Saturday, August 22, 2015

IDEA: Thinking outside of the box with SmileBox Marketing

This is an example of a way to market notary services with SmileBox.  You won't want to have all the SmileBox advertisement showing, so take a look at this:  Make your SmileBox brochure into a YouTube video.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Goodbye to my Granddog Ty...sure will miss him.

This has nothing to do with notaries, except that I think 90% of notaries have loved a pet like a family member.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to a sweet old dog.  Seems like just yesterday he was a baby.  It was ten years ago and I was just getting my notary business kicked off.  The nostalgia of his babyhood is mingled keenly with my first efforts at being a notary signing agent.

Ty, you have been well-loved.  Chase balls in the surf at sunrise, old man.

If the video above doesn't work, Ty's tribute is also here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Attorney lambasts Section 41-313 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (Excellent article, even if from 2011)

This 2011 article is quite worthy of AZ notaries' attention! Get legal insight on this unhandy set of provisions added to 41-313 in AZ notary law.

"The new law added the following provisions to Arizona Revised Statutes Section 41-313:
C.  If a notary attaches a notarial certificate to a document using a separate sheet of paper, the attachment must contain a description of the document that includes at a minimum the title or type of document, the document date, the number of pages of the document and any additional signers other than those named in the notarial certificate."


The author of this article is Richard Keyt, an Arizona limited liability company attorney who has formed 4,200+ LLCs for $597. His Silver & Gold LLC packages include the $85 expedited filing fee, newspaper publication, a custom Operating Agreement and 170 book called the Arizona LLC Operations Manual. Connect with Richard at 602-424-4152 or on Google+

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lawrence S. Huffman: Do it right

Gotta love the judge mentioned in this article!!

At some point in their lives, most adults have been required to produce a document on which their signature has been notarized. Probably the commonest occasion is when the person sells an automobile and signs the back of the title. That signature must be affixed in the presence of a Notary Public under oath. It would be rare that the correct procedure is followed, however. 
Not one to create a problem without offering a solution, Judge Davison got some booklets about qualifications, duties and powers of Notaries from the Secretary of State’s office and gave one to each applicant with study instructions. 

Read the whole story here!

AAN on Facebook

Sunday, July 26, 2015

GOOD READ — Notary Trends: Privacy Issues And Collecting Signer Thumbprints (Kelle Clarke / NNA)

I am passing on an important article written by Kelle Clarke, Contributing Editor for the NNA. What you will learn from this article is ...

  • Texas Secretary of State discourages notaries regarding thumbprint collection. (There may be other states that do.)
  • Some private businesses don't want notaries with whom they are contracting to collect a thumbprint if their states' laws do not require it. (Only certain transactions and notarial acts in Cook County, Illinois and the State of California require thumbprints.)
  • Collecting thumbprints in notary journals has produced privacy issue concerns.

I love this article because it gives me a chance to say what's on my mind.

Collecting thumbprints from signers has become a way for notaries to feel secure about notarial transactions they conduct. I have never been a fan of this process. While some believe it's the best fraud repellent in the world, I personally do not.

Criminals are fairly impulsive creatures who will take risks that their fraudulent acts won't be discovered and thumbprints won't be checked. In addition, a smart criminal knows that the road between putting a thumbprint in a journal and getting it compared by an expert to that of the rightful owner of a property that the criminal has stolen is a seldom traveled long, and winding one.

So, notaries fill their journals with the thumbprints of good folks and occasionally capture that rare one of a scoundrel who will never be caught. Notary journals in states that do not require thumbprint collection are heavy with the prints of unsuspecting, honest folks who have willingly given up precious biometric identifiers. Unfortunately, as technology advances, notary journals may become fat little targets for a more sophisticated type of ID theft.

My lawyer told me not to do it, and that was before the Texas Secretary of State discouraged notaries against it. He said if the law didn't require it, he didn't recommend it because it could blossom into all kinds of liability issues.

I have written about this topic for several years in the AAN's newsletters. It's not popular because notaries like to take thumbprints. It's good to hear another voice in the wilderness!

BEST PRACTICE FOR YOU? If you live in a state that doesn't require you to collect thumbprints, talk to your Secretary of State's office or an attorney of your choice.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Basic Marketing Essentials for Notary Professionals (Free Webinar) June 25 2015 8 PM EST

Presenter:  Enna Bachelor
Date:  June 25 2015
Time: 8 PM EST

Hello, all.

Enna Bachelor, a positive, motivated notary I've enjoyed following on Facebook and LinkedIn, shared materials from her last webinar with me and I was impressed.

 I have no reason to promote this except that Enna inspires me and because I learned from her how to create free infographics the first time she contacted me.   It looks like she's got a great handle on how to use social media to market a small business.

I don't get a dime for promoting this for her, except the hope that I'm scoring a great find. I am always looking for good content for newsletters and the Facebook page I manage--and, of course, this blog.

Enna, I hope I've found another great source!

Anyhow, I'll be there. Join me. Register at the link below:

Basic Marketing Essentials for Notary Professionals (Free Webinar)  June 25 2015 8 PM EST

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Uncapping Notary Fees In California...Good or Bad?

Read the Proposed Bill Here.

I don't live in California where notary fees are basically capped at $10.  But, I know my friends there have a hard time justifying their $10 per act fees to clients. If you take that figure off the books, it could become harder to justify.

The NNA suggests that you support this bill because notaries need a raise.  I think there are two sides to this issue, so you'll have to weigh it out for yourself.  Again, I don't live there.  I don't notarize there, but until I have more info, I would be inclined not to support the bill.

Let's face it,  Lawmakers have lots on their plates never give us a thought unless someone is suggesting a new notarial law to them. If an industry in California is pushing for an upgraded electronic notarization program, uncapping the fees would make sense.

I'm about to dash out for a Mother's Day lunch with the kids at a country bbq spot, so this won't be an intellectual discussion...very quickly, my point is:

It seems that hi-tech e-notarization solutions always bring hi-tech platforms and the need for higher notary fees to cover technology costs involved.  The notaries are not always the ones receiving 100% of the fees.  Dare I mention webcam notarial acts?  I know...I'm really sceptical these days.
I'm rambling.  I've said enough.

Wish I had more time to investigate this...I only learned of it yesterday.

What do you think?

PS - thanks to M for bringing this to my attention.  Can't believe notaries only learned of it after it had gone through committee, etc.  I missed this didn't hit my Scout filters.

Talking it Through: Notarizing a Copy of a Passport (or Driver License)

Good morning, readers! The following scenario is a common one.  I thought that I would take the time to write a script of how I would handle this if the situation occurred.  
Happy reading!  Brenda

One of the most common requests that notaries receive is that of a client who seeks to obtain a notarized copy of a driver license or passport.  The client does not care how it gets done, he or she simply wants to have a notary’s seal attached to a copy of his or her passport or driver license.

A client in need of such an act imagines that this would be a simple procedure of taking the passport or driver license to a notary public and having the notary make a copy.  The client envisions that the notary will stamp his or her seal on the copy and sign it.  And, abracadabra!  The client has a notarized copy of a passport or driver license! 

But, as you probably know, a notary cannot do this! 

Few states make allowances for notaries to certify copies of passports and driver licenses.  Florida allows notaries to “attest” to true and correct copies of these and other types of documents, but notaries in most states do not have this type of authority.

Notaries can’t just stamp and sign documents, and certainly not copies of passports or driver licenses.  Yet, the numbers of these types of requests seem to increase each year. 

Generally speaking, a notarial act requires a notarial certificate with appropriate language attached to a document signed by another person.  Therefore, one way to help clients who need a “notarized copy” of passports or driver licenses is to let them provide written statements about their ID documents.

Through the sample dialog provided below, readers will learn a safe route to managing this type of request.

The client calls the notary.

Client:  I need a notarized copy of my passport.  I made a copy of it; I just need you to notarize it--just stamp it.

Notary:  Great!  I might be able to help you. 

Please understand that I can’t just apply my seal and signature to the copy, but I CAN notarize signed statements.

Client:  I just need you to stamp it. 

Notary:  I can only place my seal on notarial certificates that are attached to signed documents.  If you write a statement about the copy of your passport and sign it, I can notarize your signature on that statement.

Client:  Wait!  You are saying that I have to write a statement?  Are you sure?  I thought that notaries had forms for this kind of thing. 

Notary:  No, I am sorry.  Some notaries may claim to have forms for this purpose, but unless a notary is also an attorney, he or she should not provide forms to clients.  That’s the same as preparing legal documents; notaries cannot do that.  The would be considered “unauthorized practice of law.”

Client:  Just type up whatever I need to say.  I will pay you extra.

Notary:  Unfortunately, I can’t type it for you.  In fact, I am not actually advising you to write a statement.  I’m not a lawyer, so I really cannot advise you about anything.   I am telling you that I can notarize signed statements.

Client: You are not being very helpful.  This is a pain.  Are you sure you know what you are doing?

Notary:  I know what my state’s notarial laws allow me to do.  I really am trying to help.  If you write a statement describing the copy of your passport, I can notarize your signature on that statement. I just can’t tell you what to say.

Client:  Are you serious?

Notary:  Yes.  I know this sounds complicated, but let me explain.  Notaries can notarize written statements about anything.  If you want to make write a statement about your highest bowling score, the color of your house, the age of your children, or anything else that is truthful, you sign it, and I can notarize it. 

Therefore, if write a statement about the copy you made of your passport, I can notarize your signature on that statement.  Does that make sense? 

Client:  Kind of.  Okay, if I bring you a copy of my passport and a statement about it, you will notarize it? 

Notary:  Yes. 

Client:  I know you know what it should say.  Why don’t you just tell me?

Notary:  I’m sorry, but I cannot tell you what it should say.  It may be helpful to ask yourself the reason you need to have a notarized copy of your passport. That may help you to figure out what you should say in your statement. 

Client:  I am applying with Widget Company, Inc. to sell their widgets.  The company that sells widgets wants to make sure that it knows who I am.  So, they want a notary to verify my identity with a notarized true and accurate copy of a passport!

Notary:   Does that give you an idea of what you need to say?

Client:  Maybe.  I think you are saying that I should write “This is a true copy of my passport.”

Notary:  What you say has to be in your own words.     

Client:  You are making this too difficult.  I will just call another notary!

Notary:  I understand. Thank you for calling. I will be available until 7:00 pm tonight if you choose to call back.

The client calls back an hour later.

Client:  Okay.  Are you still available?  I called around.  Two notaries said they could not help me at all, and one notary said it would be tomorrow.  I called Widget Company, Inc.  They told me what I need to say in my statement.  Does it have to be typed? 

Notary:  No. It does not have to be typed. Handwritten is fine.  Please wait until you get here to sign the document and bring proper ID, either your passport or driver license.  The allowable fee is $X.XX for a notarial act.

The client arrives at the notary’s office.

Notary:  May I see the document that you wish to have notarized?  I will also need to see your ID and it will take a moment to take down information for my notary journal.

[The client hands over the required fee and the copy of his passport; his statement is written beneath it.]

[The notary takes out his receipt book and writes a receipt and hands it to the client.]

Client:  Please hurry.

Notary:  Sir, may I see your ID?

[The notary opens his journal and writes the date of the notarization]

Client:  But, you have a copy of my passport right here!

Notary:  I am so sorry, but I need to see an original ID document.  It can be your driver license or passport. 

Client:  They are both out in the car. You HAVE the copy in your hands!

Notary:  I still need to see an original driver license or passport. A copy is not adequate.

Client:  Fine. 

[The client goes out to get his ID and the notary continues writing in his journal.  He notes “Statement Regarding Copy of Passport with expiration date XX/XX/XX” under the heading of “Document Title.” He pauses, waiting for the client to return with his ID.]

[The client returns with his ID.]

Notary:  Thank you. 

[The notary collects the required ID information for the notary journal.]

Notary:  Please sign your name in my journal. 

[The clients signs the journal and picks up his ID.]

Client:  What else? Can you notarize this document, or not?  I am in a hurry.

Notary:  Since the statement does not have a notarial certificate attached to it, I will need you to choose a certificate for me to attach to your statement.  I will show you samples.

Client:  So, you STILL can’t notarize this?  Just STAMP IT.  I don’t want a certificate.  This is getting ridiculous.  I just want you to stamp THIS COPY of my passport.

Notary:  I know it seems like a lot of work, but I have to operate within my state’s laws. 

Client:  Why can’t you just pick a notary certificate for me?  Isn’t that your business to know which certificate I need?

Notary:   I apologize for this inconvenience, but my state’s laws are clear on this.  I cannot prepare statements for clients to sign and I cannot pick a notarial certificate if one is not supplied with the statement. 

Client:  Fine!  Show me the samples of the certificates!

Notary:  Thank you.  Here are samples of the most common notarial certificates, a jurat and an acknowledgment.  Please select one and I will complete the notarization.

Client:  What’s the difference?

Notary:  I will read the language aloud to you.  I think the difference will be clear.

[Reads the certificates to the client.]

Client:  So, this one (the client points to the jurat) says that I swear or affirm to the truthfulness of my statement and the other one (he points to the acknowledgment) says I acknowledge my signature on the statement.  Well, I am SWEARING that this is a true and correct copy of my passport, so I want that one.  (The client chooses the jurat.)

Notary:  Thank you.

[The notary attaches the jurat certificate to the copy of the passport.  In his journal, he notes “jurat” under “Type of Act”] 

Notary:  I will now administer the verbal ceremony and complete the notarization.  Do you swear or affirm that your written statement is truthful?  If so, please sign the document.

Client:  Is this necessary?

Notary:  Yes, sir.  I must complete a verbal ceremony before I complete the certificate.

Client:  Fine!  Yes.  I swear that my statements are truthful!

Notary:  Thank you.  Please sign the document. 

Client:  Fine.

[The client signs the statement.]

[The notary completes the notarial certificate, signs it, and applies his seal. He slides the document toward the client.]

Client:  Okay.  But, I want you to STAMP THE COPY of my passport, too.  I will pay you another $20, just please stamp the copy.

Notary:  I cannot place my stamp on any part of this document except my certificate which is attached.

Client:  This is not what I want.

Notary:  Sir, I am following the laws of my state. 


Notary:  I am sure that I have properly completed this notarization.

No matter how demanding this client became, the notary followed his state’s laws. 

Notaries cannot place their seals on document pages or on copies of ID documents to make them appear more official.  Notaries cannot do this even after they have properly completed a notarial certificate that is attached to the document.

The only thing that this notary could have done differently to make this client a bit happier would have been to place the notarial certificate language on the same page with the notarization.  This can be done neatly and professionally for this type of notarization.

Many notaries own self-inking stamps with the proper language for jurats and acknowledgments.  When they receive requests of this type, they are able to place their notarial seals and signatures on the same page with the copy of the passport of driver license underneath the client’s handwritten or typed statement.  Rather than having a notarial certificate attached on another page, the certificate language appears on the page bearing the copy. The stamp impressions below are from the AAN. 

Similar stamps can also be purchased at



Friday, April 24, 2015

Montana SB306 Legalizes Remote Online Notarial Acts (4/22/15)

This law requires that a notary use personal knowledge to ID the signer or that a credible witness be used to identify the signer.

(3) A notary public in this state may perform acknowledgments or verifications on oath or affirmation by means of a real-time, two-way audio-video communication, according to the rules and standards established by the secretary of state, if:

(a) the signer is personally known to the notary or identified by a credible witness and, except for a transaction described in subsection (3)(b)(iv), is a legal resident of this state; and

(b) the transaction:

(i) involves real property located in this state;

(ii) involves personal property titled in this state;

(iii) is under the jurisdiction of any court in this state; or

(iv) is pursuant to a proxy marriage under 40-1-213 or 40-1-301. (See page 14)


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Texas Jurat Replaced by Unsworn Declaration

This is becoming big news in Texas. Don't panic folks...lawyers won't go off the rails using this method, but you will be hearing about it. Furthermore, this won't replace acknowledgments, the notarial act and certificate required for property transactions. 


Obscure law impacts need for a notary

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - [Editor's note: This article is not intended to be legal advice. Check with a lawyer before making a decision.]
A Texas law could make it easier for a person overseas or in the hospital to handle legal matters that require a notary public's seal.
Amy Long, a family law attorney in Tyler, said that a notary seal used to be required for many legal documents in most areas of the law.
“As long as you have an [unsworn declaration],” said Long, "You don't necessarily need a notary public.”
Long said the law on unsworn declarations was passed in September of 2011 under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 132.001. [Read the article!]

...Many attorneys have in-house notaries; that cuts the cost of what would be a hefty bill if outsourced. A trust and estates attorney in Tyler, Michael Allen, said that despite the option, he would still make his clients get the documents notarized, just as a safeguard.

"Statutes are always changing every year; every time the legislature meets, laws are changed.” said Waits. “That's why a lot of people don't know about it.”

Waits said the law does not apply to every document or situation, including wills and deeds, which still require a notary seal. [Read the article!]

Friday, February 13, 2015

List of States in Which Notaries are Required to Take Courses and/or Exams


SOURCE: This list was complied by Kathleen @ the ASN for NPA Section of NASS.  If you see an error, I'll claim it as a copying error.  Please comment and I will correct it.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Response to Mortgage Professor's Inference that Notary Signing Agent was at Fault

See earlier blog post about this topic here.

Dr. Guttentag -

First, thank you for your wonderful website and insights. You are well-respected among notary signing agents for your generous sharing of expert knowledge.

My question is more of a request. Please consider my response below to a question/answer that appeared on HuffPo and your website (stated below). In part, you said, "What you should do is to contact the notary agent and request the $418 be returned immediately."

The chances are very, very slim that a notary signing agent is at fault here--notaries have no authority or impact on the loan funding, unless they don't show up for the job or make excessive notarial errors. They courier documents to borrowers, notarize signatures, pick up checks, and send them back to title companies when the next UPS or FedEx pick ups happen in their areas.

The $418 would have been made out to the lender (edited to say title company), never a notary. Upon collecting the signatures and completing the signing, the notary turns pay-off checks and documents over to the title company, lender, or, on occasion, an intermediary such as a signing service that the title company hired to find a notary for the signing appointment.

That is done immediately.

If that did not happen, the title company or lender should have contacted the borrower quickly to advise them of the misbehavior of the notary and criminal charges should have been filed against the notary and an official complaint made to the notary's secretary of state. The notary (who is netting about $50 for his or her services) would never have been able to walk off with the borrower's $418 unless the title company and lender were asleep at the wheel.

There is a 99.9% chance that the notary agent turned over the check and the title company or lender is at fault here. (It would be interesting to know if the check was cashed.)

My guess is that the title company or lender lost the check (if it was not cashed) or someone is dishonest or not handling their business at the title company or lender and they are doing a great job of covering it up.

Before I wrote this, I checked with a couple of folks in the title business and a property attorney. It's worth a consideration and hopefully will explain how little the notary had to do with the problem. The borrower should go directly to the title company and lender and be very aggressive on this one to find where the fault lies.

If the notary is at fault, the borrower should have been notified within 36 hours so he or she could protect his or her non-public, private information in the hands of a dishonest notary public. That would be my primary concern for this person.


Brenda Stone

Mr. Gatewood: What does a notary public do?

Dear Tim:

That's a great first article on the AAN's website-- "What Does a Notary Public Do?"

Congratulations on your new role as a contributing writer for AAN. You'll be a great asset!

Your passion and respect for the  role of notaries public in our society bleeds through on everything that you write and say about them.

It brings to mind words of one of our greatest writers of all time--
"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
  - Ernest Hemingway
Other articles by Tim Gateway:

Tim's Personal Blog

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

AAN's Bag Stars on NBC Sitcom (from

"You're asking a notary public to lie. I signed an oath, Ben, and then a different notary notarized the oath, I signed." - Notary Terry (aka Gary), Parks and Recreation-

NBC's Parks and Recreation did an episode about the trials of notaries dealing with a quarreling couple and a bit of pressure from the boss. Read about it on the AAN's Facebook page!

Hey! That bag looks pretty nice on tv!   

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Notary Infamy - Notarizing own documents!


GOP Pennsylvania committeewoman fined for notarizing own petitions


"According to the consent agreement and order from the Department of State, Kirk notarized 18 of her own nomination petition forms during the 2014 primary election. She didn’t stand to gain anything financially from the committee job — it doesn’t pay anything — but Pennsylvania law prohibits notaries from acting in transactions in which they have a direct interest."

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mortgage Professor is going to change this. Thanks for your feedback.

Really want your feedback on this one!
The Mortgage Professor advises through his column in the Fresno Bee that a notary signing agent should be reported to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  (At least that's what is sounds like he is saying!)
First, let me say that I am a huge fan of Jack Guttentag who calls himself the Mortgage Professor. I want to formulate a note to Dr. Guttentag to discuss with him why it is unlikely that the notary is at fault here.  As you will read, Dr. Guttentag suggests that a borrower contact the CFPB and complain.  Ultimately, that translates into a borrower complaining about a notary signing agent.
From the Fresno Bee.
Q: I refinanced a mortgage I had with Lender A through Lender B - or rather I thought I did. All the requirements were met, the closing was executed at my home by a notary, to whom I gave a check for $418. But several weeks later I discovered that the old loan had not been paid off. Despite numerous phone calls, I was not able to get an explanation from anyone at Lender B, except that the last person I spoke to there told me that the refinance would have to be done over ... What should I do?
A: What you shouldn't do is refinance again with Lender B. What you should do is to contact the notary agent and request the $418 be returned immediately. In addition, write a letter of complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and whatever state agency regulates mortgage banks in your state. You could sue B but it would be difficult to establish damages and probably is not worth doing.
Jack Guttentag is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Read more here:

"Notary" isn't a Proper Noun

Readers, if  you like this story, read more about this subject at the AAN's  link.

According to The Associated Press Stylebook 2014 and U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual, the phrase "notary public" is a civil title; it isn't a proper noun or a title that should be capitalized.

Other words that should not be capitalized simply because they relate to a notary's duties are notarize, affidavit, affirm, oath, notary signing agent, and notarial, to name a few.

When should you capitalize notary public?
SOURCE:  U.S. GPO Style Manual

If "notary public" is being used as a proper title it would be appropriate to capitalize the words.

Ned Smith
Ned Smith, Florida Notary Public

Ned Smith
Ned Smith
State of Texas, Notary Public

When the word "notary" begins a sentence, it must be capitalized.  Also, if the words "notary public" are being used in the title of a document, book, chapter/section, form, manuscript, or other types of publications, it would be appropriate to capitalize them. For instance:

  • How to be a Fashionable Notary Public
  • Notaries Public Go Mobile! 
  • Chapter 5 - Becoming a Notary Public
  • Ten Strategies for Notaries

Don't take my word for it!  You can put your google talents to work and probably find more sources than I have.  Credible sources that quickly arose to the top of the heap to back up my claims are the Iowa Code Style ManualThe Associated Press Stylebook, and the U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual.  Note that below in a screenshot from The AP Stylebook, only references to Webster's New World College are capitalized.  That's because it is incorrect to randomly capitalize nouns or words related to the duties of notaries public.

SOURCE: The AP Stylebook via

Until next time!

I did a notary! I got my notary! (and other ways to abuse the word "notary")

"I did a notary!"

If you are like me, this is like fingernails scraping on a chalkboard:
  • A notary is a human being; a notarization is an act performed by a notary.  
  • Doing a notarization is performing a notarial act. 
  • Doing a notary, on the other hand,  may make readers think of killing a notary as in "doing him in" and other things unrelated to notarial acts.
Please, notaries...try to professionalize your language.

You'll never hear a lawyer say "I got my lawyer!"  or "I did a lawyer today!!"

Well... you might hear that-- "I did a lawyer today!" It means they screwed another lawyer, either figuratively or literally.

Notary Impersonator (Indiana)

A Belle Vernon man falsely claimed to be a licensed car dealer from Indiana after he had gone out of business and fraudulently sold a car online, police said.

Robert William Richards, 50, was charged by state police in Greensburg with seven counts each of tampering with public records and impersonating a notary public and one count of application for certificate of title by agent.

Read more:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Huh? Community leader makes a big notary boo boo (Wisconsin)

Read it all here:  Ex-Cedarburg mayor faces charges in helping daughter beat drinking ticket

If someone you trust (your daughter, for instance) saw a signer execute a document, it won't hurt to fudge a little and notarize it, right?   
NO.  Think again!!

A former mayor of Cedarburg has been charged with two felony counts of misconduct in office.

The mayor's legal trouble has nothing to do with old mayoral duties, or even his more recent role as a member of the city's plan commission.

According to the criminal complaint, he notarized two statements his daughter obtained last year to try to beat an underage drinking citation from 2013. Her trial on that ticket is scheduled for this month.

Since neither of the signers appeared, it's become a huge problem for this Wisconsin notary public.

P.S. Thank you, Marian, for bringing this one up on NotaryRotary!

Proposed Law Update: Oklahoma Notaries - Senate Bill 173 (Absentee ballots)

Summary: An Act relating to notaries public; amending Section 1, Chapter 26, O.S.L. 2012, as amended by Section 1, Chapter 347, O.S.L. 2014 (26 O.S. Supp. 2014, Section 14-108.1), which relates to absentee ballots and affidavits; removing maximum limit for certain notarial acts; and providing an effective date.  See relevant part below:

 A notary public shall maintain a log of all absentee ballot affidavits that he or she notarizes for a period of at least two (2) years after the date of the election.
  A notary public shall be authorized to notarize a maximum of twenty absentee ballot affidavits for a single election. Provided, a notary public may be authorized to notarize more than twenty absentee ballot affidavits with the written approval of the secretary of the county election board.  


Monday, January 12, 2015

Headline: "...Bitcoin network be used as an ultrasecure notary service?"

Everyone wants a piece of that notary pie!
Brenda, NNNews

"Manuel Araoz, a 23-year-old developer in Argentina, has an idea for Bitcoin that doesn't focus on money. 
Araoz, who works in game development, launched a service this week called Proof of Existence. It's essentially a notary public service on the Internet, an inexpensive way of using Bitcoin's distributed computing power to allow people to verify that a document existed at a certain point in time."


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Looking for notary newsletters?

My favorite source: 
The American Association of Notaries, Inc. (AAN) is a respected notary association, notary educator/trainer, and vendor of notary insurance, bonds, and supplies.The AAN publishes notary law updates, and educational newsletters.  It has served notaries nationwide for over 20 years.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

Document Cheat Sheet for New Notary Signing Agents

Good evening - I remember when I started as a signing agent, there were no ready references. I was desperate to have a stack of loan documents to practice with.  When I got into a position to help new notaries have such a tool, I created one.  
Enjoy!  Brenda, NNNews Curator

Document Cheat Sheet for New Notary Signing Agents

You will need to become familiar with common documents before you start your career as a signing agent. Practice is the best way to gain confidence in presenting loan document to borrowers.
Obviously, you will need a stack of practice loan documents. As you have probably learned, finding a set of sample loan documents is not easy. We have located a couple of sources to share. Check the links below. (Links can become non-existent overnight, so if you want to save the documents for future use, you should do so fairly soon.)  READ THE LIST ----> HERE

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and full of quality notary and business tips.

If you don't already receive it, sign up right here!

Create Marketing videos from any plain-text article (Nails it!)

NNNews Readers - I want to share an exciting marketing trick with you. 

I thought that videos like these would cost thousands of dollars to produce. Today, I found out that you can do these for free! As I perused LinkedIn, I saw a post by Sergio Musetti (notary colleague) sharing the news of a marketing tool that sounded too good to be true. It impressed me enough that I watched an entire video.

Here is why I am intrigued:

I won't need a camera, images, or
a lot of creative talent 
to issue an important message or to make an 
impressive marketing video brochure.

Best part? 
It takes only minutes!

Thanks, Sergio!

Have a nice evening.  
Brenda, NNNews Curator

Prepare now for Minnesota Responsible Contractor Law

Why do notaries want to read this?  
Here's the notary pull quote from the article.  If you are interested, follow the links below:

Employ One or More Notaries 
Because all verifications must be under oath, contractors and subcontractors will need ready access to a notary public. The best way is to have one or more notaries in the office. Notaries, however, cannot e-notarize an electronic bid without an E-Notarization Authorization Certificate. Applications for E-Notarization must be submitted to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. 


Stinson Leonard Street LLP
Robert J. Huber
December 19 2014

Contractors should prepare for Minnesota's Responsible Contractor Law, which will apply to most bid solicitations for state and local construction contracts in Minnesota issued after December 31, 2015. The law will apply to all publicly-owned and publicly-financed low-bid and best-value contracts over $50,000. 

Contractors will be ineligible for public contracts and subcontracts unless they meet the new minimum bidding criteria imposed by the law. They must be currently registered and insured; and they must be free of specified violations of wage and hour laws and affirmative-action requirements for the previous three years. (Violations before June 3, 2014, however, do not count.) Any future failure to meet the criteria will effectively be a three-year debarment from public projects, which can be a death penalty for contractors who rely on public projects. 

Contractors should take specific steps prepare for this law.  READ IT ALL

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