The first Guiding Principle listed in The Notary Public Code Of Professional Responsibility concerns the Notary’s role as a public official. It makes clear that Notaries have obligations to the general public to be fair, honest and impartial, and to perform those duties in a constitutionally acceptable manner.
THE NOTARY SHALL, AS A GOVERNMENT OFFICER AND PUBLIC SERVANT, SERVE ALL OF THE PUBLIC IN AN HONEST, FAIR AND UNBIASED MANNER.
Guiding Principle I states that Notaries may not refuse their services to anyone without due cause, but it also defines situations in which refusal is proper, such as when there is reasonable suspicion that the transaction is unlawful or improper.
Subsequent articles within Guiding Principle I give instruction on how to be fair in charging fees and how to advertise one’s services without misrepresenting or harming the dignity of the Notary Public office.
Editor’s Note: Each month during 2010, the Notary Bulletin will spotlight one guiding principle from The Notary Public Code Of Professional Responsibility, in random order, to help guide you when your state’s statutes, regulations and official directives fall short.
May 2010: Guiding Principle IV — The Certificate
April 2010: Guiding Principle VII — The Seal
March 2010: Guiding Principle X — Seeking Instruction
February 2010: Guiding Principle II — Impartiality
January 2010: Guiding Principle III — Personal Appearance