I am not yet a Notary, however I am considering applying to be one if it’s appropriate for my circumstances. I’m hoping to find out here whether or not what I want to do is even possible or relevant.
A little background… I am a hobby researcher of “heraldry” the ancient system of designing coats of arms (or what is often incorrectly referred to as “family crests”). In other countries, particularly England and Scotland (Not the “United Kingdom,” in this case they are treated as two jurisdictions) heraldry is governed by laws and you cannot bear a coat of arms that is not legally yours. In many ways it’s treated like a personal trademark – however the analogy is not perfect.
In the United States there are no laws governing heraldry. However, there are a number of heraldry enthusiasts who have adopted personal emblems and wish to formalize that adoption as much as possible, and perhaps create a public record of that assumption, so that in the event laws are created that do govern use of heraldry (admittedly, unlikely), individuals will be able to certify their use of the coat of arms.
More background, if you’re interested, can be found here: https://www.americanheraldry.org/pages/index.php?n=Guide.Guidelines
I confess, it’s a nuanced and unique desire, but the few people (including myself) interested in it are very serious.
I’m interested in meeting the demand of these individuals. What I’d like to do is collect affirmations from people that they have adopted their personal emblem (coat of arms) and then publicly record (notarize) those affirmations (and also provide them with a physical certificate).
However (at least in Maine) most notarizing must be done in person and many of the people I’d like to help live all over the country. My question is… can I notarize my own affirmations? (Maybe affirmation isn’t the correct word.)
Can I create a record of coats of arms and notarize a document affirming I’ve recorded those arms?
Here’s the distinction: Instead of someone creating their own affirmation stating “I, so-and-so, hereby adopt as my personal emblem this rainbow-unicorn” Can I formally notarize a statement saying, “I, Jeremy Hammond (me), hereby affirm that so-and-so has recorded his emblem as this rainbow-unicorn?”
I’m very unfamiliar with the Notary process, so I’ll also ask: Am I making any sense? Am what I’m wishing to do well beyond the purpose and scope of Notaries?
As a Notary Public, we positively I.D. the person who appears before us and notarize their signature. We are not
concerned with the contents of the document. Notarization does not make something legal, it is simply informing the receiving party that the person who appeared before us, is who they say they are.
Seems you want to do Affidavits. A statement where you swear to the truthfulness within the document. These usually have “Jurat” notarial verbiage. Which means you sign in front of a Notary Public and swear to the contents.
You cannot notarize your own signature in any State. How can you be an impartial witness to the signing?
In the United States, what you are describing is covered under Intellectual Property Law (IP). I suppose a notary service could be a validating addition to verify the person who attested or acknowledged or is sworn as the creator of the symbol, however trademark, copyright and even a utility patent could be appropriate depending on how the symbol is to be used.