Steps Notaries Can Take To Prevent Notary FraudA notary public should take additional steps to prevent fraudulent acts from signers. These otherwise simple steps will ensure the notarial act is performed correctly and according to law. Notaries who attempt to cut corners by ‘shortening’ the process could be subject to forfeiture of their commission and/or legal action. So, what steps can a notary public take to prevent fraud?
As a notary public, you might be wondering whether you can legally notarize documents from out-of-state clients. A client may create/receive a document in Texas, for instance, and then travel to Florida to request a notarization. Being that laws governing notarial acts within the U.S. vary from state to state, it’s important for the notary public to familiarize him or herself with their respective state’s laws before agreeing to conduct a notarial act.
Notary publics are required to know and understand dozens of industry-related terms, one of which is “venue.” Nearly every type of notarial certificate, including jurats and acknowledgments, have a section dedicated specifically for the act’s venue. Whether you are new to the profession or not, you must know how to properly complete this section; otherwise, the notarial act may be deemed invalid.
South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond and Governor Nikki Haley passed a bill this year which introduced several new changes to the notary profession. This is the first time South Carolina has updated its notary laws in years, which is why it’s important for every notary public to familiarize themselves with the changes.
Laws governing the notary public profession vary from state to state, which is why it’s important for notaries to familiarize themselves with their respective state’s laws. In Louisiana, for instance, a notary’s commission lasts for life, whereas a notary in Montana will lose his or her commission on January 31 of the fifth year unless they apply for a renewal beforehand. Some states issue commissions for state at large – a term that confuses both notaries and clients seeking notarial services. To learn more about this term and what it means, keep reading.