Monday, December 14, 2009

Apostle or Authentication Explained By VA Secretary of the Commonwealth

This is from the Web Page of the Scretary ofVirginia

The purpose of authentications is to verify for foreign governments that a Virginia official is in good standing. These officials include notary publics, clerks and deputy clerks of Virginia courts, registrars and deputy registrars of the Department of Health and the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission. Please note: Various states and embassies refer to the Authentication process differently; it can also be described as Legalization or Certification.

Authentication of a notarized document is required for conducting international business by individuals and corporations in Virginia. All documents for Authentication must be less than one year old. This means that the issue date on Vital Records must be less than one year from the day that we process it. On all documents signed by a notary, Deputy Clerk, or any other Virginia official, that signing must have taken place less than one year from the day that we process it.

The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth does not regulate what documents are required by the foreign country. To verify the required documents, contact the embassy of the country to which the documents will go.
International Authentication – Individual Use

For international acceptance, the official state registry of birth, death, marriage and divorce must be obtained from the Department of Vital Records. For information on obtaining a copy, call Vital Records at (804) 662-6200. These Vital Record documents should only be signed by a State Registrar or Deputy State Registrar, and not notarized.

Marriage certificates can also be obtained from the Circuit Court in the city where the marriage was recorded. These black and white certificates must be accompanied by a Triple Seal Page, also called an Authentication of Record. This is a separate sheet of paper from the Court with the signatures and seals of the Court Clerk and Judge. This additional page must be attached to your document prior to our office Authenticating it.

All other documents requiring authentication for foreign use should be notarized by a Virginia notary. These documents include Power of Attorney, school transcripts and diplomas, and copies of passports and immigration paperwork. Please follow the instructions below.

1. Enclose a cover letter with your name, address and phone number. Also include the country the you need the document authenticated for.
2. You may use our Authentications Request form as your cover letter (pdf, 18 k) or (word doc, 30 k).
3. The fee for this service is $10.00 per document, payable to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. For each authenticated document after the first document, if the testament bears the same name and on the same date the charge will be $5 for each proceeding document.
4. Please be sure to enclose a prepaid return mailer. This can be regular mail, Fed X, UPS, DHL, etc. We recommend using Fed Ex or UPS for both speed and reliability.

If you have vital records or other documents notarized from another state, you must send those documents to the Secretary of State for that state.

If you have marriage or birth certificates from another country, you must send those to the U.S. State Department, which can be contacted at 1-800-333-4636.

All documents besides Vital Records and Court Marriage Certificates must be notarized by a Virginia notary. Notaries must include ALL information required in the handbook. When there is no signature for a notary to notarize, such as passports, INS documents and academic records, notaries may notarize the documents as true and exact copies of originals. Specific information is found in the Acknowledgment Section of the Notary Handbook (pdf, 152 k) or (rtf, 436 k).
International Authentication – Corporate Use

In order to conduct business in other countries, certain documents are required by foreign governments.

Documents may include Certificates of Good Standing, Articles of Incorporation and Corporate Amendments and Resolutions. They may be obtained through the State Corporation Commission. These documents will bear the signature of the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission and do not need notarization. To obtain these records, contact the Clerks Office in the State Corporation Commission at (804) 371-9733. All other documents pertaining to international business must be notarized following the handbook procedures.
For further information/mailing address:

Betsy Anderson
Director of Authentications
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
1111 East Broad Street, 4th Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 786-2441

or use our Inquiry Form"

Friday, October 30, 2009

Impostor Notary

From the VA Notary Handbook:
Impersonation of a Notary
"If a person who is not a notary attempts to notarize a document, or otherwise acts as a notary without authority, the impersonator may be found guilty of felony charges.

It should be noted that notaries whose commissions have expired and persons who have not yet received a commission do not have authority to act as a notary. A valid commission is necessary to perform any notarial act."

Employers need to check the notary appointments of all employees who are doing notarization. The VA Notary Handbook clearly states:

"Liability of the Notary’s Employer
The employer of a notary may be civilly or criminally liable for certain acts. The employer may be liable for damages caused by the notary’s official misconduct if:The misconduct was performed as part of the notary’s employment The employer knew about the misconduct, or should have known about it Any employer who encourages, threatens, or otherwise intentionally causes an employee to violate the notary laws may be found guilty of a misdemeanor "
Employers of notaries need to read United States v Park, 421 US 658 (1975) for their liability if they fail to take corrective action an employee notary engaged in criminal actions.

All VA notaries have been assigned a number and that number is generally on their individual stamp. VA will issue a document called an Apostle for a fee of $10 verifying the person is a VA Notary. I will never give anybody a copy of my appointment nor would I recommend any VA Notary give any client a copy. Employers are entitled to see the appointment. Because the copy of my appointment could be use to requisition notary supplies, I keep my appointment paper in a secure location.

If VA refuses to issue an Apostle because the VA notary number is not in the system, I would urge the individual to notify the VA State Police. Va State Police can be contacted on your cell phone #77 or 804-674-2000 or through their web page Impersonation of a VA Notary is a serious felony.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

VA Notaries do not perform marriages or do fingerprinting

Va notaries are barred from performing marriages. Marriage Celebrants appointed by a VA Circuit Court are allowed to marry individuals within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court. Other states do allow notaries to marry individuals; VA notaries need to lobby the VA legislature for a change in the VA Code. One person was visiting from Florida and ask me to perform her marriage ceremony. I explained to her that celebrants, not notaries, performed marriages in VA.

Notaries are not authorized to do fingerprinting in VA. Sheriff and Police departments offer fingerprinting service to their respective residents. Some states require notaries to fingerprint signers. Va does not. Aggressive examination of government issued id is what VA notaries should be doing. I requested addition id from an FBI agent who was wearing his FBI badge when his VA driver's license did not quite look like him. He had like many Virginia residents had renewed his VA driver's license on line for several years. His official FBI ID with photo looked like him. .Va has a new driver's license which will make all VA very happy.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Dillon Rule and VA Notary Standards

Dillon Rule is best explained by Kindler writing in the Blue Commonwealth

"In a nutshell, the Dillon Rule prevents local governments in Virginia from exercising all but the most basic powers, except when expressly granted by the state legislature - thereby preventing our local governments from taking necessary, locally-appropriate actions unless and until our famously conservative General Assembly gives them permission to do so. (In many cases, fat chance of that.)

But this is not simply a Virginia rule, but one with a national, 100-year-old pedigree. The Dillon rule has applied nationwide since 1891, when the Supreme Court adopted the reasoning of one Federal Circuit Court Judge named John Forrest Dillon in a case affectionately known as Municipal Corporations. "

The VA Notary needs to to know that local entities can not develop notary standards. The VA code and the VA Notebook sets the standards for VA notarization.Some entities try to establish their standards; however, private attorneys are reluctant to protest these standards since frequently these entities have legitimate power over other issues. Clearly, what is a needed is an efficient mechanism where VA can order n VA entity to accept a properly notarized document!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

VA Notaries can swear in Federal Employees

When a federal employee begins employment with agency or changes from one federal agency to another federal agency the employee is required to be sworn in. This is accomplish by a federal affidavit that is filled in by the employee and Va notary swears the employee in doing a jurat and filling in the location, date, signing the form and stamping the affidavit with the notary stamp showing commission expiration date, and appointment number. The literature is not clear whether a state notary can swear in a US President. However, a US President is a federal employee and I have concluded that a VA notary in VA could swear in a US President using the standard federal employee affidavit. However,I do not thing this issue will before any VA notary anytime in the future.

As I have clearly said in an earlier blog entry, all VA notaries are authorized to swear in witnesses for depositions on federal property located in VA

Sunday, July 5, 2009

No Changes in VA Notary Law

A check of the internet and the web of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of VA shows no changes. Electronic notarization remain in limbo since the standards have not been approved and no notary has been appointed as an electronic notary. A special appointment is needed to become an electronic notary. As I have stated earlier, I do not expect electronic notarization to be common even if standards are approved and notaries are commissioned as electronic notaries.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I am very impressed with some couples

I am very impressed with some couples. I meet couples who are bravely standing by and helping a very disabled or ill spouse. Va law is very clear. All spouses are 100% disposable by reason of divorce anytime and for no reason. During my notary travels, it is wonderful to meet these loyal couples. Divorce is necessary at times. As I have stated earlier, when a spouse sends a torpedo into marriage, press the ejection button and get on a new airplane, Do not get angry. I am also seeing couples have come to an agreement to go their separate ways. I am pleased to notarize their agreement so they both can have a new beginning.

Does the Notary need to check the government photo id of the Witnesses?

I record and check the government photo id of witnesses. Furthermore,I sign them into my book. This is required if the notary certificate includes the names of the witnesses along with the signer(s). However, I do this regardless of what the notary certificate says. The client is not and should not be charged for this extra work. If there is controversy later, I have a record the witnesses in my notary journal.This may be redundant since many drafter of wills and power of attorney documents require the witnesses to put their name & address. Maybe it would also be good idea of signers and witnesses to also write down their email. People move. A very good British friend moved but I tracked him down since I had his email. People sometimes keep the same email for years.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Opening a litigation File on a Non Paying Client

On June 6, 2009 I did 27 notarizations in Springfield VA. The agreement was $5 per notary act plus travel ($25). The representative of the affluent wealthy civic association has refused to pay the $160 and there appears to be no administrative remedies. Consequently, the options are to bill each signer independently or litigate against the the unincorporated entity that does not appear to have an registered agent.
The first step after opening the litigation file is to document all communications and identify all parties and witnesses. After giving notice of the breach contract, one needs to thoroughly check the background from public records civil and criminal.Once the decision has been made to litigate, request for admissions, bill of complaint (warrant in debt) interrogatories, request for production of documents and possible depositions. Deposition sites need to be located. Modern technology is such that deposition can electronically recorded. Before one launches a litigation, one must be totally prepared with written briefs supporting your case. If I want to alert the media so the issue will receive appropriate coverage.Certainly, the smaller media outlets may have interest in a notary who did not get paid by wealthy Springfield Homeowners Association that will benefit thousands of dollars by a successful rezoning case.The bad news for the defendants is that I am GW trained legal assistant with extensive legal ability.

Celebrity Clients

The notary needs to check the government photo id of all celebrity clients even if the notary thinks they are public officials like Mr. and Mrs. Obama. A very famous soap star moved from Florida to Virginia and left her government photo id in Florida. She had plenty of newspapers articles with her picture and she was clearly known to millions over the years. The presiding notary declined to notarize her signature until the photo id arrived from Florida. While the presiding notary was perfectly correct in declining to notarize, other options might have used. Two people with photo gov id who know the person and have no interest in the document could have been used. Alternatively, one person with id who is known to the notary and who knows the individual and has no interest in the document could have been used. However, both options should be used infrequently. If President Obama and Michele Obama need notarization in VA, I will definitely check their government photo id. The presiding notary has the absolute right to say no and there is no appeal from the presiding notary.

Clients are all members of the board

When the clients are signing as members of the board of an entity, this must be specified both in the signature line and in the notary certificate. The notary is not responsible to check the corporate documents to prove they are all members of the board. However, the notary must check the government photo id of member and have them sign your notary book. The notary could do a jurat and ask each member to affirm his/her membership on the board. The notary could also simply ask the individual to affirm that he/she is a member of the board.

Cash only!!!

Another mobile notary told me of several times checks bounced and the people could not be found or/and moved out in the middle of the night. Clearly, this is another form of non payment of notary fees with no easy remedy. This has not happened to me yet and I do not take credit cards. Cash only is now my policy unless I am dealing with an establish corporate entity or someone I known for a long time. Cash only is an excellent policy for all notaries!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Client is 90 years old and has an old VA non-drivers ID

The client has an alert 90 year old mother with an old Va non driver's id. The son request notarizations. After interviewing and examining the Va non drivers photo id, examine all other cards the person has. Swearing in two credible individual with id and no interest in the document and having the witnesses say under penalty of perjury that Mother(Jane DOE) is Mother (Jane DOE) is a viable extra step.Record all witnesses and signer in your book. No charge for swearing in the witnesses.

Conflict of Interest!!!

If the notary lives in a community applying for rezoning the notary will benefit directly or indirectly the notary can not notarize the documents that will be filed with the County zoning department. While the notary may be liable for sanctions for the notarizations it is not clear whether the notary's conflict would invalidate the notarizations. A notary who used to live in the community but does not now and does not own property in the community does not have a conflict of interest. Reputable banks call in outside notary when safe deposit boxes are opened and inspected after non-payment occurs. They do this to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. The Va Notebook says the following:
Under the Virginia Notary Act, a notary may not perform any notarial act with respect to any document if:
The notary is a party to the document
The notary’s spouse is a party to the document
The notary or his or her spouse has a “direct beneficial interest” in the document
Notaries should not notarize any document when there is any possibility that the contents of the document will benefit them or their spouse. Notaries may notarize wills in which the notary is fiduciary. Notaries must NEVER notarize wills in which they are named beneficiaries. If you are uncertain about the difference, please consult an attorney before notarizing

Incomplete Notary Certificate or Absent Notary Certificate

Frequently notaries are confronted with document with no notary certificate or incomplete notary certificate. Like most Va notaries, I carry a stamp with all the element of both jurat and acknowledgment notarization and a stamp for exact copies. However, in the future if confronted with multiple notarizations that have incomplete notary certificates, I will decline the notary job. Some people do not appreciate what a correct notarization certificate looks like. If two or more people are signing a document, the notary certificate should could contain all the names.The alternative is to have each person have each individual notary certificate and this does increase the cost of notarization. In the absence of hardship cases, I think clients can afford this best option. Walk away if the client thinks he /she can boss you around. One notary told me of client who became very belligerent when the notary correctly refused to notarize a birth certificate!!!!!!Get all major jobs in writing or collect from each individual signer

Client has Aunt Jill 's Power of Attorney

The client says I have Aunt Jill's power of attorney but it is in a safe box in Florida and the notary and client is in Springfield VA. No notarization!!!!!!The notary would personally see the power of attorney. If Aunt Jill is available, competent and has government id, Aunt Jill can sign and be notarized!!!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Breach of Contract Non Payment of Notary Fees

Facts:A representative of an extremely wealthy homeowners association in Fairfax County contracted with me to notarize their member homeowners on documents to be filed in Fairfax County.The rezoning may create a thousands of dollars of profit when the wealth homeowner sell their homes!!!!! The agreement was $5 notary act and $25 travel. I completed 27 notary acts. I also agreed to be there between3pm-7pm In many of these cases I had to check 2 people's government id since they were signing as joint owners.I told the representative my bill was $160. This fee is consistent with guideline of the VA notary handbook She presented me with a check substantial lower and I have decided to not process the check.
Discussion:This has not happened to me personally in the past. Notary signing agents regularly complain that they are not being paid by mortgage companies. Clearly, there is a situation that needs to remedied. Unfortunately, the remedies are limited. Exhaustion of Administrative remedies is limited to contacting the attorney or registered agent of the corporate wealthy homeowners association The agreement of representative of the wealthy homeowners association can easily be imputed to the wealthy homeowner association. Fairfax County will be disinterest in the dispute. The only other remedy will be the Fairfax General District Court since a wealthy corporate homeowners association may not be sued in Small Claims Court. Limited discovery is allowed in General District Court. Notary signing agents may want to explore this link
The Commonwealth of Virginia will not get involved with notaries collecting fees. In the future each person should pay the individual notary fees since I can no longer trust very wealthy home owner associations to pay my fees nor should any other notaries working in zip code 22151. You can collect you travel fee on arrival from the entity that requested your services.
Conclusion: While I do have written communication via emails, I think a more formal contract for multi-notarizations is a good idea. However, a better idea is to collect the notary fees from each signer. Legislation needs to be passed to make it a crime to assault, threaten or defraud a notary. Notaries are public official who need to be protected from the occasional errant adult juvenile delinquent!!!!! Clearly this very wealthy homeowners association needs to be given a major legal message.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Who is the client?

VA notaries requires government issued ID with photo to be used for identification. However, the photo on the driver's license may be significantly different from the client due the age of the photo, health changes of the client or the client is not the client. Recently, I was confronted with this situation. I requested additional ID and was presented with Canadian passport and Green Card with photo. Clearly, the client was the client.
I notarized an elderly client in a nursing home. She had a non driver VA ID with photo but the photo was old. After viewing various other items I concluded the client was the client. Another option would have two persons with ID with photo that did not have an interest in the transaction swear that the client is the client. However, I think that should be rarely done
All VA notaries have absolute authority to refuse a notarization if they have concerns about the identity of the signer. I do not go to the Fairfax Adult Detention Center. I would be totally clueless on how to sort through multi-identities of some of the residents. The Fairfax Detention Center has notaries on staff who are more familiar with their clients than I am.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Void Notarization vs Unaccepted notarization

A void notarization: 1) one done by non notary 2) one done with the signer not present 3) one done by by a vegetative client incapable of communicating with the notary or 4) a totally missing notary notarial certificate. An unaccepted notarization is one where one or more elements of the notarial certificate are missing. The missing elements can only be corrected by the original notary!!!Otherwise, the document needs to be reprinted and re notarized provided the signer is still competent and willing to sign. Va now require notaries to have a reproducible seal. However,a notarization done prior to this requirement are valid!!!!VA has assigned a number to each notary. Again notarization done prior to this requirement are still valid.VA also require all notaries renewing their commission to sign exactly the same name that appeared on their driver's license. Prior notarization are still valid and acceptable. Some countries require the notary commission to be valid through the term of the adoption process. The requirement is not a VA requirement and does not void the notarization or make the notarization unacceptable. However, this causes a client to shop around for a notary whose commission is not about to expire.

Monday, May 4, 2009

VA is not a State;it is a Commonwealth

Va is a Commonwealth not a State. This error will not void the notarization; however, the notary is solely responsible for stating the location of the notary act. No I do not waste my time notifying the various entities that get confused about this. Commonwealth was considered to be a friendlier form of government than a State.

When does VA DVM require notarization?

Normally, VA DMV does not require notarization for transfer of a title.However when you are buying a vehicle and paying less than the blue book value, you need go to a VA notary to get a jurat statement indicating the price you paid. Remember never lie to a VA notary. If you make a false sworn statement to a VA notary you are subject to criminal charge of perjury. Generally, if I get a call about VA DMV I am not needed. However in the case of PA and MD DMV a notary is needed if the vehicle is sold in VA

Friday, May 1, 2009

When does yes mean no!!!!

I had an elderly client who had signed my notary book and presented her VA ID to me.The two witnesses were present and I had determined the client know what she was doing. She then said no.Clearly yes meant no and I entered the not notarized into my book. There is a lesson here. Get the power of attorney done as earlier as possible People do age and they still have the right to say no. In this case it was a revocable power of attorney and the person requesting her to sign the document had been looking after her affairs for years.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is there a notary lesson from Natasha Richardson death?

Notary Lesson: Persons should not delay getting wills, trust, power of attorney document and medical directive drafted and notarized. Life can be very fragile and end unexpectedly as was the case with this much admired individual. She will missed by all !!!!

In this May 5, 2008 file photo, actress Natasha Richardson arrives at the AP – In this May 5, 2008 file photo, actress Natasha Richardson arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's …

* Actress Natasha Richardson dies at 45 Slideshow:Actress Natasha Richardson dies at 45
* Natasha Richardson dies after fall on ski slope Play Video Video:Natasha Richardson dies after fall on ski slope AP
* Ski Safety: Calls For Mandatory Helmets Play Video Video:Ski Safety: Calls For Mandatory Helmets CBS 2 New York

NEW YORK – Natasha Richardson, a gifted and precocious heiress to acting royalty whose career highlights included the film "Patty Hearst" and a Tony-winning performance in a stage revival of "Cabaret," died Wednesday at age 45 after suffering a head injury during a beginners' ski lesson.

Alan Nierob, the Los Angeles-based publicist for Richardson's husband Liam Neeson, confirmed her death in a written statement.

"Liam Neeson, his sons (Micheal, 13, and 12-year-old Daniel), and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha," the statement said. "They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Virginia Notaries do not write or produce divorce documents!!

Non-lawyer notaries are not allowed to produce or write divorce documents. However, notaries are authorized to do jurats affidavits regarding divorces and acknowledgments on property settlements. Both the law library at City of Alexandria Circuit Court and Fairfax sell a $10 kit for uncontested divorces. Notaries can also notarize documents involving proof of service by a process server. However, the notary can not be the process server and notarize the document. I strongly recommend anyone using these kits to have the final document reviewed by a licensed member of the VA Bar. Mediation of divorce issues is recommended; the mediator can not notarize the agreement. People who are being threatened with divorce are encourage to get involved with marriage encounters.>Sometimes one partner will sent a torpedo into a marriage that destroys the marriage.Think of yourself as fighter pilot hit by a enemy rocket;press the ejection button for both pilots. Get on another airplane with another co-pilot!!! . Do not get angry, get a divorce!!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

When is it too late to notarize a person's signature?

When a person is ill and can not communicate with the notary, it is too late for notarization. Even if the person makes a mark on the document, the resultant notarization is invalid since the person could not communicate with the notary despite the the fact that the person had a valid id. Some lawyers thinks notaries are dudes with a stamp. I resent this disrespect of a public official who has a direct appointment by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have been accused by more than one lawyer of being a very involved notary. I plead guilty.

In the above case where the client is too ill, a person who has a valid power attorney who is not a beneficiary may sign. However, the notary clearly notes that John Smith has power of attorney for Betty Jane when John Smith signs for Betty Jane. Some documents require the notary do a jurat for John Smith in addition to doing an acknowledgement

I strongly recommend not to delay calling in a notary when the person is confined to a nursing home or medical facility. Delay may result in it being too late for any notary to notarize the person signature due a change in the person's condition!!!!

The Notary is not the other witness!!!

The notary sometime is asked to be a witness in additional to being the notary. The notary is the notary and not the other witness!!!!Politely decline and suggest the call a neighbor or friend. Though I am not required to check id of the witnesses, I do record all the witnesses information and their signatures in the book which I am not required to have. I do not charge for this service!!!When confronted with blank no witness, the client puts a line so it is clear that no witnesses gets added later. Sometimes the language of the document indicates that you are in fact notarizing the witnesses. Clearly, the notary can not notarize his (her) signature. In summary, the notary is the notary and not another witness.!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Satisfactory Evidence of Identity in VA

From the Virginia Notary Handbook:
"Satisfactory evidence of identity" means identification of an individual based on (i) examination of one or more of the following documents bearing a photographic image of the individual's face and signature: a United States Passport, a certificate of United States citizenship, a certificate of naturalization, an unexpired foreign passport, an alien registration card with photograph, a state issued driver's license or a state issued identification card or a United States military card or (ii) the oath or affirmation of one credible witness unaffected by the document or transaction who is personally known to the notary and who personally knows the individual or of two credible witnesses unaffected by the document or transaction who each personally knows the individual and shows to the notary documentary identification as described in subdivision (i).

VA Notaries can do Notary Protests but should not!!!

VA code does authorize notary protests. A notary protest is allowed in some states and involves financial transactions. Even in states where it is allowed, the notaries are discouraged from doing a notary protest unless the individual has extensive experience in financial matters.After reading Oregon's protesting commercial paper and the National Notary Article Notarize a Protest,I have concluded VA notaries should not do notary protests unless they are directly supervised by a lawyer very familiar with banking law!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Extending VA Notary Hospitality to North Carolina

Extending VA Notary hospitality to North Carolina is possible. North Carolina requires that the notary's name be printed under the notary's signature. VA Notary Handbook states:
"If a notary’s handwriting is not legible, it is good practice to add his/her name, in printed form, under the signature. Please note that dark blue or black ink is preferred for recording purposes in court."

Consequentially, VA Notaries can extend notary hospitality to North Carolina on documents notarized in VA and going to North Carolina.

VA Standards for Copy Certification

This is from the Va Notary Handbook:
"Copy certification" means a notarial act in which a notary (i) is presented with a document that is not a public record; (ii) copies or supervises the copying of the document using a photographic or electronic copying process; (iii) compares the document to the copy; and (iv) determines that the copy is accurate and complete.
Va notaries can not do the following: The VA Notary Handbook states:
"Virginia notaries are not authorized to certify true copies of birth, death, or marriage certificates. Only the Division of Vital Records/Statistics may perform such a certification."
Do not expect me to certify an exact copy that I did not make or was not supervising the copying!!!!!!Do not call me if you are not prepared to follow the dictates set forth by the VA Notary Hand book!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mystery Shopper Scam Alert for all people

I personally was confronted with on Craiglist dc I was sent 4 money orders made out for $850 each. I turned them over to the Fairfax Police Department VA. The sender wanted me to wire $3000 to them and evaluate the wire service and make a purchase at walmart. I determined that the money orders were not real!!!!!!!

National Notary Now » Article
National Notary Now

Watch Out For Mystery Shopper Scams

National Notary Now Issue # 114 — January 2009

With times being leaner for everyone, many Notaries are looking for new kinds of work to supplement their incomes. However, the Nevada Attorney General’s office recently warned consumers about ads claiming to hire “mystery shoppers” that are actually a scam to cheat applicants.

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto recently issued an advisory about the scam, which hires victims to evaluate a money transfer service as “mystery shoppers.” The grifters send authentic-looking business or cashiers checks with a face value of up to several thousand dollars, then ask victims to deposit the checks into their accounts and wire a portion of the “funds” to a designated address while keeping the “balance” as payment. When the check inevitably bounces, consumers are out both the money they wired and any fees for the overdraft.

Examples of genuine mystery shopping involve activities such as visiting a business to perform normal activities like purchasing products and then providing feedback on the experience. To avoid scams, the Mystery Shopping Providers Association has a Web site ( with information on how to locate legitimate companies for work opportunities. The MSPA states on its site that legitimate companies will never promise large sums of fast cash or require consumers to pay an up-front fee to become a mystery shopper.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Your Notary client has the mercer bacterial infection

Some notaries may decline to enter the room and leave without notarizing. No one will fault you. Mercer bacteria can be deadly and there are few antibiotics that will kill the bacteria. If you decide to enter the room, you need to take the following precautions:
1. Wash your hands before entering and after you you leave.
2.Put on disposable gloves before entering the room.
3, Put on a disposable gown.
4. Va does not require a log book signature - leave your notary book and supplies outside the room.
5. Put on a disposable mask and preferable a disposable cap.
6. Observe the signing after determining the identity of the individual and determining that the client understands what is being signed.AS you are leaving the room , remove mask, gown, gloves, and hat and place them in the proper receptacle.
7.Complete your notarization and stamping and entry into you book outside the room and make note why you did not have the client sign the book.
More info go to

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The School System is violating your client's civil rights?

During a notarization you discover that the local school system is possible violating the civil rights of your client in a non criminal manner. Do you call Va Dept of Education 1804-225-2618 Notaries are not Judge Judy, Dick Tracy, Raymond Burr, or Perry Mason. You complete the notarization: no further action is necessary!!!!!You refer the client to the Va Dept of Education where there is a person assigned to investigate civil rights violations!!!You can also refer them to the U.S. Department of Education:

The OCR National Headquarters is located at:

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Customer Service Team
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100

Telephone: 1-800-421-3481
FAX: 202-245-6840; TDD: 877-521-2172

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Are Supervisors of Notaries Criminal liable for the criminal acts of the notaries they supervise?

US vs Park, 421 U.S. 658 (1975) held that supervisor of a lower echelon employee could be held liable for the criminal misconduct of the employee if the supervisor did not take corrective action once the supervisor discovered the misconduct. The decision only applies to criminal actions,not civil matters. Clearly supervisor of notaries need to be watchful of their notaries.However,this would also apply to a school district executive who failed to take corrective action once embezzlement was discovered by the executive. A Principal who discovers an Assistant Principal engaged in obstruction of justice or witness tampering would required to take corrective action to avoid criminal prosecution. Once state prosecutor discover this decision they could turn into pit bulls with law licenses when they are dealing with criminal misconduct of notaries and their supervisors who failed to take corrective actions of the criminal misconduct of the notaries they supervise!!!!
The VA Notebook says the following:
Liability of the Notary’s Employer
The employer of a notary may be civilly or criminally liable for certain acts.
The employer may be liable for damages caused by the notary’s official misconduct if:
The misconduct was performed as part of the notary’s employment
The employer knew about the misconduct, or should have known about it
Any employer who encourages, threatens, or otherwise intentionally causes an employee to violate the notary laws may be found guilty of a misdemeanor.