Notarial practices have been at the heart of several legal cases in recent years, and liability and compliance issues are a continuing concern for Notaries and their employers alike. Additionally, several states across the nation have recently modernized their Notary laws to better protect the public, and several more states are considering Notary statute updates in 2010.
As important notarial issues evolve and laws change, it’s vital for Notaries to continually seek education and training. In fact, the courts have begun to hold Notaries and their employers to standards of care that go above and beyond what many state laws require, making education on Notary best practices more important than ever.
That’s why GUIDING PRINCIPLE X of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility focuses on the ongoing need for Notaries to seek updated training and knowledge:
THE NOTARY SHALL SEEK INSTRUCTION ON NOTARIZATION, AND KEEP CURRENT ON THE LAWS, PRACTICES AND REQUIREMENTS OF THE NOTARIAL OFFICE.
This Guiding Principle states that Notaries should become familiar with the laws that affect the office from the moment they apply for a commission, and continue to seek out updates and information as they continue their practice.
When a situation arises that is unfamiliar, it is the Notary’s duty to seek authoritative guidance — either from your professional organization, from other experienced Notaries or by reviewing state statutes. It is every Notary’s duty to make sure they know and follow the law, and protect the public by employing best practices, even if they go beyond state requirements.
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.
February 2010: Guiding Principle II — Impartiality
January 2010: Guiding Principle III — Personal Appearance