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Doing more than the minimum notary requirements will get you repeat work and referrals

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Backstory -  I wanted to update my Will, Powers of Attorney, etc.  My biggest competitor just became a grandmother so I knew she would want to update her Will too.  So I called her and suggested we notarize each other's documents.  I knew some gals who would act as our witnesses.  We arranged a date.

I was shocked at her behavior at the appointment. She did the absolute minimum required by our state's notary laws:  she added her signature, date, and notary stamp on my documents. 

She didn't note anything in a journal. 

She didn't use an embosser seal besides the inked seal. 

She was very awkward about swearing in the witnesses with raised right hands which told me she hadn't administered the oath to anyone during the thousands of loan signings she had done over the last 6+ years.

If I weren't a notary and didn't know that all notary laws were fulfilled, I would have wondered if my docs were legally notarized because of her cavalier attitude and actions.

My state does not require journals.  But I journal and collect clients' signatures because journaling protects me in the event of a false accusation.  (Judges love paper trails.)  Journaling also lends an air of importance to the legal status of the documents involved.  Plus I can be helpful if there is an enquiry about a notarization.

My state does not require an embossed notarization in addition to an inked one.  But I have noticed that clients are VERY impressed when an embossed seal is used.  Using an embosser adds a solomnity and respect for the documents and thereby to the clients for their important transactions.  If the document is bound for overseas, I also use a gold seal before I emboss.

I always have preprinted receipt forms handy.  I created them on my computer with my letterhead and tax ID number (not social security number).  I complete the form at the end of the appointment and give to each client. 

Because I always treat my clients' documents with careful respect and do more than the minimum required, I am telling them via behavior that I am a true professional.  They won't want to go elsewhere and they always return to me.

So always provide services at your Professional Best standard.  Your clients will have greater trust in your work, be loyal to you, and happily give colleagues your phone number.



Joan Bergstrom
Joan Bergstrom Mobile Notary - Riverside, CA
Mobile Notary, Riverside CA

I like the embosser idea because it does look very official.  I have never purchased one but I will in the future.

It is certainly the symbol of a Notary Public. I also like the idea of pre-printed receipts; I carry the type that are handwritten and this looks very lame and unbusinesslike.

This is what is great about this particular message board, it gets us thinking and learning something new that can help our business.

The notary not swearing someone in doesn't surprise me much, but I think we are doing a better job of Jurats in CA because of the 3-6 hour study or classroom requirement just to take our CA Notary test.

In my opinion a great post!



Jul 06, 2009 03:47 PM
Laura Vestanen
Bellingham, WA
My book "Notary Marketing 2019" is on Amazon.com

Thanks for your kind words, Joan.

Get your embosser from Keith at GoMobileNotary.com  When you renew your notary commission, you only need to buy the insert next time.  They are securely placed but still easy to replace.

I hear a $250 fine can be imposed on a notary who does not administer the oath when a jurat is involved.  That should also provide a compliance incentive!

I have a "notarization regarding" area on my receipt.  If I know the tax category my client will be using, I'll write it in.  If I don't know, I ask the client what they would like me to write.  If they are ever audited, having the reason written in my handwriting will look better.

I'll email you my receipt for you to adjust to your specifics.



Jul 07, 2009 02:23 AM
Joan Bergstrom
Joan Bergstrom Mobile Notary - Riverside, CA
Mobile Notary, Riverside CA

Thanks for the Receipt: It looks very professional and I will use it.


Jul 09, 2009 03:59 PM