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.