Friday, September 16, 2011

Attorney General doesn't know

Is a notary public a state officer, the Texas Secretary of State asked the Attorney General. If so, additional laws would kick in. The AG didn't know.

Pennsylvania now allows notaries to apply and renew online. For the time being, paper submissions will continue to be accepted. One advantage of the new system: it apparently automatically requests the required state senator letter.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Why do they want my phone number?

The National Notary Association is offering a free State of the Notary Public Office 2011. But if you're not a member, you have to hand over your full name, email and phone number to get the document. Gee, do I smell spam cooking? Telemarketing headed my way?

4 businesses have been sued by the New Jersey Attorney General for allegedly illegally assisting with immigration documents. Apparently the businesses had (or claimed to have) notary publics on staff who pretended to have more authority than the office actually has. Fees quoted reportedly ranged from $400 to $2,900.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Notaries can authenticate bow ties?

In Illnois, 250 people got together to tie a bow tie together, attempting to break a world record. A newspaper reported a notary public "signed off" on the achievement.

I looked at the Secretary of State's web site to see if notaries in Illinois adjudicate contests but the site has little information.

Can you guess why a Pennsylvania notary got her commission suspended? Same old reason: not requiring the person to appear personally. I'm not sure why that requirement is so hard.

A North Carolina license plate agency has been closed by the state. Its 3 employees are charged with a total of 84 counts of aiding and abetting notary fraud.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Do you know the answer?


A husband in a community property state takes out a mortgage on a home. He will pay the loan entirely from his income and hold title in only his name.

Can his wife, a notary, notarize his loan documents?

The California Secretary of State's office got this wrong. Had to explain it to them. (Answer at end of today's post.)

Sitting in a car not enough

New York law apparently requires an independent candidate to collect qualification signatures in the presence of a notary. One candidate got people to sign the petition with the notary sitting in the car, within sight and earshot.

The court found this fell short of the notary's placing the voters under oath. The candidate therefore failed to get enough signatures to appear on the ballot.


His income is community property--owned by both of them. So the notary wife has part ownership of the asset (house) even though her name is not on title. If their state allowed the couple to opt out of community property, his name alone on title probably would not be enough to do so since there is no evidence she waived her rights.

Because she is benefiting from the transaction, she cannot notarize the documents. (The answer would be different if her state allows her to notarize documents for transactions which involve herself. I am unaware of a state that does.)


Friday, August 19, 2011

Accurate view of a notary?

A forum post on the web says a notary certifies the signer's identity, willingness to sign (absence of coercion) and awareness of the import of the document.

Huh? Do you question notary clients about what the document means?

If so, you may want to check your state's notary law. It's probable that you're exceeding your authority.

Generally a notary is not concerned with what is being signed (if all the blanks are filled in) but only with who.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Finding trouble

A New Mexico notary faces 300+ felony charges for helping about 3 dozen illegal immigrants obtain driver's licenses through false paperwork.

A South Carolina attorney notarized affidavits supplied by his client without the signers appearing before him. He called them on the phone, verified they signed and notarized the documents. He was given a public reprimand by the South Carolina Supreme Court. The Court is also requiring the attorney to read the South Carolina Notary Public handbook within 20 days.


Friday, August 5, 2011