Tax Day

Four Last Minute Tax Tips for Notary Business Owners

Greetings!  There are only a few days left until April 15, 2019.   Social media and forums are buzzing this week as frantic new notary business owners sort out their first tax seasons.  Just like in previous years, legends and myths flourish about how to treat notary income on tax returns.  The most dangerous statements go something like this: “Notary income isn’t taxable.” Hold on, friends!  That’s not exactly true, and that's why we are talking about this today.  The focus of today’s article is notary public income.  This article is not meant to provide tax advice, but to help you identify resources to help move your tax return forward. If you have waited until the last minute to collect your tax information, you may have noticed...


Posted By Category: Featured, Notary BusinessTags: Comments: 0
Master Complicated Notarial Certificates

5-Step Plan to Master Complicated Certificates

Today's newsletter is about how to master complicated notarial certificates.  Why should you care about this? Most notaries want this knowledge because complicated notarial certificates are the types attached to commercial loan documents and commercial real estate transactional documents. Real Situation Last week, a notary  reached out for assistance with completing the blanks of a certificate of acknowledgment--the words and blanks looked completely unfamiliar to her.   She shared with us a great example of what I consider to be a "complicated" notarial certificate, and it's been included below.   There are so many blanks in the certificate that even a seasoned notary would be puzzled!  In fact,  it's likely that few lawyers could unravel the notarial certificate in the example below without...


Avoiding Discriminatory Practices as a Notary Public

Hello, notary colleagues!  Do you wonder if by saying "No" to a notary request or an assignment scheduler,  you are discriminating toward a client? That's what we'll talk about today.  (Please bear in mind that neither I, nor Notary.net gives legal advice; this is for general discussion purposes only.)  What is discrimination? In the context of being a notary public, the general principle is that no person shall be excluded from receiving notarial services because a notary is biased against a person who belongs to a protected class. To exclude someone from receiving notarial services because you don't like something about that person is probably discrimination if it relates to one of the protected classes listed in the next section.  (On the...


Success

New to the Notary Business? A Simple Plan to Start You Off

Did you become a notary so that you could use your notary commission to develop a business? Are you having trouble sorting out all that you need to learn? If you are feeling overwhelmed and need to know where to start, this article is definitely for you! I know this is much longer than our usual articles, but I want to reach out to new notaries who are looking for a pathway to starting a notary business. I read your comments in the virtual notary hangouts and realize that one problem you are having is that you heard about this great opportunity, but have no clue where to start. I have observed:  New notaries are spending far more than I...


Posted By Category: Featured, Notary Business, TrainingComments: 1

Fun Facts About Notary Certificates

Is this statement true or false? Notary certificates are no big deal -- just do what you can to fill them out correctly and move on. However, this is often how a new notary perceives notarial certificates.   I remember that I was no different!  That's why we are going to talk a bit about notarial certificates this week.  Hopefully, you will read a fact or two that you did not know or have not considered in the past.   Please keep in mind as you read that this is not legal advice and notary laws differ from state to state. Fact #1 - Notarial certificates outlive the notary. The purpose of a notarial certificate is to memorialize forever who appeared before the notary on what...


who what when

Six Key Facts to Collect for your Notary Journal

Even if you aren’t required by law to maintain a notary journal, noting a few key facts about the documents you are asked to notarize may some day save a relationship with a favorite client  or vindicate you if you are accused of wrongdoing as a notary public. What facts should you collect for your notary record book? If your state’s notarial laws require you to keep a record of your notarial acts in a notary journal, notary log, notary register or notary record book; you must collect the information that your state requires.  However, you might want to add six mental prompts to your notary routine so that you know that you have identified clearly the act and the...


Trodat 4913 Ink Colors

Rainbow of Colorful Notary Stamps and Ink

There's a notary myth that rolls around in forums and on social media from time to time about notary stamp ink color.   It goes something like this: the majority of notaries believe that seal ink must be black.   Many believe colors may be blue or black.  The truth is that only one-fourth of the 50 states have laws that require notaries to select a certain color.  All of the other states can choose from any color of ink that can be reproduced darkly on a copier or when scanned.   Notaries who are not restricted to a certain color may select from blue, purple, red, blue, or green in addition to black or blue.  If you are not sure what color...


Certified Copy

How to “Notarize” Copies – The Certified Copy Dilemma

Many new notaries have contacted me over the years to ask how to produce correctly "notarized copies" of important identification documents such as driver licenses, government-issued identification cards, foreign or U.S. passports.  Let's first discuss what the term "notarized copy” actually means.  The citizen is referring to the act of certifying a copy of an original document as being an exact copy of the original. Suppose a fictional notary named Tom Teller has been approached by a citizen requesting a notarized copy of a U.S. Passport.  The citizen, another fictional character named Mrs. Lola Longmire, knows what she wants and she intends to have it her way:  Lola Longmire expects Tom to make a copy of her ID and stamp the copy...


Notary Records Journal

Improved Notary Records Journal

We have upgraded our popular Notary Records Journal to be even better.  In addition to the new cover image this thoughtfully-designed journal has an additional 96 entries and thicker paper.  We have also brought back the soft cover version, making this journal fully Hawaii compliant!  Check out all the features of this journal: Durable binding (pages will not fall out) 496 individually numbered entries 128 individually numbered pages 4 entries per page (no spanning across two pages) Check boxes for common notarizations Easy logging of complicated entries (such as credible witness) Soft cover version is good for all states and territories (Hawaii-compliant) Hard cover version is good for all states and territories (except Hawaii) Order Now   We now have two additional journal options While we love the Notary Records Journal,...


2018-ID-NOTARY-STAMP-ROUND

2018 New Idaho Notary Stamp Requirements

Every current Idaho Notary Public must use the new stamp format starting October 1, 2018.  All existing stamps must be destroyed or disabled after September 30, 2018.   NOTARY STAMP PURCHASING INFORMATION   Your notary certificate, as provided by the Idaho Secretary of State, grants you the authority to purchase a notary stamp. All notary stamps USED on or after October 1, 2018, must conform to the following standard (as per I.C. 51-117, 118): The stamp must be an inked stamp. The stamp must have a serrated or milled-edge border. The stamp must be in a rectangular or circular form. The stamp shall not exceed two and one-fourth (2.25) inches by one (1) inch if rectangular, or one and three-fourths (1.75) inches in diameter if circular. The stamp...


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Notary Records Journal

New Colorado Notary Journal Requirements

With the passage of the 2018 Colorado RULONA (Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts), there were slight changes to the standards of care for the Colorado Notary Records Journal.  You can read the actual Colorado Revised Statute below this article. All RULONA updates will be reflected in our updated Colorado Notary State-Approved Online Course on or before July 1, 2018. You can also order your Colorado RULONA compliant notary journal here: Notary Journal C.R.S. 24-21-519. Journal (1) A notary public shall maintain a journal in which the notary public chronicles all notarial acts that the notary public performs. The notary public shall retain the journal for ten years after the performance of the last notarial act chronicled in the journal. (2) A journal may...


Notary Bond

What Is a Notary Bond and Why is it Important

As you know, a notary, also known as a notary public, is a government-licensed professional who takes witness to an assortment of legal affairs and signing of documents. The National Notary Association defines a notary as a government-appointed official to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts--notarizations, notarial acts--that are related to the signing of highly important documents. Since a notary’s job requires them to work closely with legal documents day in and day out, oftentimes, they are required to get a notary bond, also referred to as a surety bond. In most cases, it’s necessary for a notary to obtain a surety bond before they are allowed to start notarizing...