While the job may seem routine, notaries face a few challenges. These challenges can range from mundane to stressful, but you can take steps to reduce your stress levels and make the most of your work as a notary.
Working with legal documents is one of the most challenging parts of being a notary. From evidentiary documents and loan documentation to passports and affidavits, notaries have many responsibilities when they sign paperwork.
Identifying the Signer
Identifying the signer is one of the most important tasks you will perform as a notary. Failure to properly verify a signer’s identity can lead to criminal charges and civil suits.
As a notary, you must comply with the laws of your state and the rules of the National Notary Association to perform your duties properly. If you have any questions about the process of identifying the signer, please contact your Secretary of State’s office or the NNA Hotline for further assistance.
You can verify a person’s identity in several ways, including by personal knowledge, identification cards or papers, and credible witnesses. However, each method has its own requirements and laws.
Personal knowledge – This is the safest and most effective signer identification method. This is when the notary has personal knowledge of the signer from their past relationship or work history with them. The notary can also use a credible witness to confirm the signer’s identity.
A credible witness can be anyone that knows the signer and has satisfactory proof of their identity. This third party can be a family member, friend, or someone else that the notary trusts and knows that can provide reliable ID.
Acceptable forms of ID vary by state, but common acceptable ones include a driver’s license, passport, and government-issued identification card. It is always a good idea to ask your notary what the best form of ID they will accept is and to bring it with you when you meet with them.
Once you have verified the signer’s identity, you should record all this information in your notary journal entry. This includes the signer’s name, date of birth, address, and any other relevant information you may need to know about the person.
You can learn more about the process of identifying the signer by reading the National Notary Association’s Practice Guide or the Secretary of State’s website. Whether you are a new or experienced notary, attending Notary training courses is beneficial to stay updated on the latest laws and procedures for identifying signers.
Deciding if a Specific ID is Acceptable
What is most challenging about being a notary is that you must comply with the laws of your state when deciding if a specific ID is acceptable to notarize. Your state may have specific rules about what kind of ID is acceptable, including whether it has to be current or if it can expire within a certain number of years.
Typically, a valid ID has a photo and a physical description that reasonably matches the signer. It should also have a name, date of birth, and social security number. If the signature on the ID does not match the document’s name, it indicates fraud.
As a notary, you should never allow an ID to be used in a transaction that you do not agree with. This is because the person who presented the ID could later file a claim if the signing was not authenticated.
To avoid this, you should review a borrower’s ID before completing the loan package. If the borrower does not have an ID, you should ask them to get one and fax it to the lender as soon as possible so that the signing can go forward without problems.
Many lenders and title companies will not accept an ID that is not satisfactory. If you are unsure about the ID being used, you can always refer the signer back to the agency that provided them with the documents for instructions.
However, if the signer is unwilling to provide a satisfactory alternate ID, you can always refuse service. This can help save you and the borrowers time and the time of the company that hired you to notarize the documents.
If you are asked to swear on the identity of the signer, you should be able to do so in most states. Be sure to check your state’s requirements for this before you perform the oath. Some states only allow a credible witness to use an ID if the Notary personally knows the witness, while others may require two witnesses.
Completing the Notarization
The process of completing a notarization involves the notary public identifying the signer, verifying their identification and willingness to sign the document, and putting them under an oath. The notary public also must be able to understand the meaning of the documents they are signing and their capability to make sound decisions.
The Notary Public will usually ask for a valid, government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID card) to be presented to them before any document can be signed and notarized. If you are not able to present a valid ID, you may be asked to bring one or more credible identifying witnesses with you to the notarization appointment.
Depending on the type of notarization, you will either need to personally meet with the signer or use a video feed to witness their signature. If you use a video feed, you should still take the time to look over the document for any grammatical or spelling errors that could result in a problem later.
Once you have confirmed that the signer has a valid, government-issued identification, you will need to decide if they have a name that matches what is written on their identification. If the document contains the signer’s name, but their identification does not contain it, then you may want to proceed with the notarization.
For some documents, a signer’s name will need to be in the same order as what is on their identification. This is referred to as the “less but not more than the rule.” If the document contains the signer’s married name, but the identification reflects their maiden name, you will need to have the signer’s spouse bring their identification to be notarized.
If the document is written in a foreign language, you will need to have a translator available to assist with the notarization process. This is especially true if the notarization needs to be completed for an international transaction.
You may also need to obtain a notary certificate if the document you are notarizing is to be authenticated by a government agency such as the United States. This certificate should contain the notary’s name, the date of the notarization, and any other information you deem necessary. It should also contain a statement that the notary is a public official, not an attorney, or licensed to practice law in the state.
Keeping a Journal
Keeping a journal can be an important tool for notaries and their clients. It can help them keep track of their work and ensure that all records are kept in a way that can be easily accessed in the future.
There are many different types of journals to choose from, including planners and notebooks. They can be easy to use and are likely to make writing more fun, which will help you stick with it.
A journal is a place to write down thoughts, memories, and other information you may need later. Whether you’re writing down your feelings or recording your progress with a new fitness goal, a journal can be a great way to stay focused and motivated.
When keeping a journal, being honest with yourself is important. This is a crucial part of the process, and it will help you to be able to identify any biases or limitations that you might have. It also helps you avoid self-deception and be more aware of the things that affect your life.
You should also be careful about what you put into your journal. This will ensure you are always true to yourself and your needs.
Using a journal is one of the best ways to help yourself grow and improve in any area of your life. It can help you to focus on what matters, develop better habits, and find ways to overcome challenges in your life.
It can also be used to help you remember important events in your life. It can also be a great way to document any lessons learned.
Journaling can also be a great way to track your development, which will help you to appreciate how far you have come in your life. It can be hard to see how far you’ve come when you’re feeling down, so a daily journal can help to remind you of all the good times and how much you’ve grown.