Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An Important Reminder From The NNA!

Many of you probably received an email last week from the National Notary Association entitled "To America's Notaries - Important Reminders From The National Notary Association."  The email lists 10 important rules for notaries to follow.  Unfortunately, many of those guidelines do not apply in certain states.

Number 2 on the list - "Always obtain proper ID - including a photo AND physical description of the signer."  Best practice?  Yes.  Most states require a photo ID, but not all.  Pennsylvania for one.

Number 3 - "Always make a complete record of your notarial act - including the signature of the signer in your journal."  A complete record?  Yes.  But several states do not require a journal.  Michigan is just one of many that does NOT require a journal.

My favorite, Number 4 - "ALWAYS ask for a thumbprint of the signer in your journal to help protect against impostures."  A thumbprint?  Again, many states do not require a journal OR thumbprints.  If you asked someone in Michigan for a thumbprint, you just might get thrown out on your can.  I can tell you that I would absolutely refuse if a Michigan notary asked for my thumbprint.

Number 7 - "Always notarize only those documents that are complete, no blanks."  Not all states have that stipulation, and here in Michigan, the lawmakers purposefully REMOVED that requirement from the Michigan Notary Act.

Number 8 - "Always use a seal."  Heavy sigh.  Again.....NOT ALL STATES REQUIRE A SEAL.  Michigan does not.

Now the one I absolutely agree with is number 10 - "Always remember that, as a notary public, you are a public official accountable in your notarizations TO THE STATE - AND TO NO ONE ELSE, including your employer."  Yeah, let me add that you're not accountable to the National Notary Association either.  You are responsible for following the guidelines set forth in your state notary handbook.  NOT the guidelines set forth by a for profit organization such as the NNA.

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