Friday, March 31, 2017

NC Notaries & Citizens should know this about SOS Elaine Marshall


North Carolina's Secretary Elaine Marshall vehemently argued against remote notarization in a national meeting of her peers last July (2016).

Elaine Marshall doesn't deserve this public media beating.

Notaries, before you throw rocks at her, please read my comments below. 

She has served the State of NC and notaries with genuine dedication.

I personally observed her take a stand on behalf of notaries and the citizens of her state in July 2016.

She is one of the few SOSs (maybe the only one?) that was openly against remote notarization and she argued hard against it in a meeting of the SOSs across the US in July 2016. 

I hope that those she has served will not allow her to be forced out in this manner of disgrace, as if she didn't care about citizens or notaries. 

I need to read up on it and do more research, but in my opinion, the SOS office can only do so much with the budgets they have to work with. Notaries aren't important enough to have real state budgets to ensure they are in compliance and qualified until they can be used like this to grandstand and demand that someone resign.

 I don't KNOW her personally, but the woman I saw was strong role model. She is 70ish-plus and a mature woman who is a thorn in some sides of "progress."

I don't like the way that she's being portrayed.

Looks like she is being strummed by both the right and the left in politics.

Why is this?

Because she's not young or male, OR a warm, fuzzy, cooking baking grandma kind of woman?

Elaine Marshall is what it's never okay to be!

She's an outspoken business woman and a leader.

Notaries, Ms. Marshall saw to it that NC got a new set of notary laws about four years ago. She stood tall bucking against the idea of remote online webcam notarization in a room full of men who barely acknowledged what she was saying.

Before Secretary Elaine Marshall is vilified like this, let's back up and see what is really going on.

She is being drawn and quartered in the media WHY?

Because she accepted proof of DACA which is a federal program that allows unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to work and study in the country, but the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service website states that it does not give them "lawful status" in terms of immigration.

Seriously?  DACA authorized the immigrants to attend school and work.

In North Carolina, notary applicants must be legal residents, not citizens as is being wrongly stated by notaries on Facebook.

Secretary Marshall was doing what she believed was right. 

It is deplorable to see her treated this way.

While I don't necessarily agree with all of her arguments against remote notarization, I knew she was arguing what she believed was right for North Carolinians and its notaries.

Please note:  It is not true that notaries must be U.S. Citizens in all states.  

It has not been true since 1984 in Texas. Bernal v. Fainter, 467 U.S. 216 (1984), is a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Equal Protection Clause prohibited the state of Texas from barring noncitizens from applying for commission as a notary public.[1]

Thanks for letting me weigh in.

Brenda Stone 3/31/17
Notaries & Notary News

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Proposed Law: Online Notaries in Texas - Yes? or No?

 Texas HB 1217 (Introduced 1/23/17) provides for electronic notarization over the internet.

What do I think?  Yes? or No?

It's not popular, but here are my thoughts. 

We must update our electronic notarization laws and be ready for even remote notarization or prepare to be obsolete. 

I don't like the remote notarization idea, but I think if we drag our feet again, we're doomed.

I'm over the ID problem.  

That's a moot issue.  

I've been convinced to let it go.  I listened to a roomful of secretaries of state (the actual people appointed to those offices) from several states.  They think a video recording of a notarization would stop a lot of the fraud they see happening in their own states.

The old granny and the gun in the next room scenario is so over.  Ignore it. As I wrote here, no one that makes decisions thinks it is an issue.

The American Land Title Association Says "Yes."

ALTA to NASS  - Yes to remote notarization. In a letter published on, ALTA was very clear.  They want it and likely because lenders want it.

We can't have everything we want.

The world is moving forward with or without us.

Without us?  Texas Notaries?

Possibly...if we don't recognize where lenders and title companies are in their needs and views.  I believe that the world is going to move on without Texas notaries if we don't modernize to at LEAST updating our electronic notarization laws.

What I have heard on conference calls (as recently as the first week in March) and in meetings tells me if Texas notaries do not become electronically capable quickly, we will be eliminated from the process within two years...before we have another chance to advance in 2019 when the legislature is in session.  

No one has said directly that Texas notaries must put up or shut up.  But, it's my concern based on the obvious pressure on lenders to move forward on electronic mortgages.

Once we are are out of the loop, we are out of it. 

It won't be easy to get us back in.

And, don't listen to the shrill hissy fits from any  notary supply company that's worried about losing stamp and ink sales.  That's not about us, or the public.  It's about the sales they will lose.  Greed.

The writing's on the wall.  Lenders are under pressure to start using electronic documents from start to finish.

Enter Notaries from Other States

There will be notaries from other states who will gladly step in.  Wouldn't you?

With interest rates rising, refinance loans are going to dry up.  There will be a slowdown in Texas in mortgage signings.

With less lending activities, lenders can experiment with various models. And, they will...because they have to.

They aren't going to let us slow them down once they know how to move forward with paperless mortgages themselves and are ready for competent notaries who can complete electronic notarizations.

If Texas notaries aren't ready, I predict loan signing will go to other states where notaries may be organized into call centers to handle loans.  I hate that scenario.

Virginia notaries can notarize anywhere using online technology.

All of the states listed below have laws introduced this year (just like we do)  to make them capable of online notarization.   I found this list on  This is on a page full of reasons we need to move forward now.

New Hampshire SB 40 (Introduced 1/5/17)
Oklahoma HB 1366 (Introduced 1/11/17)
Virginia HB 1643 (Introduced 1/11/17)
Washington SB 5081 (Introduced 1/12/17)
Nebraska LB 388 (Introduced 1/13/17)
Indiana SB 539 (Introduced 1/17/17; amended 2/3/17)
Florida HB 277 (Introduced 1/18/17)
Texas HB 1217 (Introduced 1/23/17)Maryland SB 747 (Introduced 2/3/17)
Kentucky HB 218 (Introduced 2/7/17)
Minnesota SF 893 (Introduced 2/13/17)

HB 1217 has been Assiged to the State Affairs Committee.

It's likely to die there for another two years.  If that suits you, do nothing.

If you are interested in sending emails to support the bill, go to this link and send a message to each of the members on the State Affairs Committee.

Simply tell them:

I am Nancy Notary in Blank County.    

I support  HB 1217.  If we don't modernize our electronic notary laws, notaries in Texas will become obsolete and their loan signing duties handed over to remote notaries in another state. There's more about this at  

You may call me at 999-999-9999 or email me at Thank you. 

Sound off.  I'm used to it.

Remote and electronic notarization is here.  It's happening with or without Texas.

I think we move forward or we die.

I have long since stopped depending on just notary income so I can look at this a little differently.  I don't I'm wrong.  

For any Texas notary who doesn't understand our landscape is changing, I foresee a really bad disappointment.  Look ahead and diversify!

Don't focus on mortgages and nothing else.

Mobile notary work rocks.  I love it.

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