Sunday, May 29, 2011

Two Florida notaries may be in trouble

Two Florida notaries allegedly admitted to detectives they notarized homeowners' signatures without the signers being present. These quitclaim deeds allowed a third person to rent out vacant foreclosed homes he purportedly did not own; he has been arrested.

Florida law states "A notary public may not notarize a signature on a document if the person whose signature is being notarized is not in the presence of the notary public at the time the signature is notarized." (Chapter 117.107(9), emphasis added)

Notary public applications are now available online in the Virgin Islands.

One web site suggests that notary work is "high paying" and implies one can earn a living from being a notary public. The site also states notarizations in hospitals and jails (?) can be tricky. (Yeah, those jailers just don't understand.) I realize the guy is trying to hustle a $68 loan signing "certification" (also available in $119 and $179 editions). How are those poor students going to react when they discover the truth?

Being a notary public is a great second job but I don't know anyone who's doing it full time today.

---brought to you by 12 Tips to Make More Money as a Notary Public.
Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook or instant PDF download
Probably tax deductible as business expense--ask your accountant.

Image courtesy of photostock

Friday, May 27, 2011

Networking ... don't forget the signs!

If you'd like to network with other notaries public, LinkedIn has several notary groups. Two of them have more than 1,500 members.

If you just got the bonus and are wondering where to spend it:

Here's a notary parking only sign. Or for $419.95 a neon notary public open sign! Don't know if that's tax deductible.

Image courtesy of Ambro

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Californians paying way too much for class

First-time California notary public applicants need a 6 hours class. One college is offering the class for $75. Somebody told me they paid $130 elsewhere.

Hey, folks--a little surfing here. I've seen the class offered for thirty bucks online, approved by the Secretary of State.

Wisconsin's governor is proposing moving responsibility for notaries public away from the Secretary of State. In 78% of the states, the Secretary of State is responsible for the notary public.

Update: Effective July 1, 2011, the Department of Financial Institutions is in charge of Wisconsin's notaries public.

Image courtesy of Ambro

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Does anyone make a living being a notary public?

Is anyone making a living from being a notary public, someone asked on Yahoo Answers. He'd heard people can make $50,000-$100,000 doing this.

That would probably be a surprise to most of you!

I'd guess the majority of notaries have a tough time recouping their costs for application, seal and insurance. State limits on fees are usually low.

Six or seven years ago I had a notary friend making $50,000 a year. He was doing mortgage loan signings.Besides his notary charge-per-signature, he was paid to make sure the docs got signed correctly. (In some states, such as South Carolina, notaries are not permitted to do this.) Since the mortgage collapse following 2006, this kind of volume is not possible.

Notaries may be able to perform marriages (as in Florida and Maine) or issue marriage licenses (California if specially trained; some notaries then offer to do the service in a non-notary role). Proctoring traffic school exams is another way to use the commission.

If a notary dusts the commission and waits for the public to come, it's likely to be a lonely job. Knowing how to market what you offer will bring better results.

But being a notary public is at best a second job right now.

~ ~ ~

Nebraska--The spring 2011 Notary Bulletin is out. The Secretary of State reminds that a notary public's signature must be consistent and that Nebraska notaries are not required to join a notary associaton.

--brought to you by 12 Tips to Make More Money as a Notary Public. Probably tax deductible as business expense--ask your accountant. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download
Buy Now

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol

Monday, May 9, 2011

Michigan, North Dakota law updates

Notarizing after a commission expired could become a felony in Michigan. That state is considering a change to its notary public law.

North Dakota reportedly has made minor changes to its notary law, taking effect in August. Later, in 2013, enotarization will require tamper evident technology.

Image courtesy of Ambro

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Does a notary have to be an US citizen?

Apparently the US Supreme Court decided that 27 years ago in Bernal. There the Court ruled Texas could not require a notary to be a citizen.

Nonetheless, the official notary web sites for 5 states still contain a US citizenship requirement:

Missouri (see page 16)
Rhode Island
South Carolina

Presumably a resident alien could sue and get a quick summary judgment allowing an application.

Still, it's been almost 30 years since the Supreme Court made its ruling!

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New York weddings?

This New York yacht club says their wedding package includes a notary public or judge to perform the ceremony.

This was a surprise because New York law says "A notary public has no authority to solemnize marriages..." (emphasis mine).

Image courtesy of Sharron Goodyear

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Have you thought of all the places you could do notary?

Notary service while you eat? That's what this Dallas restaurant is offering. Hmmm. Maybe you should be talking to your local McDonald's.

Notary re-runs? A towing company is accused of copying or forging a notary's signature whose commission expired long ago.

Some states are warning notaries about aggressive advertising from notary associations. Here is Nebraska's advisory.

---blog courtesy of 12 Tips to Make More Money as a Notary Public. Probably tax deductible as business expense--ask your accountant. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download
Buy Now

Monday, May 2, 2011

Worst state notary public web site

The envelope please .....

Virginia wins for worst state notary public site.

There is almost no information on the page. Most questions need to be answered by downloading the handbook.

Maybe they're taking that Virginia is for Lovers thing a little too seriously and forgetting the notaries.

What agency handles notaries public?

  • In 39 states (78%), the Secretary of State handles notaries public.

  • 5 states (10%) handle the appointments locally (at the county level).

  • 2 states (4%) give the lieutenant governor the job.

  • 4 states (8%) put the responsibility somewhere else: attorney general, department of licensing, governor, treasury
  • Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Ever hanker for a neon notary sign?

    Ebay has all sorts of notary public signs including some in neon (none from me) .

    A bill submitted to the North Carolina Senate would require a minor seeking an abortion to either have a parent sign a consent at the medical facility or before a notary public.

    --courtesy of 12 Tips to Make More Money as a Notary Public. Probably tax deductible as business expense--ask your accountant. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download Buy Now