Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Attention all VA Antique Vehicles Owners

As of July 1, 2007, antique owners must show evidence that own and regularly use another passenger car or truck when applying for antique license plates(for cars 25 years and older) for a one time fee of $50 by filing out VS 10 B available online from VA DMV Web site www.dmvnow.com , under Vehicle Registration, Antique Motor Vehicles and Trailers. The document needs a jurat notarization. Once registered there are limitation on mileage and occasions when the car can be driven.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Beneficiary vs Fiduciary

Answers.com defines fiduciary vs beneficiary
"Courts have neither defined the particular circumstances of fiduciary relationships nor set any limitations on circumstances from which such an alliance may arise. Certain relationships are, however, universally regarded as fiduciary. The term embraces legal relationships such as those between attorney and client, broker and principal, principal and agent, trustee and beneficiary, and executors or administrators and the heirs of a decedent's estate."
"A beneficiary (also, in trust law, referred to as the cestui que use) in the broadest sense is a natural person or other legal entity who receives money or other benefits from a benefactor. The beneficiary of a life insurance policy, for example, is the person who receives the payment of the amount of insurance after the death of the insured. The beneficiaries of a trust are the persons with equitable ownership of the trust assets, although legal title is held by the trustee. The term is also used in the context of a letter of credit for the party receiving the money related thereto. Beneficiaries in other contexts are known by other names: for example, the beneficiaries of a will are called devisees or legatees according to local custom.

A series of beneficiaries may be designated in many cases to designate where the assets will go if the primary beneficiary or beneficiaries are not alive or do not qualify under the restrictions in the given contract or legal instrument. Most commonly the restriction is that the beneficiary be alive, which, if not true, allows the assets to pass to the contingent beneficiaries. Other restrictions such as being married or more creative ones can be used by a benefactor to attempt to control the behavior of the beneficiaries. Some situations such as retirement accounts do not allow any restrictions beyond death of the primary beneficiaries, but trusts allow any restrictions that are not illegal or for an illegal purpose.

The concept of a "beneficiary" will also frequently figure in contracts other than insurance policies. A third party beneficiary of a contract is a person who, although not a party to the contract, the parties intend will benefit from its provisions. A software distributor, for example, may seek provisions protecting its customers from infringement claims. A software licensor may include provisions in its agreements which protect those who provided code to that licensor."

If a notary is a beneficiary, the notary can not notarize the document. If the notary is fiduciary, the notary can notarize the document.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Blind Client

A blind client is entitled to have a document notarized. First the notary must talk to the client about the client's understanding of the document. The notary may take the additional step of reading the document to the blind client. Check the client's picture government id. Direct the client hand to the line that the client needs to sign; remember, the signature is the signature.

Absolute Disagreement

I was asked by two individuals to notarize two documents that were in absolute disagreement. I then asked them to write down what they would agree on. They did and I notarized their document they agreed on. If you disagree with a document, tell the notary. Signing a document in the presence of a notary does not make it legal; however signing a document that you disagree with could cause problems later. If are clueless or in absolute disagreement, please let the notary know. The non-lawyer can then direct you to get legal advice.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


California allows for fingerprinting of notary clients; VA relies on government ID with picture.

No Contingency

A notary is a neutral individual with no interest in the outcome of the signing. Consequently, my fee is due at the time the notarization.There is no contingency on paying for the notarization. Some mortgage companies think they only need to pay the notary if the loan goes through. This practice is illegal. A notary is a neutral individual with no interest in the outcome of the transaction.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Language is not the issue?

A client, a US citizen, asked me to notarize a document in a foreign language. The foreign embassy had turned him since was he was a US citizen. The client thoroughly explained the document to me and provided a VA driver's license. I did a jurat notarization. Clearly, language is not the issue. Notarization does not make a document legal.

What is the location? SS does not mean social security

The address of the client can confuse the notary on the location of the notary act; Rose Hill, Lorton, Springfield VA are not acceptable locations. Fairfax County is the correct location for all the entities. Even the GPS can give a faulty indication. My GPS gives Alexandria as my location when I am in my driveway.I live in Fairfax County. Longitude and Latitude are not yet acceptable indications of location of the notary act. There is an Alexandria which is part of Fairfax County; Alexandria City is not part of Fairfax County. Before the days of GPS, I was not certain whether I was in Alexandria City or Arlington County. I had the McDonald's cashier to produce a receipt which told me where I was notarizing. SS does not social security which is Latin for scilicet which mean more particular. The means what is the location.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Commonwealth vs State Everything you wanted to know

This information is from Answers.com
"Four of the constituent states of the United States officially designate themselves Commonwealths: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. This designation, which has no constitutional impact, emphasizes that they have a "government based on the common consent of the people" as opposed to one legitimized through their earlier Royal Colony status that was derived from the King of Great Britain. The word commonwealth is of English derivation and refers to the common "wealth" or welfare of the public. In common parlance, people do not make the distinction between state or commonwealth.

Commonwealth of Kentucky

In 1785, residents of Kentucky County began petitioning the Virginia legislature for statehood. They wished the County to be recognized as a "free and independent state, to be known by the name of the Commonwealth of Kentucky." On June 4, 1792, Kentucky County, Kentucky officially became a state. The Constitution was changed as to the style for "all process and mandates" to "Commonwealth of Kentucky" in 1850; prior to that change "State of Kentucky" was used.[1]

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Massachusetts is officially named "The Commonwealth of Massachusetts" by its constitution. The name "State of Massachusetts Bay" was used in all acts and resolves up to 1780 and the first draft of the constitution. The current name can be traced to the second draft of the state constitution, which was written by John Adams and ratified in 1780.[2]

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The Seal of Pennsylvania does not use the term, but legal processes are in the name of the Commonwealth and it is a traditional official designation used in referring to the state. In 1776, Pennsylvania's first state constitution referred to it as both "Commonwealth" and "State," a pattern of usage that was perpetuated in the constitutions of 1790, 1838, 1874, and 1968.[3]

A detailed history describing the origins of Pennsylvania's government, including its designation as a commonwealth from colonial times, is available from the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office.[4]

Commonwealth of Virginia

The name "Commonwealth of Virginia" dates back to its independence from Great Britain. Virginia's first constitution (adopted on June 29, 1776) directed that "Commissions and Grants shall run, In the Name of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and bear taste by the Governor with the Seal of the Commonwealth annexed." The Secretary of the Commonwealth still issues commissions in this manner. Among other references, the constitution furthermore dictated that criminal indictments were to conclude "against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." "

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Age is not the issue?

I had to to decline to notarize a 62 year old person; the individual could not communicate with me or recognized his only son. However, I had a delightful notarization with a 92 year old individual who had ID and was very conversant on what he was doing. He also affirmed his trust in his son. Clearly age is not the issue. Potential clients need to have government photo id, know what they are doing, and be able to communicate with the notary. Notarization does not make the document legal; it does affirm you signed the document. Consequently, minor person who signs a contract does not waive va law as it applies to minors signing a contract. Furthermore, a minor signing a statement would not waive any applicably va law requiring parental permission.

No ID No Notarization ?

The exceptions to no government id with photo no notarization are 1. a known to notary credible witness who swears to the identity of the person and 2. Two credible witness with government photo ID who swear to the identity of the person. I think these exceptions should be used sparingly. One example where the rules could apply: the person's driver's license has been seized by the police and needs to get the car out of police custody by giving a person permission to remove the car. The notary also might want to see all available ID the person has. If a relative turns in their driver license, please make sure that the Division of Motor Vehicles issues a non driver ID. In the case of power of attorney, I would not use the exceptions. Notaries have absolute power to decline to notarize if they have any doubt of the identity of the person.

License vs Appointment of notary

Only the Governor of Commonwealth of VA has the the power to appoint notaries in VA!!!!!You occasional read about licensed notaries. The term applies to notaries who have private notary groups. The license has no effect on the legality of the notarization. The important element is that the notary has a valid appointment and the notarization is done within the term of the appointment.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Authentication of Products

VA notaries can not use their notary stamps to authenticate products under the July 1,2008 rules.

Can not use notary to endorse a candidate

Va notaries cannot use their notary stamp to endorse any political client under the new July 1 2008 rules.Notaries can endorse clients personally but can not use the stamp to approve or disapprove political candidates.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Attention all Lawyers and notaries: Receipe for a Lawsuit

When a notary fails to be diligent in checking of the signers, this can be a receipe for a lawsuit. Even if a person who is known to notary swears to the identity of the signer, which is legal in VA, the question can be raised on why the notary did not check the id of all signers. The classic example: Notary is told by a boss that Jane Doe is the wife of John Doe. Unfortunately for the notary, Jane Doe is really Jane Smith, John Doe's girlfriend. The real Jane Doe is very unhappy when the family home is sold.She then consults a lawyer who files a lawsuit.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Note from VA ABC to all notaries

VA ABC has a meaningful to note to all notaries notarizing their documents. Do not notarize a documents with blanks or a document that is incomplete. This is an excellent point.

Invalid notarization

Failing to write down the notary's appointment number, failing to state whether the notary act was a jurat or acknowledgement, failing to state the date, failing to state the location, or the notary failing to sign will result in an invalid notarization. The notary's stamp does not cure the lack of the notary's signature. The notary's signature must be the same signature as the one recorded in the court house.

The Notary Crimp

The notary crimp which is designed to make an impression on the paper is falling out of use. If used the notary needs to insert carbon paper into the crimp to make it reproducible or use a pencil to darken the impression. Most notaries are using ink stamps. Va now does require notaries to use reproducible seals.

The Notary Book

Va does not require VA notaries to keep a notary book. Most VA do keep a notary book where the client's name address and signature
are entered. This book is a public record .

Monday, April 14, 2008

Adoption cases and notary commission expiration date

People in the middle of foreign adoption proceedings frequently ask me when my commission will expired. The foreign authorities seem to think that the adoption will not be valid if the notary's commission expires during the adoption process. Nothing could be more inaccurate. Once a document is notarized, the notarization is valid forever. Notaries need to be very careful in their notary work today; the notarization never expire!!!!!!!!!!

The Clueless Client

I was contacted by a potential notary client who told me that she was clueless on the contents of a probate document that a lawyer sent her to be notarized. Notaries, who are not lawyers, can not advise clients on the contents of documents. A major responsibility of the notary is to make sure the client understands what they are signing. In this case, I referred her to a Arlington County VA lawyer who opened a probate case for the client. The client had discovered that the document sent to her was not in her best interest. Do not be afraid to tell your notary that you are clueless on the contents of the document. This will give the non-lawyer a chance to refer you to lawyer. Paralegals in VA can not advise you on the content of a document or the legality of a document. Notarization of a document does not mean that the notary guarantees the legality of the document. However, notarization of a document that you are clueless about may cause problems for you.

Friday, April 11, 2008

SS does not mean social security number

The notation ss does not mean social security number on a notarized document; it means the location that the notarization occurred( latin scilicet=more particular). This would mean the VA city or county; Commonwealth of VA. I add USA if the document is going overseas.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Attention All Lawyers VA is a Commonwealth not a State

Attention all lawyers!!!!!!!!!!! Virginia is the Commonwealth of Virginia ; not the State of Virginia. There are three other commonwealths in the USA; Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. During the revolution, a commonwealth was considered people friendly. If you need more information visit Answers.com

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Electronic Notarizing

Electronic notarizing is coming to Va after July 1, 2008. The electronic notary will require a separate appointment and will charge more than $5.00 You will need to appear in front of the notary!!!!! More details later.

VA Notaries and the Canada Government

Canada made the decision that a notary can help their citizens renew immigration documents if they are living in USA. VA Notaries are allowed to take sworn statements. The notary signs the statement was administered under penalty of perjury. The event is entered into my book. The client is charged $5 plus travel. Canada is very generous in the instructions.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Appointment Certificate

You are not entitled to a copy of my appointment. The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia will be pleased to issue an authentication (apostle) to verify that I am a notary public in VA for a fee of $10.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Va Notaries do not perform marriages

  • Va notaries are barred from performing marriage ceremonies.
    • Some of the VA circuit courts appoint marriage celebrants who have authority within the jurisdiction of the circuit court to perform marriage ceremonies.

VA Notarize documents outside of Va

All Va notaries can notarize anywhere in the Commonwealth of VA; Va notaries can notarize documents outside the Commonwealth of VA provided the documents are recorded in the Commonwealth of VA.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Notarized Exact Copies

Virginia allows notary to produce notarized exact copies of documents. Documents such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, and court orders may not be notarized as exact copies because they all have keeper of the records. Documents such as passports, driver licenses, professional licenses, and transcripts can be notarized as exact copies. I insist that the copy be made in my presence. The charge is $5 per notary (not $5 per page), cost of duplication and negotiated travel fee.

Notary is not a rubber stamp

Sometime ago, a person called me and told me she would explain everything to her clients who were in foreclosure. I just need to stamp the documents. I decide if the person understands what they are doing. A notary is not a rubber stamp. I declined her request to be her notary.