Make a Good Impression
Nope, I’m not referring to your grooming, attire, or shined shoes. This episode focuses on your notary stamp. Here in New York, a stamp is not actually required, the necessary information can be hand written. However, virtually every notarization that I have ever seen has used a notary stamp. Some are neat and legible; others are, well, a mess.
You are a mobile notary public. You charge more than the state mandated fee for notarizing a signature. For that fee your client deserves the best you can provide. As fantastic as it may sound, I know of a notary who was in the notary stamp making business; who shaved off the last two digits of the commission expiration date! Really, he MADE stamps for notaries, but did not bother to make a new one for himself when appropriate.
Good, you are ordering a new stamp. Choose a font that is bold and clear. Worried that it will not fit in every document? So also order a smaller, perhaps pocket “flip action” one for the tiny spaces. Be sure to practice with all of your stamps so you can place the image precisely and the die will hit the page level. It’s not rocket science, but, as with any other tool; requires practice.
Each time you use your stamp you take a little bit of ink from the pad and leave it on the page. That’s obvious; equally obvious is the need to reink the pad so the die makes a dark and clear impression. Did I say clear? Your stamp actually works two ways. Of course you leave ink on the page; but you also pickup minute fibers of paper on the stamp! Your stamp needs to be cleaned regularly. To clean mine I remove the inkpad, then using “Dawn” dishwashing liquid and an old toothbrush; I gently scrub off the accumulated crud from the rubber die. It’s easy to do under the faucet with flowing warm water. Shake off the excess water and let dry. Don’t forget to reinstall the little inkpad.
It’s pretty much the same issue with your embosser. It too picks up paper fibers and the impression will lose the precise definition that “marks” you as a professional. Again I use the “Dawn”; putting some on a triple thickness of paper towel. I then emboss the towel about ten times, moving to an unused location every time. Then it’s rinse under the warm water, shake dry; and to avoid rust; a minute or so with the hairdryer to remove all moisture.
Are your stamp and embosser just bouncing around in your notary kit? Better is to have each of them in a separate sealed case. Lint, dust and other debris will migrate to the inkpad or emboss dies to make your image fuzzy. You don’t want to leave a fuzzy impression, do you?
In addition to regular and small stamps, you should also have two embossers. One of your embossers should be for inserting on the left edge, the other for inserting from the bottom. The hand held embossers have “snap in” dies that need to be seated properly to apply the maximum amount of leverage. It’s common for the die to shift a bit; take the time to check it.
I know, it’s a terrible pun when I say that you should always “leave a good impression”. But, often these most basic of tools are not replaced regularly; nor given proper maintenance. After you leave, or ship back the documents; only your signature, stamp, and embossing remain with the client. Make sure that you leave a clear and lasting good impression!