Real Estate Agent with LAR Notary and Closing Services

 I am a Notary Public in Michigan. The notary laws vary wildly from state to state and anything that follows may not apply in other states.

My function as a notary is, for the most part, to certify 2 things:

1. That you are the person you say you are. If I haven't known you for most of my life, then I will have to see some ID. That means a valid Drivers License, state ID card or passport. If you come from a different state I may have to do some research to make sure your license is valid. I don't know what every states ID's look like. If I have any doubt, I will not notarize your document.

2.You signed the document in my presence,on the date we met and you are not drunk, high or appear not to understand what you are doing.

That said, don't ask me to:

1. Post date documents. If the documents are for a mortgage it is loan fraud. In any case this violates the law in Michigan. 

2. Notarize your wifes (or anyones) signature that is already there, even though you have a copy of their drivers license. (people ask me to do this all the time...see number 2 above.)

3. Notarize a document that has blank spaces or fields on it. Again this violates Michigan law.

I'm sorry but I will not jeapordize my notary commission for any one transaction.


Comments (3)

Ronald Gillis
Southwest Florida Notaries (Mortgage Notary Signing Agent) - Port Charlotte, FL
CNSA Southwest Florida. Notaries, Port Charlotte, 941-7-NOTARY

Hey Terry, I have very strong feelings about this subject.  A couple years ago, I blogged about back-dating, and overall was very disappointed by the minimal replies from title companies and mortgage brokers!  And to this day, it is one of my more active blogs in terms of viewing, and of course all agreed that fraud of any kind is unacceptable, but I received few replies from the ones I was targeting the most. Couple points of clarification though, which may or may not apply to your state.  In most states, there is a difference between a Jurat and an Acknowledgment and how they are handled.  In all cases, the person must appear before the notary, and I think that is pretty universal in all states, and I am unaware of any state not having this requirement.  But, while the notary must see the person sign the Jurat in front of them, as long as the acknowledgment wording does not specify that the notary see the signing occur, then the person can bring the document already signed, but I would ask them prior to completing such an acknowledgment if they knew what they signed, and understood the document, and signed willingly and freely.  A spouse, friend or anyone else bring the document to me on the signors behalf is also unacceptable, it must be the signor themselves.  The other thing, if a Jurat, an oath must be given, and even if acknowledgment, I always ask about their willingness and that they understand the document.  When a Jurat, the oath is extremely important as it signifies to the signor the importance and ramifications of the truthful statement contained in the document.  Again, I do not know MI laws, but I would imagine what I say here applies to most if not all states.

PS: BTW, I see you commented on my blog about back-dating last September.  :-)

Apr 21, 2010 07:51 PM
Elizabeth Foust
Keller Williams Realty - Santa Rosa, CA

Thank you Terry.  I agree with you 100%!!! 

Apr 28, 2010 06:05 AM
Pamela Knight
Urban Knight Enterprises, Inc. - Phoenixville, PA

Ah, a subject that is near and dear to my heart....it is imperative that we continue to remind people of what we can and can't do.  Great Blog!

Aug 04, 2010 07:10 AM