notarizing a Will as a New York Notary might be considered practicing law. However, in many states, a notary can notarize signatures on a will — even though it would be meaningless.  Utah notaries are encouraged to notarize signatures on Wills if asked to since it is illegal to turn down any lawful request for a notarization. But, what about acting as a witness?
A notary can act as a witness, but in their capacity as an individual.
Unless your state prohibits a notary from being a witness (  have never heard of such a restriction, but it could exist), a notary can be a witness.  A Delaware Notary Public can act as a witness as an official Delaware notary act and charge a prescribed maximum notary fee.  However, in other states, a notary public may act as a witness, but in their capacity as an individual — or at least it would not be done as an official notary act recognized by their state.  On the other hand, the notary acting as a witness can also indicate that they are a commissioned notary in their state which adds credibility.  Notaries are screened before being commissioned in their respective state which makes them perhaps more credible than an average citizen (you would think).
Unauthorized practice of law — what does this mean?
I am not an attorney, and can not give any meaningful tutorials on what unauthorized practice of law constitutes.  As a non-attorney notary, you should avoid giving any type of advice about what type of notarization to get, what type of legal paperwork to get, or how to fill it out.  You should not draft legal documents in any state (documents to be used in court or submitted to a judge or used in conjunction with any court case).  You might be able to assist in drafting non-legal documents in many states that are to be notarized such as simple affidavits, etc.  A Florida notary public is strongly advised against helping drafting any type of documents since laws in their state are more strict about what type of advice a notary may give.  In short, each state has a different idea of what “UPL” means.  To play it safe, please read up on what your state notary laws are, and don’t draft legal documents, and don’t give advice on legal matters.
How many witnesses do you need for a Will?
It is standard in California, New York, Ohio, Arizona,  and  most other states for a Will to require two witness signatures. I read on that Vermont requires three witnesses to sign a Will.  Witnesses must be 18 years of age or older in any state.  A notary can be one of those witnesses.
How do you document witnesses?
It is not a crime for a notary public to notarize the signatures of witnesses on a will, although it is improper to notarize the signature of the principal. It is always helpful for the witnesses to print their name, give their address and a phone number as documentation. You never know when they might need to be contacted.  By having witnesses’ signatures notarized, the notary has a record of the identification of the witnesses, and a prudent notary would also record their adress and maybe even their contact information.
What is it like to act as a witness to a will?
I have done this many times.  It is a very boring, but traditional formal proceeding. It is common to have an attorney present, a few neighbors or friends, and perhaps even a bottle of wine (for after the signing).  Everyone commonly gathers around the dining room table. Once everyone is there, then the attorney might give a quick speech, and then the principal signer signs, and then the witnesses sign in their appointed places.  Afterwards, there is lots of chatting generally. Or, you might meet in the conference room of a law office and do it there (less fun).  Many people consider a notary to be a better quality witness since they deal with signing documents as a profession and they take signatures more seriously, so I got many gigs as a witness.  I took it very seriously and watched very intently every time a signer signed!
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