Saturday, July 25, 2009

How to Notarize Corporate Entity Documents

What if you encountered this signature block on a corporate document? Would you know what information went into the blanks?

a Florida Corporation

By: __________________________
--------Elsie Cowser, President

Example of the Blank Notary Certificate that comes with it.

STATE OF__________
COUNTY OF _______

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this ___________ by _________________________, __________________________________________ of __________________________________________ a _______________________ corporation, on behalf of the corporation. He/she is personally known to me or has produced _________________________as identification.

Signature of Person Taking Acknowledgment

Sign up today so you can get the next edition of the American Association of Notaries article on how to notarize those pesky corporate signatures.

From Loan Work to General Notary Work: How to notarize anything!

For the last ten years many people have become notaries in order to be notary signing agents. As a result many do not have notary experience with other documents. Questions are often posed on internet notary forums regarding how to notarize adoptions papers, court documents, powers of attorney and other types of documents which the notary signing agent has not had experience or training on. This article is geared toward individuals who find themselves with similar questions.

Notaries who became notaries in order to be notary signing agents are accustom to the loan documents commonly provided in loan packages. For instance, notary signing agents become familiar with deeds of trust or mortgages and other common loan documents. As a notary signing agent a notary is expected to introduce each loan related document to the signer. For a deed of trust, the notary may be expected by their hiring entity to say something like, “This is a deed of trust. It is recorded at the county courthouse to provide proof that the lender has an interest in your property.” For other documents in a loan package a notary may have a similar remark to make as they present it to the borrowers.

A notary who is contemplating handling documents which are not in a loan document package may need to learn a slightly different approach for dealing with common notarizations for the general public.

First of all, there is no need to introduce the document or to give the signer of the document a short overview of what the client is signing. The content of the document is none of the notary’s concern as long as it is complete and the client is not executing it under duress.

In handling clients who call the notary with adoption papers, court-related documents, powers of attorney and other general notarization requests the notary does not need to be concerned with understanding or knowing what the document says. In fact, to assume that the notary needs to provide the client insight or information about the document or answer questions about it by pointing out information in the document could be considered the unlawful practice of law. While a notary signing agent is quite familiar with finding bits of information in common loan documents to point out to the borrower, a general notarization client does not need this kind of guidance, should not expect it and the notary should definitely not give it.

Years of working under expectations of title companies and lenders or learning in classes on how to be notary signing agent may require the notary to engage a new and less “hands on” approach.

When a notary is requested to notarize documents by the general public (non-loan types of documents) the notary should simply request state mandated identification from the client and note it in their journal if their state requires them to keep one. The notary should make statements according to their state’s laws regarding the completion of an acknowledgement, and of course, in the case of a jurat, the notary should administer an oath. Thereafter, once the document has been executed by the signer who has been properly identified, the notary should flip to the notary certificate and complete it according to their rules.

The process of notarizing any document is a standard procedure according to a notary’s state’s rules. The procedure does not change because of the title of the document or the contents of the document. The notary accustom to working with loan signing documents and who has not done other types of notarizations prior to becoming a loan signing agent may find it odd that they need to become far less involved with the general documents they handle. They may feel they are not doing their job as a notary when they do not have input to give the client regarding the document.

This is because the notary signing agent is accustomed to participating in two roles during a loan signing—the notary role and the signing agent role. In doing general notarizations there is no role except the role of notary public. It can be said that the notary is an impartial witness appointed by his or her state’s government to witness the signing of a document. A notary transitioning from the role of notary signing agent will need to reduce the level of service to the client which they expect of themselves. They must provide notary services fall into the scope of the duties they are commissioned for and nothing further.

If the client expects more from the notary in the way of advice or answering questions, the notary should suggest that the client visit with an attorney before signing the document. This is the only course that a notary can take for the client no matter how much they would like to do more to assist.

For notary signing agents who are modifying their business model so that they are doing more work as a general notary it is recommended that the notary review their notary rules or manual provided by their state and learn to think in terms of not necessarily notarizing a new type of document but rather notarizing a signature on a document. The notary is a witness to a signature placed on a document and the procedure will never change even when the documents do change.

If readers are concerned about the process of notarizing any document and their state’s rules are not explicit enough to give the answers required readers should contact the attorney of their choice.

(Note: In Louisiana notaries are more than what is mentioned above and they undergo strict training which provides them a larger scope of duties and knowledge.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Embosser Care Tip:

Since it seems to be made entirely of metal an embosser does not seem like a tool which will be harmed by the summer heat in a parked and locked car, however, that is not the case. The imprinting plate of the embosser is attached by the use of glue. Leaving an embosser in a place where it will be subjected to heat can melt and loosen the glue and cause the embosser’s imprinting plate to slip around a bit rendering it useless. Do not expose your embosser to the excessive sunlight or heat.

Need to know more about when you need an embosser?

Become a member of the American Association of Notaries at

You will find this tip and several articles written to enhance your income as a notary signing agent in the 2nd quarter edition of "The Notary Digest". Insight about when an embosser is needed to put your client at ease is only one of the topics covered. Learn how to get into the medical records business and much more.

Become a member today and you'll have access to past email publications such as"How to market to title companies", also, how to get experience with loan documents when you are just starting out.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Notary Work: Telephonic Hearings

Sign up today for the newsletter from the American Association of Notaries.

Don't miss another issue.

Coming in June: This free newsletter will give the details on getting notary work related to telephonic hearings.

The article will describe:

  • What it is.
  • How to charge for it.
  • Where to find it.
  • How to market for it.

Sign up for the newsletter here.

Tips on Title Company Marketing

Coming this month...A detailed article from the American Association of Notaries on how to find the title companies you should be marketing to.

Also, there will be a list of tips on "how to", as well as the "don'ts" of how not to go about this.

If you do not already receive this newsletter, you can sign up for it free at

You won't want to miss this, I promise.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Notary Tools for Websites

Google's Free Site Creation
(You can see I have started mine.)

Windows/Microsoft Free Site Creation
Lots of webmaster tools here!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Video Alert, New Signing Agents, Don't Fall for This

When you are called for a job and you quote your reasonable fee you may get unnecessary push back from the caller to get you to lower your fee. If you have had reasonable fees rejected you'll understand exactly what I mean. Have you hear one of these when receiving calls?

We are not authorized to pay that much.
(What they are authorized to pay has nothing with the fee you charge.)

Can't you help us out with this one and do it for less?
(If you wanted to give away a portion of your fee/money, don't you usually give it to your church, or the United Way or other charitable organization?)

If you'll take less we can use you.
("Use" seems to be the operative word here.)

Watch this video graciously shared with notaries at by Marian Harmon, a Calfornia notary who also does virtual assistant work. You'll see how ridiculous these ploys played by low paying signing services truly are. It puts it all in perspective.

My Notary Twitter Life

I Twitter. I don't "tweet" every single move I make. I tweet only once or twice per day at the most, and weekly at the minimum.

How I decide who to follow--
I want to keep my Twittering relative to other notaries and publishing efforts similar to mine, therefore...
...I follow all notaries, even if they do not follow me;
...I do not follow all notary associations or signing agencies, but I do some of them;
...I do not follow everyone who follows me;
...I follow some writers;
...I follow some marketers;
...I will follow other Twitters which improve my content and help me to network.

What do I twitter?
I twitter when I have a new article up on my blog; or...
...when I have something worthwhile for notaries to say, or...
...if there is something newsworthy, or...
...about notary sites I like.

Twitter Dislikes
Hey, everyone can have an opinion, right?
I don't like tweets which are meaningless, but I tolerate them if they are somewhat notary related. Some Twitterers tweet just to be tweeting...maybe that's the point of's just not my favorite thing.

If you are a notary and you Twitter about your notary world, follow me and I'll do likewise for you!

Are you a new notary? Or new signing agent?

If so, I am writing articles for you these days through the monthly email and quarterly print newsletter of the American Association of Notaries.

Join the AAN in order to receive the print newsletter, Notary Digest. The cost is an amazingly low price of $19.00 per year. There is no better value. This price includes being a part of a notary database which covers the nation. For a view, please take a look here:
as well as a subscription to the association's quarterly newsletter, Notary Digest.

Still not convinced? Sign up for the free monthly e-newsletter and see what you think. This month's issue will be published on Monday, June 1. To receive your copy via email, go here:

This month's email newsletter articles will include:
  1. Notarizing a Document With Two Different Types of Certificates. This article explains how to handle a document with both a jurat and acknowledgment.
  2. Experts Tips for a Beginning Signing Agent. This article includes tips for synthesizing experience with loan documents before taking your first appointment. (It will also include a way for a new notary signing agent to get their hands on a stack of documents right away.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

California Notary, Charles Peavey's Daughter Sings "Una Donna a Qundici Anni"

Tatiana Peavey sings Mozart's "Una Donna a quindici anni" from the opera "Cosi fan tutti".

Charles Peavey, California notary and the proud father of this brunette beauty (who definitely sings like an angel), shares this with our notary world.

So, take a break from neatening up your journals, parsing through notary law, and your jurat discussions to join us in a cultured moment. If you like what Tatiana has to offer, please pass it on. Here's here link if you want to copy it into an email:

How inspiring, Charles. This is amazing talent. I wish her godspeed in her endeavors!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Notary Course - Refreshing My Knowledge

This morning I started taking a Texas Notary Self-Study Course. No matter how long you have been a notary it is good to refresh your knowledge from time to time. Laws do change and memories do fade.

The course I am taking is $25.00 and is online through the American Association of Notaries online training website. In order to reach a course for your state go to their website. You will see a link for online training. Currently, the online training is only for Texas notaries.

Each page of the test will give you time to read and absorb what you have seen before you move on. At the end of every chapter is a set of questions. A great compliment to the test is my Texas Notary Self-Study Course. You can order it through the American Association of Notaries website, as well.

Who besides me should take this course?
-Experienced Texas notaries who want to be notary signing agents. (Being a signing agent requires that you become extremely proficient in performing notary duties while dealing with a lot of distractions and outside input.)
-Notaries and notary signing agents who have held their commission for a long time. (Even if you don't have to take a test to get your commission every four years it is good to refresh your memory and to assure you are remaining current with any changes to the law.)
-People who have recently decided to be notaries. (Some states require little self-study. It is up to the notary to make sure they are confident in their laws.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

American Association of Notaries

Kal Tabbara of the American Association of Notaries (AAN) has graciously allowed me to start writing content for his publications. I have gotten my notary commission renewed through the AAN the last two times.

When I did so, I received the Texas Notary Public Manual. As far as I am concerned it is the best Texas Notary Public Manual on the market. It has been so since 2004 when I first took a look at it. The newer version is even better.

The membership to this organization is $19.00. All fifty states are represented by the AAN.

The new "Notary Locator" is also a great addition to membership with the AAN.

In order to receive the print version of the AAN's newsletters consider joining.

You can sign up for the email version for free. There are at least two notary articles each month but they are not the same as the print version. The print version is published once a quarter.

From the AAN website, here are the stated benefits of membership:

Member program includes:

  • Quarterly subscription to the Notary Digest Newsletter, keeping you informed of new trends and laws.
  • Earn 5% in discounts and 5% in rewards redeemable on your next purchase.
  • “Members only’ specials offered throughout the year that save you money on all notary supplies and training materials. Plus, you’ll enjoy discounts on car rentals, hotels, and express delivery, with new affinity programs continually established to benefit you.
  • Unlimited expert technical support that will help you maintain your good standing as a professional notary.
  • ‘Members Only’ log-in area on our informative website:
  • Unlimited use of our logo on your business cards, letterhead, and advertising, establishing you as a professional notary having an alliance with a leading expert notary organization.
  • Free listing in our National Notary Locator to help you advertise and market your services..
  • Calendar and Event reminder with email notification reminder to help you keep track of your important meetings.
  • E-record book that can be accessed 24/7 (check your state laws for compliance).
  • Free reference support letters if needed.
  • Timely notary commission renewal notification well before its expiration, to avoid a lapsed commission.
  • Address and name change forms filed with your state’s notary administrators upon notification from you.


As a business owner you will find yourself needing more capabilities from your personal computer. Novice mobile notary business owners have enough expenses without having to purchase expensive software. If you have ample word processing and spreadsheet software on your computer, you are all set to start creating marketing materials, doing simple bookkeeping and setting up forms you will need such as invoices.

However, if your software is not powerful enough please make the acquaintance of one of the best kept FREE secrets on the World Wide Web. You can have all the software you need to start your business simply by downloading OpenOffice!

OpenOffice is free open source software which will provide everything you need to properly begin or support your business. If you do not have software on your computer which provides spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, and database functions then I highly recommend that you download and learn to use OpenOffice as part of getting prepared for when your business takes off. You can obtain OpenOffice from this link:

OpenOffice will replace any need you have for the pricey Microsoft Office. You may even find that you prefer OpenOffice over Microsoft Office, especially if you are a fan of Microsoft Office 2003 and are now stuck with the newer version of Microsoft Office 2007. If this sounds like you, you will be glad to know that OpenOffice functions more like Microsoft Office 2003 than Microsoft Office 2007 does. OpenOffice is 100% free, easy to install and it is available for download day or night.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Notary’s Dog 1999-2009

She came to me a ten week old wormy, mangy, stinking ball.. She had one eye which was good but the other was blind and infected due to abuse. Her legs were short and her belly nearly dragged the ground.

I didn’t want her, actually, but I had just lost my husband and I needed a dog in the worst way. This one was special. And fate put her into my lap. She was a gift from God.

She was housebroken almost immediately. She did everything she could to understand what I wanted of her. After the passing of a couple of months and spending around $500 on her injuries Ally was finally clear of parasites; her mange finally healed, the infection in her eye went away and she became a brilliant, loving, grateful dog. The two of us could speak to each other with our eyes. She's the only dog I have ever experienced that with.

When I started the notary business, so did she. She announced the comings and goings of clients and delivery men. She rode on short trips to drop off packages. Sometimes she went on late night appointments with me and waited patiently in the car while I completed a task. While the car was moving she loved to stick her head out the window and feel the air rushing across her face. Often I drove down city streets slowly early in the mornings to get her a treat from McDonald's or Whataburger before there was traffic just to please her; she'd stick her head out the window and take everything in with her one good eye. I used to say that she got more good out of that one eye than most dogs did with two good ones.

She developed storm anxiety in 2006. For nearly three years I have fought it with pills, crates and the like. Nothing worked. On Friday, there was a storm and she was beyond containing. I had her put to sleep. I did not drop her off at the vet’s office. I took her in, held her close and they gave her morphine and valium to relax her. When she was sound asleep they gave her the fatal shot. She died in my arms at 3:47 pm, April 17, 2009.

Some may argue that I could have given her away or gotten a much more expensive stainless steel cage for her but what where would that leave her? Another home might lose patience with her and beat her or take her to be euthanized without loving her.. Another cage would only keep her contained while she lost control of her mind during storm and fear overtook her bodily functions. It happened once and she was humiliated that she had to be found after soiling her crate.

No. She was my baby girl and my best friend. She deserved to die with dignity and with my love surrounding her and with her head on my shoulder.

I mourned her passing all weekend. Turned down two notary assignments as a result…and I am okay with that. Finally on Sunday I was able to pull it together again.

Rest in peace little girl.

Ally Stone:
The Notary’s Dog 1999-2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Business Cards

It cannot be said enough that mobile notary business cards should--
  • deliver a clear message
  • not be cluttered and full of irrelevant junk
  • always be with the notary
  • never be hoarded
  • be given away every single day
To read more about preparing a business card for the notary business, join the American Association of Notaries. A very detailed article about notary business cards appeared in the First Quarter Issue of the Notary Digest. Join today and read this and other articles which will assist in your mobile notary business.

Pocket Notary Record Book

If you go "mobile" with your notary business you really need to take a look at these. They are perfectly acceptable for Texas notaries to use as a supplemental journal. With a small pocket sized notary seal and one of these little pocket journals I can notarize anywhere, anytime without warning. They are so small I keep them in my purse so I am ready at all times to notarize.

From the American Association of Notaries which sells this little Pocket Notary Record Book, the descriptions is as follows: "Accommodates 30 entries. Can be easily carried in pocket or purse. Meets legal requirements for Texas Notaries. Can be used as a primary or supplementary record book. Includes complete instructions."

Click on the image or this link to see where you can order the pocket-sized journal.

Articles in the Notary Digest - First Quarter

Sneak Peek: Here is a synopsis of a few of the articles soon to be available for your inspection if you are a member of the American Association of Notaries--

Is Being a Notary Signing Agent for You?
If you are thinking about moving your mobile notary business into a new arena you will find interest in this article.

Home-Based Notary Work
This article goes into detail regarding my personal method of accepting notary work at my home and addresses the issues which you may be causing you to reject this type of work. It's practically "free" money. Don't turn it down!

About Pricing Your Services...
Gives a method of coming up with fees for local mobile notary assignments.

Can you notarize this photograph?
Oh that pesky question that notaries get so often. I go into detail on how I handle these requests so that a workable solution is often reached.

If you are a member of the American Association of Notaries you will receive the Notary Digest each quarter.

Have a Happy Monday!

Your Texas Notary Publisher reporting from College Station, Texas....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sample Notary Certificate Forms Binder

I have a sample form binder that I keep loose notary certificates in. That way when someone comes to me needing something notarized they can select the form of notary certificate that I will complete for them.

I printed out the Texas notary certificate samples from the Texas Secretary of State.

Then, I made several of each type, slid them into vinyl pockets that fit into a binder and I have them ready for those documents which need a certificate and do not have one.

How, you might wonder, do I know that something needs a notary certificate if one is not already attached?

I don't. But the clients ask for it and I show them what I have. This process is acceptable according to the Texas Secretary of State.

Home Notary Work

I know people think I am crazy because I accept this kind of work. A woman I used to work with once said, "I don't tell anyone I am a notary because I don't want them calling me at home. $6.00 just doesn't motivate me to do it."

I totally get that, but I have developed a method of doing it that makes it quite a breeze. The secret to doing it is streamlining the process. I just finished an article on how to do that which I will be submitting to the association I will soon (hopefully) be writing for. If they reject it for some reason, I promise it will be available to you here in the near future.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

If all goes as expected, I will publish regularly...

here and in the Notary Digest, the quarterly publication of the American Association of Notaries. I will also assist with the monthly enewsletter which you can receive by signing up...for free.

This association has its corporate headquarters located in Texas but is a national association for notaries dedicated to notaries and signing agents.

If you write a blog for notaries, send me a link!

Linking to your blog would be my pleasure.

I am still trying to figure out the Blogger-blogosphere tools which can be utilized with this blog but I know know (or I think I know) that exchanging links is a good thing. You can send your link in a comment or you can email me through the email you will find in my profile. I look forward to it. I intend to monitor the comments before allowing them to post so be patient. I will post it after checking out your blog site.

Alex, you (and your blog) amaze me...

Alex Yvonnou is a Detroit, Michigan notary. Though I only know Alex through an email relationship, I consider him a friend and notary ally.

My first blog entry is to honor him because Alex is quite the blogging expert; he is someone I can learn so much from. Just take a peek at his blog, Detroit Notary, and you will see what I mean. Frankly, I'm jealous. I have never had that kind of talent--not the layout ability, nor the writing ability. If you have ever visited one of my websites you can quickly see the difference between a writing pro like Alex and I guess I could describe myself as a folksy writer. I write too personally and on a whim when the mood strikes me. Alex, in comparison, writes like a professional.

His blog is tight, insightful and one of the best on the web for notaries who want to keep up with the peripheral world of things relating to being a notary signing agent.

As I begin my endeavor with my new Texas Notary Publisher blog...well, Alex, I'll be watching you...and learning.