Notary Bulletin

NJ AG Informs Notaries, Businesses They Can't Plead Ignorance On Illegal Immigration Services

Amid the national effort to protect consumers and immigrants from illegal immigration services, New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow announced that complaints have been filed against four businesses suspected of offering such services illegally, and improperly using the Spanish title “Notario Publico” to trick immigrants into believing they were legal experts.

The four businesses allegedly placed Spanish-language ads offering “immigration” services and falsely claimed they were authorized to file legal documents with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Dow’s office said in a news release.

“Businesses that seek to exploit their affinity to immigrant groups, and those that deliberately capitalize on confusion as to what a Notary Public can do in this country, too often victimize legal immigrants who are seeking to extend their visas or attain permanent residency,” Dow said. “Notaries Public in New Jersey are fully informed of what they can and cannot do. Some may exploit the ignorance of others, but they cannot plead ignorance about their own actions.”

To deter immigration fraud, many states prohibit Notaries from offering immigration-related services or restrict Notaries from advertising their services in foreign languages. The NNA reminds all Notaries to know and follow their state laws regarding advertising and immigration services. More information about the “Notario Publico” issue and immigration fraud issues is available here.

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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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