Monday, February 4, 2008

Break The Law Or Break A Heart?


Today I hate my job. Today it seems like what is right and what is legal are two different things. I've been speaking to a very nice woman over the last few days who is trying to get some affairs in order for her elderly mother. The mother is in a nursing home suffering from multiple problems, and needs to get documents notarized allowing her daughter to handle her affairs. Her I.D. expired ten years ago, and she has been physically unable to go get a new I.D. I can not notarize without a proper I.D., no one at the nursing home who knows her personally is a notary, and the Secretary of State insists that there is nothing they can do to get her an I.D. if she can't come to their office in person. I find it deplorable that the Secretary of State says they can do nothing. This can't be the first time an elderly person who is unable to travel and may be gravely ill needs to get a new I.D. Why isn't there a contingency for this?

I'd love to be able to handle this. I badly want to do it despite the Secretary of State directing me not to do so. But I know I can't. I know I'd risk my commission and my career, not to mention that if the document were contested, it would end up being invalidated. It stinks.

5 comments:

Linda - United Notary Ass'n said...

Consider contacting the Michigan Attorney General's office. They may not be able to do anything for your current customer but they may be able to assist in putting something in place for future items of this nature. I would think there could be some type of assistance through the DMV. Maybe you could contact the DMV to inquire if they have ever dealt with this issue. Does Michigan DMV allow for renewal online or by mail? Maybe something could be done in this manner. It's worth a couple of calls. Wouldn't you feel great if you could make this happen for these two ladies? :)

A.G.Y. said...

Michigan allows renewal by mail every other time (license is good for four years). But the license can't be expired for more than four years. Believe me, I spoke to several people there who all gave me the same response. As someone else also pointed out, there is definitely a need to be filled in the future.

I did suggest that they speak to an attorney, which they plan on doing.

Renee Kovacs, NSA/UNAA said...

One thing the SOS might be able to do that would seem pretty minimally complicated would be to revamp the Notary Public search feature. Rather than having to search by NAME, if it allowed a search by LOCATION (zip, or even county - another state just implemented this, I think Wisconsin).

With that type of search feature, family members could look through to find someone they might know. So many people are notaries for their job, but it's such an incidental thing to them that they don't often mention it - it should be just '6 degrees to Kevin Bacon' to find one among our friends & acquaintances.

Diane Cipa said...

Alex. You did the right thing. They need legal advice.

A.G.Y. said...

She called me again today. She wanted to clarify what I'd told her about other means of getting something notarized without an I.D. (personally known, credible witness). Her mom, though still alert I think, has taken a turn for the worse. It's so sad.