Notary Bulletin

Crimes Involving Seal Theft Underscore Importance Of Securing Notary Tools

A Massachusetts Notary recently found herself the victim of theft when her Notary seal, along with other items, was stolen from inside her parked vehicle. While the seal’s product value was listed among the less valuable items stolen during the thief’s three-vehicle theft spree, a stolen Notary seal becomes quite dangerous in the wrong hands — and could lead to liability concerns for the Notary.

The FBI has reported that borrowed or stolen Notary seals contribute significantly to the US mortgage fraud epidemic, and stolen seals can be used to commit a wide variety of fraudulent transactions.

Crimes such as this car robbery, which occurred just outside the victim’s home, underscore the critical importance of keeping Notary seals and other tools secure and under careful control at all times. If your seal is stolen, refer to appropriate official resources in your state, such as a government website or Secretary of State’s office, to find out exactly what actions to take. State regulations vary, but in most cases, you will want to report the stolen seal to the agency to which you would have surrendered your material if you had resigned from your commission.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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