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Tip Grab Bag
ASN Hot Tip, March 2010

No matter how short and simple it may be, a good notary tip is well worth reviewing!

A member of ASN called to order a new notary commission stamp. Her middle name was included on her notary commission certificate and her current official stamp. She said that she sometimes forgot to sign her middle name on her notarial certificates and wanted to order a stamp that had only her first and last names on it. We told her that ASN could make only an official stamp that reflects her name exactly as it appears on her notary commission certificate. (This is one reason we require a copy of the notary’s commission certificate with orders for an official stamp or embosser.) We also reminded the notary that for official notarial acts, she must always sign her name exactly as it appears on her commission certificate.

All three places that a notary’s commissioned name will appear—the commission certificate, the commission stamp or seal, and the notary’s signature on the notarial certificate—must always be exactly the same. The commissioned name will be the name that you entered on your commission application form, so hopefully you chose the name or nickname you want to sign for your entire term of office. We suggested that our member notary consider using only her first and last names when she applies for her renewal commission.

We recently received a call from a concerned member whose former employer took possession of her commission stamp, recordbook and notary commission certificate when she moved on to a new job. The notary’s former employer told her that he was keeping her notary materials because he had paid for her commission, her stamp and recordbook, and therefore all those items belonged to him.

Our member’s former employer acted in direct conflict with her commissioning state’s notary laws. 

1. By confiscating our member’s notary materials, including her commission certificate, the former employer was, in effect, revoking the notary’s ability to officiate.  Only the appointing authority may revoke a notary’s commission. 

2. The former employer was in possession of notary materials that were not his own. 

3.  A statute in the laws of the commissioning state expressly forbids an employer from keeping a former employee notary’s materials even if the employer paid for the commission and the stamp. 

An email from ASN, conveying all this information, helped our member repossess her notary materials and commission certificate.

It amazes us how often notaries will ask if they may perform a notarization on an “out of state” document. 

Always Remember: if all the elements of a lawful notarization are present; if the document is in a language that allows you to confidently assess it for completeness and other information such as the named signer; and you are executing the notarial act within your jurisdiction (the state in which you are commissioned, or where your state law specifically allows you to officiate), then the fact that the document is from “out of state” should not prevent you from proceeding.

 Questions, comments on this Hot Tip?  support@asnnotary.org

Notarial Practice Reminder... Can the Notary be a Party to the Transaction?
American Notary, Issue 2007-#02
No! A notary must be a disinterested, third-party to any transaction for which he/she is performing a notarial act. If the notary is involved in any way as a party in the transaction, then his/her impartiality can certainly be questioned.

More specifically, a notary cannot administer him- or herself an oath, or take his/her
own acknowledgment. This is commonly referred to as notarizing your own signature, and it is expressly prohibited.

 Questions, comments on this Hot Tip?  support@asnnotary.org

Did You Know That...?
American Notary, Issue 2005-#06
Did You Know That...?
The only U.S. President to have his oath of office administered by his own father was Calvin Coolidge, in 1923, following the death of Warren Harding. Coolidge’s father was a notary public. This event occurred by the light of a kerosene lamp in the old family homestead on August 3, 1923 at 2:47 am.

Leonardo da Vinci's
father was a famous notary
in Florence, Italy.

As competition for Notary appointments intensified, Mark Twain, a newspaper reporter in Virginia City, penned a story for the local newspaper poking fun at the Notary applicants. As the story goes, though, during an evening of heavy drinking, an
acquaintance confided in Twain that he was one of those seeking a notary appointment, one of those Twain had mocked. After hearing this, Twain himself succumbed to the lure of the notary public office and applied as well.

In all of Japan,
there are about 545 notaries.

Questions, comments on this Hot Tip?  support@asnnotary.org


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