I’ve noticed that some notaries in CA accept Green Cards as IDs and some dont. Green Cards dont have physical description and signatures of holders and therefore they do not qualify as satisfactory evidences…am I right here?
Second, I can accept foreign passports if they are stamped by the USCIS…what kind of stamps should be I looking for? Is a stamp from the airport enough or do my foreign customers need to have some sort of additional registration at USCIS office?
Third, as a Mobile Notary I often get requests to notarize documents at hospitals. During my 6-hr training we’ve been told to decline notarization of Wills, Living Trusts and Codicils…So, I refer my customers to a member of the State Bar…and they say that they have already been to the lawyer and all the documents are prepared by that lawyer, and that the lawyer told them to find a mobile notary for notarization at the hospital. What should I say to my costumers in this situation? Do they still need to find a mobile notary who is a lawyer as well, or can I proceed with notarization?
Thanks a lot!
Good question, it’s too bad no one answered. I am almost a notary (waiting on bond to show up so I can take my oath), and the NNA has a hotline for members that is supposed to reliably answer sticky questions like this. The number is listed under the text in the “Tips and Tutorials” section of their website.
1.) The only I.D. acceptable in California are those listed in the Handbook. No, you cannot accept a green card.
2.) If there are written instructions from an attorney specifying they want a Last Will & Testament notarized. You
can notarize. Keep in mind, we are not notarizing documents, we are notarizing signatures. I do Trust signings
all the time.
3.) USCIS is clearly stamped on foreign passports.
Always follow the California Notary Handbook for answers to your questions. There are certain organizations that have given out incorrect information. Only the SOS Notary Public division can direct to the proper law, which you must follow. Do not follow Notaries Public who do not know the law.
I just bought a membership to the NNA specifically to have access to the hotline, because they said could handle legal questions. So is this not true? Or are both NNA + SOS reliable?
The only authority on Notary laws in California is the Secretary of State. Even the SOS, when you call with a question will not interpret the law. They will quote directly form the Notary Public Handbook. I suggest you read the Notary Handbook at least five times. You must know your State laws inside and out. The Notary Public Handbook is free on their site or you can have a booklet sent to you.
I cannot comment on whether your membership will be worth it to you with xyz. Good reading for newbies is message #33325 on Notaryrotary.com, plus you can search many questions that have been asked repeatedly over the years. The bottom line is, the only true authority is the ones that write the laws.
OK. Thank you. If I understand you correctly, the National Notary Association is kind of just taking advantage of notaries then, they cannot reliably answer legal questions. So much work to undo newbie mistakes. Thankfully I haven’t had my first job yet.
LDM, I am glad you are taking the time to learn. I have been a Notary Public and Mobile Notary Loan Signing Agent for 11 years and I still learn something new every day. We must be very careful not to allow others, (Signing Services, general public, attorneys, other Notaries Public, Title companies, Lenders, etc.) tell us how to do our jobs. The certificates are our responsibility and we must always follow the laws of our State period. We are the ones that ultimately will be fined or penalized for not doing our job correctly.
Many people don’t realize the huge responsibility we have undertaken. Looks easy, but there can be so many hidden problems. Don’t let anyone bully you into doing the wrong thing. Happy Holidays!
Thanks, you too!