Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "I'm afraid that won't be possible." => Topic started by: geordicat on March 31, 2011, 12:52:54 PM

Title: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: geordicat on March 31, 2011, 12:52:54 PM
I am a notary for the state of Washington.   There are certain documents I can notarize, and some I can't (like a copy of a birth certificate).   I can notarize a will, but that does not make it legal and valid, it is just an acknowledgement that you signed it in front of me.  I can notarize copies of passports. 

I notarize a lot of documents for people at work.  It only takes a few minutes and my employer has paid for me to become a notary just for this purpose.  It saves co workers from having to go to the bank, stand in line, wait for the notary... etc. etc.  They can come to my desk, get something notarized and be on their way in just a few minutes.

Yesterday "Sean" wanted a paper notarized.  I scan it (not to be nosy, but just to ensure that it's something I can legally notarize) and he just wanted me to "Sign and stamp!  No need to read it!"  And he tried to cover it up.  Sorry, I have to know what I'm notarizing. 

I can not notarize a document if there are blank signature blocks.  I must put a big line through them.  This is to prevent people from having their document signed and notarized, then taking it to someone else and filling in a signature after the fact.  You would be stunned at the sheer number of people who say "Can you notarize this saying I can take money out of my 401k for a boat?  My wife/husband isn't here to sign it, but I will take it to them later.  You can trust me."

No, sorry, I will not.  ALL members must be present for me to sign.  Period.  No exceptions.  "Must be present to win"

So.. back to Sean.  It was some insurance form and he had signed the third of five signature blocks.  I explained I about not signing a page with blanks, and put a big X through them.  I thought it was unusual that he had signed the third of five blocks, leaving the first two and the second two blank.  He said he understood, and agreed to putting the x through the blocks.   I signed and stamped.  All is good.

Today he comes back and tells me "My insurance company didn't like the blank lines. You have to do it again, and this time leave those blank."     

"No, I'm afraid I can't do that.  By notary law, right here on page 15, I can NOT sign a page with blank lines."   

"But you have to!  My insurance wants it clean!  You can trust me!"

"No, I'm afraid I can't do that.  By notary law, I can not sign a page with blanks."

He tried a few more times, going with the "But we're in the same group!  You can trust me!" angle.  No, I can NOT.  If he, or someone else has signatures added after the fact, I can be held accountable and be in SERIOUS trouble.  He repeated his plea a few more times until I said "Perhaps you should have someone else notarize your document, because I will not budge on this issue.  So, what did you think about yesterday's staff meeting, when the boss said blah blah blah?"

He didn't bring the page to me to notarize, and I know that no other notary is going to sign that with blank lines. 

Thank you, ehell, for teaching me this simple yet effective phrase!!  I no longer feel GUILTY about saying no!
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Poirot on March 31, 2011, 01:08:00 PM
I cannot POD this enough!! I am a notary in PA, and just last week, a client wanted me to notarize a unsigned Power of Attorney for his father's estate.  :o No way, Jose!

The kicker is, this SS client is an attorney, and knows better.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Ms_Shell on March 31, 2011, 01:11:40 PM
Good for you, Geordicat.  If you can't do it, well, that's that and Sean is just going to have to suck it up and accept it. 
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: magiccat26 on March 31, 2011, 01:26:19 PM
While Notary law varies from state to state, that rule seems to be universal!  I work for a Bank and we send all our notaries through training and give them tips for how to politely refuse to notarize a document if they are asked to do something that does not meet our state guidelines/rules.

Great job!
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: geordicat on March 31, 2011, 01:48:57 PM
I have my little 'Notary Laws' book handy and will gladly show people what I can and can not notarize. 

The only down side to being a notary for my co workers?   I can't charge the $10 per signature.  OUTSIDE work, if they are not an employee of this company (or married to one) I can charge $10.

I have employees who are going through paper work to become US Citizens.  That is really wonderful and cool.   But there can be pages and pages and PAGES of documents to sign, and if they have family, MORE documents.  I did one stack of 75 pages for one gentleman.    No charge.   Just imagine if I could have charged.  75 stamps, at $10 a stamp... $750.00   

I've been a notary for going on 3 years now and all services have been free.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Shiraz_Much? on March 31, 2011, 02:37:20 PM
You can charge?  Hmmm...I never knew that.  I have never been charged for getting anything notarized before.  Interesting.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Poirot on March 31, 2011, 03:02:00 PM
In PA we can charge up to $5.00 per signature to be notarized.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: ddawn23 on March 31, 2011, 03:49:47 PM
You can charge?  Hmmm...I never knew that.  I have never been charged for getting anything notarized before.  Interesting.

They can charge in Illinois.  Oklahoma absentee ballots must be notarized and actually come with a notice that the notary public cannot charge for it.  I guess it would amount to a poll tax.  My dad thought it was VERY rude of me to present the notice and refuse to pay when the notary asked for the fee.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Lynnv on March 31, 2011, 08:58:32 PM
You can charge?  Hmmm...I never knew that.  I have never been charged for getting anything notarized before.  Interesting.

They can charge in Illinois.  Oklahoma absentee ballots must be notarized and actually come with a notice that the notary public cannot charge for it.  I guess it would amount to a poll tax.  My dad thought it was VERY rude of me to present the notice and refuse to pay when the notary asked for the fee.

I don't know what the limit on the fee was, but we charged non-customers for notary services in Colorado (about a dozen years ago).
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: geordicat on April 01, 2011, 04:40:42 AM
Laws vary from state to state,  so fees will be different.  Notaries have to know what they are signing, as not all documents can be notarized.  The birth certificate is an example.  I can not notarize a birth certificate or a copy of a birth certificate.  I can notarize copies of passports and drivers licenses.   

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=308-30-020

It was interesting once I started reading up on all the ins and outs of being a notary.

I did ask Sean why he signed in the middle of those signature blocks.  He just said "I guess I'm a middle of the page kind of guy."

Still not signing with blank areas. 

http://www.asnnotary.org/?form=basicduties

The document presented for notarization must be COMPLETE.
The notary cannot perform a notarial act over a document that is missing pages, or that contains blanks that should be filled-in prior to the notarial act. If missing pages cannot be presented to the notary, or if the signer does not know how to deal with the blanks in the document, the notary cannot proceed. (Note: some blanks are clearly intended to be filled-in later, such as “Office Use Only” blanks. These are acceptable at the time of notarization.)

I love being a notary.  My commission expires next year, and I definitely want to continue this.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: still in va on April 01, 2011, 10:05:18 AM
I did ask Sean why he signed in the middle of those signature blocks.  He just said "I guess I'm a middle of the page kind of guy."

Still not signing with blank areas. 

i must be very cynical, but i'm not thinking Sean is a middle of the page kind of guy.  i'm thinking Sean wanted it notarized, and then some other top of the page kind of people would be signing.   ::)
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Twik on April 01, 2011, 10:38:28 AM
He needs to have his evil genius license revoked, if he tries to cover up things while you're looking at it!  >:D
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: geordicat on April 01, 2011, 12:21:15 PM
I did ask Sean why he signed in the middle of those signature blocks.  He just said "I guess I'm a middle of the page kind of guy."

Still not signing with blank areas. 

i must be very cynical, but i'm not thinking Sean is a middle of the page kind of guy.  i'm thinking Sean wanted it notarized, and then some other top of the page kind of people would be signing.   ::)

Yep.  This is why we don't notarize blank pages.  He came in this morning and said "You've been vindicated.  I talked to 2 other notaries and they, too, refused to sign a blank page."

Funny.  That's what I said, and I even showed him the rule in the book.

Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on April 01, 2011, 12:28:40 PM

Yep.  This is why we don't notarize blank pages.  He came in this morning and said "You've been vindicated.  I talked to 2 other notaries and they, too, refused to sign a blank page."

Funny.  That's what I said, and I even showed him the rule in the book.


How magnanimous of him.  (wryly). 
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: sparksals on April 01, 2011, 01:15:29 PM
I did ask Sean why he signed in the middle of those signature blocks.  He just said "I guess I'm a middle of the page kind of guy."

Still not signing with blank areas. 

i must be very cynical, but i'm not thinking Sean is a middle of the page kind of guy.  i'm thinking Sean wanted it notarized, and then some other top of the page kind of people would be signing.   ::)

Why would he want to have people sign after the fact?  What am I missing?
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: geordicat on April 01, 2011, 01:27:09 PM
because he can then change the document after I've signed and stamped.  He can add stuff that wasn't there before, or change the parameters of the document so it's TOTALLY different from what I signed.   
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on April 01, 2011, 01:27:30 PM
I did ask Sean why he signed in the middle of those signature blocks.  He just said "I guess I'm a middle of the page kind of guy."

Still not signing with blank areas.  

i must be very cynical, but i'm not thinking Sean is a middle of the page kind of guy.  i'm thinking Sean wanted it notarized, and then some other top of the page kind of people would be signing.   ::)

Why would he want to have people sign after the fact?  What am I missing?

Among other things, you can arrange for a home loan or the sale of a house.

You can also add in text about an adult having permission to take a child overseas, etc.

All an Acknowledgment says is, "Jim showed up in front of me, and Jim told me he signed the document."  (Jim does *not* have to sign the document in front of the notary - the Acknowledgment form of notarization says only that "Jim says he signed the document".  If you want "I saw Jim sign the document," that's a different form - called a Jurat.)  

Anyway - now that various organizations are using them for field trips, etc. (to confirm a parent (or somebody convincingly claiming to be the parent/guardian) *showed up* in front of a notary to have the document sealed, there are various sorts of low-level identity fraud possible, as well as real estate matters, etc.

Emma

Get a notarized document, then have somebody else sign later.  Although the notarizations I have
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: geordicat on April 01, 2011, 01:29:44 PM
I do check our employee badges at work.  Even if I know the person by sight, I check the name on the badge matches the name in my journal. 

Checking ID is part of the process!
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: wolfie on April 01, 2011, 01:30:50 PM
because he can then change the document after I've signed and stamped.  He can add stuff that wasn't there before, or change the parameters of the document so it's TOTALLY different from what I signed.   

But he can do that after you signed it even if there were no blanks in the form.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: still in va on April 01, 2011, 01:33:56 PM
He needs to have his evil genius license revoked, if he tries to cover up things while you're looking at it!  >:D

yeah, if he can't even do a decent evil genius mind control spell, there's no point. 
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: sparksals on April 01, 2011, 01:36:03 PM
because he can then change the document after I've signed and stamped.  He can add stuff that wasn't there before, or change the parameters of the document so it's TOTALLY different from what I signed.   

Oh yes, I know this, but I'm wondering why he would leave signature places blank.  If someone is up to no good, wouldn't they not want additional signatures?  Of course, he could have planned to forge in the others. 
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on April 01, 2011, 01:37:30 PM
because he can then change the document after I've signed and stamped.  He can add stuff that wasn't there before, or change the parameters of the document so it's TOTALLY different from what I signed.  

But he can do that after you signed it even if there were no blanks in the form.

That's why notaries line through empty spaces.  

If the name is at the middle of the page, with a lot of blank space above it, the blank space above it should be lined out.  

And if there are multiple signers and the document is being signed in counterparts, with each signature notarized, the signature blocks for the others need to be either filled in at the same time, with the notary notarizing all signatures, or the blocks need to be lined through.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: geordicat on April 01, 2011, 01:40:25 PM
because he can then change the document after I've signed and stamped.  He can add stuff that wasn't there before, or change the parameters of the document so it's TOTALLY different from what I signed.   

But he can do that after you signed it even if there were no blanks in the form.

If there was a big blank space on the form, yes.  We look for that kind of thing.  We also check for ways it could be altered (at least I do).   I also have everyone who is signing the document *in front of me* sign my journal book that most notaries keep.  If it ever came down to someone changing a document after I've signed, my journal book shows what I signed and who was present.  If there are additional signatures, then someone tried to pull a fast one.

 
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 01, 2011, 01:51:23 PM
I did ask Sean why he signed in the middle of those signature blocks.  He just said "I guess I'm a middle of the page kind of guy."

Still not signing with blank areas. 

i must be very cynical, but i'm not thinking Sean is a middle of the page kind of guy.  i'm thinking Sean wanted it notarized, and then some other top of the page kind of people would be signing.   ::)

Yep.  This is why we don't notarize blank pages.  He came in this morning and said "You've been vindicated.  I talked to 2 other notaries and they, too, refused to sign a blank page."

Funny.  That's what I said, and I even showed him the rule in the book.

Funny.  I wasn't aware that you needed to be vindicated.  How thoughtful of him.   :P ::)
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on April 01, 2011, 03:43:23 PM
This is such a sore point with me.  At the DMV, we need to examine documents, and we often refuse documents if unacceptable.  Only to have the customer have the document notarized, which somehow makes the unacceptable document magically okay.

For example: teenager is applying for a driver's license.  Instead of the birth certificate, he presents a Xerox of it.  I refuse it: we need to see the real BC, not a copy.  So the father rushes across the street to his bank, and comes back: he now has it notarized!  I call the bank, and spoke to the employee who had notarized it: "Just exactly what were you attesting to?"

"Listen, they asked for my notary seal, and I did it.  What's the big problem?"

I was so flabbergasted I could not even explain.  I did say that she needed to go over her rules because she didn't know what she was doing.  What made me even angrier was the fact that notaries are licensed out of the same branch of state government that I work for!

My experience has been that the notaries I have dealt with either know their stuff cold, or they are totally clueless.  Ugh!
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: geordicat on April 01, 2011, 04:12:52 PM
You are correct, pierrotlunaire0.  I take my notary duties pretty darn seriously.   Birth certificates can not be notarized.

Whoever is signing the document must be in front of me.  MUST.  I even made my neighbors wait until they were together, and I've lived next to them for 3 years.  I would not trust my own mother to have her SO sign a document notarized by me unless they were both right in front of me.

I keep my notary handbook handy and it's one of the things I actually pull out of my case when I'm about to notarize something.  I have my journal, my stamp thing, my squishy thing, the gold foil stars (because using the embosser on that looks so totally cool!!!) extra pens and that handbook.    I explain to people why they are about to sign the journal.  It's to protect them AND me if anything were to happen and they have to prove that the document really was notarized.  if there's ever any question about the validity of the document or my stamp/signature, the journal is there to protect everyone.    I also tell them if someone were to change the document after I sign, what's in the journal is the correct one, and if the document has different information, guess who's in trouble?  NOT ME!!   :)

Notarizing a copy of a public document such as a birth certificate or death certificate only says "this is a copy" and not "this is a CERTIFIED copy."  I instruct people to go to the courthouse for that.  People that want a copy of these documents require CERTIFIED copies. 

Most people are pretty cool about it and happy to sign it.  I've only had one person who didn't want to put down his information.  I'm not going to deny services for not signing the journal (because in my state it's not required) but he walked away and said he'd go elsewhere.  He was polite about it, he just didn't want his personal information in the journal. 

Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: wolfie on April 01, 2011, 04:18:24 PM
So you make a copy of the document for your journal? So you can prove that the change wasn't there when you stamped it? That is pretty cool - I wouldn't have an issue with that.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: geordicat on April 01, 2011, 04:22:12 PM
no, no copies in the journal. Just name, what the document is, the type of notary (jurat, acknowledgement) address of where the notarization happened, address of the person, their signature and the type of ID they used to prove it was them.

So if they wanted me to notarize a power of attorney for John Q Public and somehow magically it turned into a "Susie Cutsie can take junior into another country".... you know something is up.

http://www.sos.ne.gov/business/notary/pdf/journal.pdf
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: It's good to be Queen on April 07, 2011, 02:43:37 PM
I also am a notary, primarily for work since many of our documents need to be notarized.  I will notarize work documents my boss has signed, even if I don't see him sign it because he has a very distinct signature that i would recognize anywhere.  For everything else, you need to sign it in my presence.  I have had employees get quite angry when I refuse to notarize something that their spouse has signed at home.  I have never met their spouse, have not seen them sign the document and have no idea if they consent to having hubby's 401k beneficiary changed (or the car sold or the kids go to Mexico.....).  

Most people think that notarizing a some form of useless formality and have no idea that the notary is attesting that the person who signed the document did it of their own free will and deed (yes, i make you raise your hand and swear to it) and that I have seen valid ID that proves you are who you say you are.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: threepenny on April 09, 2011, 05:02:27 PM
I generally don't go as far as to administer the oath to someone I know, but I will also not notarize if I haven't seen the person sign the document.  Former co-worker of mine used to constantly notarize back dated documents - and not just back dated, but signed by people she had never laid eyes on.  Used to drive me batty because it was so dishonest.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: aventurine on April 11, 2011, 12:42:11 AM
So you make a copy of the document for your journal? So you can prove that the change wasn't there when you stamped it? That is pretty cool - I wouldn't have an issue with that.

That's what they do here (Louisiana), or at least have done the couple of times I've had things notarized.  They also charge $20.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Barney girl on April 16, 2011, 05:21:51 PM
I'm a notary practising in England and Wales. When I have Americans coming in to me it's always a surprise to them how different the fees are. (charging rates are based on a commercial lawyer's rates).
Most people here have never heard of notaries unless they need a document for another country, so I'm always intrigued how much notaries are used in America. As far as I can make out your role is as an official witness. Is that right? Incidentally I'm always amazed how much paper work there is for property purchases compared with here. If clients ring and tell me they've got one document that they're expecting to need notarising for a property in Florida they're a bit taken aback when I tell them may get about fifteen documents.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: geordicat on April 16, 2011, 07:03:46 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notary_public


A notary public (or notary or public notary) in the common law world is a public officer constituted by law to serve the public in non-contentious matters usually concerned with estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney, and foreign and international business. A notary's main functions are to administer oaths and affirmations, take affidavits and statutory declarations, witness and authenticate the execution of certain classes of documents, take acknowledgments of deeds and other conveyances, protest notes and bills of exchange, provide notice of foreign drafts, prepare marine or ship's protests in cases of damage, provide exemplifications and notarial copies, and perform certain other official acts depending on the jurisdiction.[1] Any such act is known as a notarization. The term notary public only refers to common-law notaries and should not be confused with civil-law notaries.

With the exceptions of Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Quebec, whose private law is based on civil law, and British Columbia, whose notarial tradition stems from scrivener notary practice, a notary public in the rest of the United States and most of Canada has powers that are far more limited than those of civil-law or other common-law notaries, both of whom are qualified lawyers admitted to the bar: such notaries may be referred to as notaries-at-law or lawyer notaries. Therefore, at common law, notarial service is distinct from the practice of law, and giving legal advice and preparing legal instruments is forbidden to lay notaries such as those appointed throughout most of the United States of America..
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Sirius on May 02, 2011, 03:30:43 PM
Here in Oregon, when my husband needed a form notarized when doing business with a bank back east, the notary charged him $5.  It was only one page.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Barney girl on May 03, 2011, 03:39:32 PM
A good job he wasn't in England then. I'd have charged £70 (about £115 US dollars)  ;D
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: TychaBrahe on May 10, 2011, 11:15:23 PM
For those of you who are notaries, I would highly recommend having your name on file with local hospitals.

When my former roommate was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she had not yet written a will.  She had to write the will from her hospital bed, prior to surgery.  In California, wills do not have to be notarized; they must only be signed and dated (and the date doesn't even have to be valid - 1 April 3055 validates a will even though it is patently ridiculous) but she had a contentious relationship with her ex-husband, and he had a copy of an earlier will leaving things to him, so she wanted it notarized. 

The hospital had the name of a notary on file.  We called him and he came out to her hospital bed and notarized her will and some other documents.  I think it was $50, because it was a Saturday evening.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: geordicat on May 11, 2011, 12:18:02 PM
For those of you who are notaries, I would highly recommend having your name on file with local hospitals.

When my former roommate was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she had not yet written a will.  She had to write the will from her hospital bed, prior to surgery.  In California, wills do not have to be notarized; they must only be signed and dated (and the date doesn't even have to be valid - 1 April 3055 validates a will even though it is patently ridiculous) but she had a contentious relationship with her ex-husband, and he had a copy of an earlier will leaving things to him, so she wanted it notarized. 

The hospital had the name of a notary on file.  We called him and he came out to her hospital bed and notarized her will and some other documents.  I think it was $50, because it was a Saturday evening.

That's a great idea.    But also, just because we notarize a will doesn't make it legal.  We're notarizing that it was signed.  Sometimes notarizing a will will invalidate it, because some courts will claim that any writing on the will other than the testator will void the document.   It's one of those areas we have to be careful with.

Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on May 11, 2011, 12:25:53 PM
I was a California notary; I did not require that I witness the signature for an Acknowledgment.

An acknowledgment says only, "John Doe, whose signature is on this document, came to me, demonstrated to my satisfaction that he is John Doe, and swore to me that he signed the document." 

I do require that I witness the signature of a Jurat - a Jurat says, "John Doe came to me, demonstrated to my satisfaction that he is John Doe, and swore to me that the things stated in this document are true, then signed the document." 

One of the recent changes in notarizations that permission letters are more frequently notarized - they require that somebody personally appear in front of the notary, with sufficient identification, to mitigate the possibility that a signature is forged or coerced. 
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: AuntieA on December 16, 2012, 12:30:57 AM
I once had to have a document notarized - for my sister in a back support dispute with her ex-husband who was in B.C. I found a notary in the phone book who worked at a realtor's office near me. I was prepared to pay a fee, but when I asked how much it would be he said, "Okay, I'm not allowed to do this for free. Give me $1.00 and I'll put it into the office coffee fund."

Some of the security staff at the hospital I worked at are commissioners for oaths, and we will call one of them to a unit to witness the drawing up of a will, power of attorney, etc. I was curious as to the difference between the two roles in Alberta, and here's what I found out:

    If the documents are being used within Alberta, you need a Commissioner for Oaths.
    If the documents are being used outside Alberta, you need a Notary Public.
    If the document needs to be "certified as a true copy", you need a Notary Public
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: katycoo on December 16, 2012, 03:27:40 AM
I'm a lawyer, not a notary.  But as a lawyer I can certify copies of documents and witness certain things being sworn.

My boss had a whinge when I made him re-sign an affidavit in front of me because I hadn't seen him do it. The fact that I recognised his signature and there was no reason whatsoever why that signature wouldn't be his is irrelevant.  Once you start being lax, its easy to slip into being lax when you really really shouldn't be.

I frequently have people express suprise when they ask me to certify a copy of a document and I ask them for the original.  How am I supposed to say this is a true copy of the original if I haven't seen the original?
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: White Lotus on January 02, 2013, 05:03:09 PM
In the US, both lawyers and notaries can certify a copy of a document, but of course the notary must see both the original and the copy.  This is usually used for documents going to countries where notaries are also lawyers, generally, but not always, in Latin America, where there is only one original or getting a duplicate original is expensive and a pain.  Sometimes, however, even an official copy (birth, marriage, death certificates and the like) must also be certified by a lawyer or notary.  I have never heard of that being done for US-Canada or US-US documents, but of course every place has its own rules.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: katycoo on January 02, 2013, 05:36:00 PM
In the US, both lawyers and notaries can certify a copy of a document, but of course the notary must see both the original and the copy.  This is usually used for documents going to countries where notaries are also lawyers, generally, but not always, in Latin America, where there is only one original or getting a duplicate original is expensive and a pain.  Sometimes, however, even an official copy (birth, marriage, death certificates and the like) must also be certified by a lawyer or notary.  I have never heard of that being done for US-Canada or US-US documents, but of course every place has its own rules.

Its similar here, but notarising a copy is different to certifying one.  Better, somehow.  I can't notarise.  I do believe it has links to international things.  Most (if not all?) notaries are lawyers here.  Lots of connections with shipping law I think.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Margo on February 07, 2013, 03:18:06 PM
It sounds as though a lot of the stuff which requires a notary in the US would require a commissioner for oaths here in the UK -
- Administering an oath / statutory declaration- £5 + £2 per exhibit
- certified copies - no set fee - we usually do it free for our own clients, or charge £10 or £1 per page, whichever is higher,for non-clients.

I've definitely have brain-hurty conversations with people who don't understand that I can't (and won't) certify a copy without seeing the original document. And at least one who was most upset I wouldn't do the Statutory Declaration he'd brought it. He explained that his wife had signed it, he's declaring that it's her signature, and he can'see why I won't sign it ..
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Barney girl on February 08, 2013, 03:38:27 AM
It sounds as though a lot of the stuff which requires a notary in the US would require a commissioner for oaths here in the UK -
- Administering an oath / statutory declaration- £5 + £2 per exhibit
- certified copies - no set fee - we usually do it free for our own clients, or charge £10 or £1 per page, whichever is higher,for non-clients.

I've definitely have brain-hurty conversations with people who don't understand that I can't (and won't) certify a copy without seeing the original document. And at least one who was most upset I wouldn't do the Statutory Declaration he'd brought it. He explained that his wife had signed it, he's declaring that it's her signature, and he can'see why I won't sign it ..

The fact that most matters are ones which would require a commissioner for oaths in the UK and the ridiculously low fees (they've not been increased since about the time I qualified in 1989!) means that where someone does need a notary they have brain hurty conversations, because some expect to be charged at that sort of level, whereas I'm entitled, as a notary, to charge a commercial rate, which I base on the time I expect to spend on the job and my hourly rate as a solicitor. It's particularly difficult for those who come across from the US where notaries are so different.
Title: Re: No, I will not notarize your blank document
Post by: Margo on February 08, 2013, 05:48:15 AM
I have every sympathy.

I usually have that type of conversation with people who don't (want to) get that there is a difference between me administering an oath or stat dec, and me either preparing or advising about the contents of an affidavit or stat dec.
I've have people get really huffy when I explain that no, they don't get detailed legal advice or drafting for  £5!