Always Keep Essential Information On Hand In Case You're Challenged
A member recently shared a story with the National Notary Association about a partner at a law firm who criticized her for requesting ID from a client during a notarization. The lawyer pressured her to skip this basic step and only relented after another Notary confirmed proof of signer identity is required under state law. If you are ever challenged about proper notarial procedures or ethical issues while notarizing in a law office, it’s helpful to have the right reference materials on hand to back you up. Here is a list of some invaluable reference materials for Notaries in the legal field.
1. A state handbook or Notary Law Primer so you can quickly reference your state’s Notary laws. One of the most common responses from an employer when a Notary tells them personal appearance, proof of identity or other procedures are required for a notarization is, “Show me where it says that in state law.” If your state publishes a handbook of Notary rules and procedures, you should keep it on hand so you can show your boss that your actions are required by statute. Another useful reference for state Notary rules and regulations is the NNA’s state-specific Notary Law Primers, which detail notarization requirements and cite relevant statutes.
2. A copy of the Code for situations that aren’t clearly stated in the law. Not every situation is clearly spelled out in state law. If you don’t have clear statutory guidance, The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility provides guidelines to help Notaries conduct themselves ethically during notarizations. The Code is available to the public in PDF format.
3. The telephone number and e-mail for the NNA’s Notary Hotline. If a question comes up during a notarization that state law or the Code doesn’t address, our Notary Hotline counselors are available to answer your Notary questions for any state or territorial jurisdiction by phone and e-mail.