Checklist: 8 Notary Public Supplies You Need
If you plan to offer public notary services to your community, you'll need to have notary public supplies in place. As a notary public, you should also be aware of any restrictions or limitations that apply in your state. Doing this will insure that you purchase the right tools and accessories.
Here's a list of the 8 notary public supplies that every notary public must have.
1. A notary stamp
A notary stamp or seal is a requirement in all states.Ordering your stamp is one the final steps in becoming a notary. After you have passed the test and paid your fees, a list of authorized seal manufacturers is mailed to you with your notary public commission packet. The vendors on this list are the only ones that are authorized to make and sell notary public stamps and seals in your state. These vendors offer various packages, including the notary public seal, bond, thumbprint touch pads and E&O Insurance. It is recommended that you order at least one extra stamp in case one gets lost or destroyed. Replacing a stamp can take time. Look what you have to do in CA to get a replacement:
Notaries public who have lost their stamp must send a letter immediately by certified mail to the Secretary of State explaining what happened to their stamp and, if applicable, a photocopy of a police report. The letter should include your typed or printed name, notary public commission number, and your signature. Upon written request, the Secretary of State will send a duplicate certificate of authorization so you can have a new stamp made.
Remember, every day without a stamp is a day you are out of business. The above process can put you out of business for a couple of weeks or longer.
2. Notary Journal
A notary journal is not required in all states. However, it is recommended highly that you keep one regardless of your state requirement. Keeping a notary journal helps you stay organized and serves as a record of your notarial acts. This is extremely important and can help you if you're ever accused of falsifying a record or completing a notarial act incorrectly. In situations like that, the notary journal can support your defense. Remember to keep your journal in a secure location. Your journal contains sensitive information that you must protect at all times. We recommend keeping your seal and record book in a locked drawer in your desk while at work or at home. Always use a lockable briefcase when traveling and if you must leave it in your car, use the trunk and lock the car.
Journal Tip: When entering the Fee in the notary journal, do not include any charges for travel. Only the charges for the notarizations should be entered.
3. Notary Bond
Most states require a notary public to purchase and maintain a notary bond (surety bond). Such bonds exist to protect the public from mistakes that notaries make when performing legal duties.
It acts as a minimal layer of protection for people who need the services of a notary public.
If, during the performance of this service, he commits fraud or conducts himself in a way that leads the customer to suffer financial loss, he/she can make a claim against the surety bond. Remember, if the surety company pays your customer’s claim, be assured that they will be coming after you and your E&O carrier for reimbursement.
4. The Notary Insurance (E/O Insurance)
There is no limit on the amount of damages for which a Notary may be sued. Because their signature and stamp are on many legal documents, notaries are being named in lawsuits in increasing numbers. The legal costs alone of responding to a lawsuit are knee buckling. Even when the notary has done nothing wrong, he is obligated to retain an attorney to respond to the lawsuit. This reality means that notaries should seriously consider an Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance policy to cover legal costs and liability.
If you are a loan signing agent needing to be approved to sign loans for a major title company like Fidelity Title, you will be required to provide an E&O policy of $500,000. If you are taking orders from a loan signing service, the service may carry the E&O policy to satisfy this requirement. However, you should still carry E&O for at least $50,000. These policies are offered at different deductibles and premiums.
Note: The notary bond protects the public, the E/O insurance protects the notary.
5. Inkless thumb printer
In many states a thumb print is required on certain transactions affecting real property. In fact, there are fines for failing this requirement. Therefore, an inkless thumb printer is of critical importance for notaries in those states. The thumbprint, along with the journal entry, provides evidence of the properly-executed notary transaction. This is crucial if questions arise later.
Tip: Always have at least one extra inkless thumb printer pad handy. If you notice the prints getting lighter, change to the new pad.
6. A fee chart
It is wise to have a chart showing the fee for each type of notarial act.
The chart should also show the charge for any additional services the notary provides.
Some clients want to see this. It can also save you a lot of time exp[laining your fees..
7. Office accessories
Office accessories also form a large part of the notary public supplies because you cannot do without them.
Such accessories include pens, paper clips, a stapler, a roll of tape, and a calculator.
Tip: Especially for loan signing agents - buy a box of rubber fingertips. Using one will help get you through the 100+ page loan package much faster. I still see many people wetting their finger in their mouth to flip the pages. In addition to being a turn-off to the customer, this is unacceptable and unhygienic, so don’t do it. Use the rubber finger instead.
8. Extra Jurats, Acknowledgements and Invoices
Many times, you will get to an appointment and find that the subject document contains a notary certificate that is not valid for one or more reasons. In cases like this, you can attach an acknowledgement or jurat approved in your state. These can be completed as well as personalized and downloaded at www.notarydepot.com
Invoice tip: Always itemize the notary charges separate from travel fees etc.
Invoices are also available at www.notarydepot.com
The tools of a notary public’s trade are critical to his/her success. The notary’s skillful use of these tools helps him/her to present a professional image. Keeping all the right tools at the ready will help insure customer satisfaction.