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Notarizing On The Job: What You And Your Boss Need To Know

New-office-Notary-resized.jpgUpdated 3-11-19. Notaries working in an office setting are both public servants and private employees — which can make it very tricky to balance your duties as a Notary with your obligations to your employer. If you are one of these Notaries, here are some important facts you need to know.

Notarizing During Business Hours

Employers generally are allowed to control the work of their employees. State employment law forms the basis for the work relationship. However, state Notary law may prescribe specific rules directing Notary-employees and the notarizations they perform while at work. Some states have clarified this in various ways.

In California, the law allows a Notary and the Notary’s employer to enter into an agreement limiting the performance of Notary services to transactions that affect the business purposes of the employer during working hours. In exchange, the employer pays the costs associated with the commission of the Notary-employee. This agreement may also have a provision in it for the Notary to remit fees collected for notarizations performed on the job to the employer.

In Texas, a 2016 administrative rule clarifies that an employer may limit the notarizations Notary-employees perform at work. While not technically a law, in Oklahoma, an executive order achieves the same result. And, the Executive Office of the Governor of Florida states that employers have this right in its Governor’s Reference Manual for Notaries.

In the following states, Notary laws explicitly prohibit Notaries or employers of Notaries from limiting Notary services to customers or clients:

  • Arizona
  • Hawaii (except for Notaries in government service)
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • New Mexico

Notarizing Outside Business Hours

Some employers have tried to prohibit Notaries from performing notarizations when the Notary is off the clock. They mistakenly think that they are liable for the notarizations of Notary-employees performed during off-hours. While many states may allow an employer to dictate when an Notary-employee may perform notarizations while on the job, a Notary may perform a notarization for any member of the public on their own time — including lunch breaks.

Control Of A Notary’s Tools

Your commission, seal and journal are your property — even if the employer paid for them. That means you must keep your seal and journal under your control at all times and not surrender them to anyone, including an employer.

There are three exceptions:

  • Arizona allows Notaries working under limited circumstances to keep two journals — one for public records and one for nonpublic records protected by the attorney-client privilege or that are confidential pursuant to state or federal law. The journal containing nonpublic records is the property of the employer and, if the Notary leaves that job, the employer may keep the journal containing only nonpublic entries.
  • Oregon Notaries may sign an agreement with an employer allowing the employer to keep the Notary’s journal if the Notary leaves the employer’s service. The Notary must keep a copy of the agreement.
  • Tennessee Notaries who work for a financial institution subject to the Financial Records Privacy Act, perform notarizations during the scope of their employment and charge a fee, must provide access to their journal according to the requirements of the Financial Records Privacy Act or the federal Right to Privacy Act.

Apart from these exceptions, an employer may not take possession of a Notary’s seal and journal or give them to another employee, even if the employer paid for the tools or the Notary quits or is fired.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

Additional Resources:

NNA Hotline

 

 

103 Comments

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Judi Mosso

11 Aug 2014

it would be interesting to know which states, if any, require that the notary turn their collected fee over to the employer; especially if the employer pays for the commission & supplies. for example, if a municipality pays for the commission & supplies, and a notarization is done during working hours, is the fee collected required to go to the town's general fund? any thoughtful comment is appreciated!

Saralee Watkins

11 Aug 2014

Although no one specifically has ever given me a hard & fast rule on this, I have always separated work hours from personal time. Any fees collected while at a job, went to the employer. That always seemed the fairest approach, unless an employer specifically says they don't want the fees. That would be a different matter.

Toshiharu Hira

11 Aug 2014

I'm Public Notary authorized by the State of Arkansas. Recently I got moved to Birmingham, Alabama. Can I use that state's seal & stamp on any documents requested residents in Alabama?

National Notary Association

12 Aug 2014

Hello Toshiharu, Thank you for your question. An Arkansas Notary commission can only be used within the borders of Arkansas. If you have moved to Alabama and wish to serve as a Notary Public, you'll need to send a signed letter of resignation to the Arkansas Secretary of State's office, return your commission and destroy your Arkansas seal. You will then need to apply for a new Notary commission in Alabama. If you need assistance, our Customer Care team can help you at 1-800-876-6827.

Jacque

12 Aug 2014

Policy where I work (State Hospital in Texas): 2. A Texas Notary has the authority to charge or not to charge fees for each official service. Fees allowed to be charged for official services must be displayed in a conspicuous place. 2.1 If the hospital pays for the notary’s fees, any funds received for services shall be deposited to the General Revenue Fund through the Business Office. Services provided in a manner consistent with item #1 above shall be free of charge if the hospital has paid the notary’s fee.

Jacque

12 Aug 2014

Policy where I work (State Hospital in Texas): 2. A Texas Notary has the authority to charge or not to charge fees for each official service. Fees allowed to be charged for official services must be displayed in a conspicuous place. 2.1 If the hospital pays for the notary’s fees, any funds received for services shall be deposited to the General Revenue Fund through the Business Office. Services provided in a manner consistent with item #1 above shall be free of charge if the hospital has paid the notary’s fee.

Sharon

12 Aug 2014

If the employee is paid for their services by the employer, how is it paid i.e. through payroll or separatley?

Janine

12 Aug 2014

I'd like to know about the fees. If you're notarizing documents during work hours, do any states have regulations as to who receives the fees? Where can I go to find this info?

National Notary Association

12 Aug 2014

Hello Janine. NNA members can access Notary laws for each U.S. state and territory through our U.S. Notary Reference Manual pdf (member login required): https://www.nationalnotary.org/my-account?returnurl=/knowledge-center/reference-library/us-notary-reference-manual

Hinzman30@hotmail.com

14 Jan 2015

We do notaries on billings and other documents and I wanted to charge a fee. My boss is telling me I can not charge people to do notaries in the office and that it is against the law. She is not a notary so she wouldn't know this. Is this true? Can I not charge a fee for my services?

National Notary Association

20 Jan 2015

Hello, The answer depends on the state you are commissioned in. Some states permit employers to limit an employee's Notary services during business hours, but others do not.

Bianca

20 Feb 2015

My employer paid for my notary class and supplies. I have done notaries at work and all the fees went to the employer. However, my question is after the fees of my notaries have exceeded the reimbursed payment am I entitled to any of the fees as a commission or do all notary fees go to the employer?

National Notary Association

20 Feb 2015

Hello Bianca, The answer may depend on the state you are commissioned in. Can you please let us know what state issued your commission? More information on employer-Notary relationships can be found in this article: http://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2012/01/clarifying-notary-commission-ownership

Kim

17 Mar 2015

I am a notary in the State of Georgia. My notary fee and the seal was paid for by my employer. I have been told today (after 10 years) that the expectation is that my seal is always available for use at work. I feel like I am being coerced. Can my employer require me to have my notary seal with me at work?

National Notary Association

17 Mar 2015

Hello. Georgia does not specify guidelines for the storage of a seal when not in use. However, it is not permitted for other people--including employers or co-workers--to use your seal. From the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority website: "It is unlawful for any person to hold himself or herself out as a notary or exercise the powers of a notary without an effective notary commission." (https://www.gsccca.org/notary-and-apostilles/notaries/georgia-notary-law) If state law does not specify otherwise, the NNA recommends storing your seal in a secured, locked storage area accessible only to you when not in use.

Brandon

16 Jun 2015

Can an employer charge an associate or demand repayment for becoming a notary? If I quit or get fired can they withhold money from my check to pay for it? Is there any information on the rules/laws regarding this sort of situation?

National Notary Association

17 Jun 2015

Hi Brandon. Different states have different guidelines regarding Notary-employer relationships. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in? If you're an NNA member and you need a response quickly, you can also email your question directly to hotline@nationalnotary.org for assistance. Thanks.

Laurie

06 Sep 2015

In Texas, employer paid all fees for notary. 99% of my seals have been used on other employee documents at no charge. If I resign, do I take the seal and book with me, or do they keep it?

National Notary Association

09 Sep 2015

From the TX Secretary of State's website: "The employer is not the owner of a notary’s record book or seal, even if the employer paid for the materials. Tex. Atty. Gen. Op. GA-0723. A Texas notary public is required by law to maintain a record book containing information on every notarization performed and is required to authenticate every official act with the seal of office. The record book is public information and a notary is required to produce copies of the book upon request. Therefore, the book and seal should remain in the possession of the notary at all times." (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/faqs2300.shtml#np7)

Toni

22 Sep 2015

Texas... I work in a hospital and my boss wants me to become a notary. Am I still subject to the 10k surety bond if I am only doing work documents and there are no fees?

National Notary Association

22 Sep 2015

Hello. Yes, all TX Notaries must have a $10,000 surety bond.

kirsy acosta

16 Oct 2015

Can any journal be used as a notarial journal? I am a public notary for the state of florida

National Notary Association

20 Oct 2015

Hello. Florida does not require Notaries to keep a journal, though the state strongly recommends the practice. The "Governor's Reference Manual for Notaries" recommends the use of a bound (not loose-leaf) journal with consecutively numbered pages, so that a page cannot be removed without being detected.

June

28 Oct 2015

Does the state of Alabama require a notary to keep a journal?

National Notary Association

28 Oct 2015

Hello. Alabama's journal requirement was repealed in 2012. However, an Alabama Notary may still continue to keep a journal if he or she chooses.

J. Christie McCray

28 Oct 2015

After reading through this section, I saw where one person was commissioned to perform a wedding. Can a notary perform weddings?

National Notary Association

28 Oct 2015

Hello. Currently the states of Florida, Maine, Nevada and South Carolina authorize Notaries to perform marriage ceremonies.

Sharon for state of Missouri

29 Oct 2015

I am a Notary & have a $10,000.oo surety bond. I've been seeing statements that I need to protect myself, so someone can't come back & sue me for my personal property. is this true & if so, how much insurance should I get?

National Notary Association

30 Oct 2015

Hello. Please see this article: http://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2013/04/what-you-need-to-know-about-e-o

Naira

05 Nov 2015

I am a Notary Public in California. I am also a registered rep in CA. My employer is telling me I cannot notarize outside of work, because I am a registered rep. Can my employer restrict me from performing notary outside of work even if they are the ones that paid for my notary? Thank you

National Notary Association

06 Nov 2015

Hello Naira. CA Notaries may enter into an agreement with a private employer who has paid their commissioning fees and for their supplies, whereby the Notary’s services are limited “solely to transactions directly associated with the business purposes of the employer” (GC 8202.8). However, this agreement is optional and not mandatory for every Notary employee.

Lisa

22 Feb 2016

I am a PA notary. I mostly notarize motor vehicle titles and wonder if I must keep a journal of each one as the signature is always the same person in our company and I process hundreds a day.

National Notary Association

23 Feb 2016

Hello. PA law requires a Notary to keep and maintain an accurate chronological journal of all official acts. “Each register shall contain the date of the act, the character of the act, and the date and parties to the instrument, and the amount of fee collected for the service. Each notarization shall be indicated separately” (57 PS 161[a]).

Tammy Morrison

22 Feb 2016

I am commissioned in Pennsylvania, paying for my commission and materials myself. I am also an Civil Service employee of the State of Pennsylvania as well as being Union. I am not being limited in performing notarizations per se. I currently do not charge state employees for any state/job-required notarizations. I WAS charging state employees for non-state, personal-nature notarizations, but I am being told that I can't charge for these notarizations even though I try to limit these notarizations to breaks and lunch since they are not related to state business. My boss is citing the union contract that states non-state business cannot be conducted on State property. So, if I meet them in a near-by restaurant off State-property or at my home off-the-clock, I should be good?

National Notary Association

23 Feb 2016

Hi Tammy. State Notary laws regarding fees don't specifically address the issue of union regulations. We would suggest asking your boss if meeting state employees off-site for personal notarization requests is an acceptable alternative.

Mary

24 Feb 2016

Florida Notary. My County paid for my notary and etc. I was told I can't notarized after work or if I do notarized don't except any tip money. Is this right?

National Notary Association

26 Feb 2016

Hello. The maximum fees Notaries may charge for their services are set by state law, so you may not accept any payment for your Notary fee that would exceed the fee schedule set by statute. Also, FL Notaries employed by the state or a FL county must charge for their notarial services (except for loyalty oaths and government vehicle tags and titles) and these fees must be deposited in the governmental body’s general operating fund (FS 116.35 through 116.38). The chief administrative officer of any such agency, board, commission or department may, upon determining that such service should be performed as a public service, authorize such service to be performed free of charge.

jovana

17 May 2016

We have an employee who was a notary when they became an employee at our law office (so we did not purchase any materials, pay for fees, etc.) Do we have to compensate them to notarize during working hours on top of paying them their regular rate of pay? Our business is in CA.

National Notary Association

18 May 2016

Hello. The following is from the 2016 CA state Notary Public Handbook, page 18: "...a notary public may decide to charge no fee or an amount that is less than the maximum amount prescribed by law. The charging of a fee and the amount of the fee charged is at the discretion of the notary public or the notary public’s employer, provided it does not exceed the maximum fees."

Robin Wagner

18 Jun 2016

I became a notary on my own before starting with my current employer (financial institution). Can my employer force me to provide my services for our customers? I'm being told that if I don't offer my notary service then I'll be written up or worse.

Jane D

30 Jun 2016

I was reprimanded years ago for charging for a notarization during my own time and had to return the money to the person

John Wilkinson

16 Jul 2016

I am currently a Notary Public in the state of Michigan, and I became a notary through my previous employer, since then there has been a new ownership change, and a couple months later, I had found a different job. My employer is withholding my check for my last weeks pay, until I give him my Notary Stamp and Seal, he claims it is the store's property. He says he will destroy in front of me so that I don't have to worry about liabilities. I told him he was wrong doing so, and showed him a copy of the website's policy of your "Control of a Notary's Tools", which he denied, because it is not from a Michigan.gov URL. Can he do this? If not, could you email the official Michigan documents to me, or send me a link?

National Notary Association

22 Jul 2016

Hello. Michigan Notaries are not required by law to use a seal of office, so state law does not provide guidelines regarding disposal of seals. However, regardless of who paid for a Notary's commission, the commission belongs to you and not your employer. Surrendering a seal to another person means the seal could be used by someone else to falsely notarize documents-which you could then potentially be held liable for. In this situation,because your employer is withholding money from you in order to force you to hand over your seal, we recommend reporting the situation to the Michigan Department of State Office of the Great Seal (1-888-767-6424) and requesting instructions from them. If the Office of the Great Seal cannot assist you, you may wish to report the situation to the state Attorney General's office. (http://www.michigan.gov/ag/) We wish you luck in resolving this situation.

Jean

03 Aug 2016

Can I sue a notary who notarized a civil summons for her boyfriend in North Carolina? Is that not a conflict of interest?

National Notary Association

04 Aug 2016

Hello. We're sorry, but we can't answer any questions regarding whether you have grounds to sue a Notary-those are legal questions that would need to be answered by an attorney. However, we can tell you that North Carolina prohibits notarization if the Notary is a signer, party or receives a benefit from the document being notarized, or if the Notary will directly receive a benefit from the transaction related to the notarization in excess of the Notary's statutory fee. (GS 10B-20[c][5] and [6])

Miranda

23 Sep 2016

I have three questions. I live in Kansas and just recently received my notarization. Question 1 - Can I charge notarization fee's and if I can how much? Question 2 - My employer paid for my notarization, am I only allowed to use it during work? Question 3 - If I were to charge someone for my notarization do I receive the fee or who does? Thank you for your time.

National Notary Association

26 Sep 2016

Hello, Miranda. Here are the answers to your questions: 1. Yes, Kansas Notaries may charge fees for their services. There is no statutory fee schedule, but the state Notary Public Handbook says the fee must be "reasonable." 2 and 3. There is nothing in state law restricting you to notarizing during business hours, even if an employer paid for your commission. However, if you and your employer wish to work out an agreement regarding notarizations and charging notarization at your office during business hours, you may do so. However, the state Notary Public Handbook says that your seal and journal belong to you and an employer may not force you to lend them to others or turn them over to the employer, even if the employer paid for your commission.

Chris

28 Sep 2016

From Virginia-I was given an application to complete for Notary Public and it was submitted and the initial fee was paid by my now previous Employer. However, prior to receiving my application approval, I have resigned/quit from that job. I have yet to pick up my commission which I still have time to do, but was not sure if it was “acceptable” to receive after resigning or would that be of my own discretion? (And if I choose to move forward with the process, the fee to pay to the Clerk and the supplies which have not yet been paid and would have to be paid by me). I was not sure if I was obligated to reimburse the previous Employer for the initial fee if I choose to receive my commission but had already left the job. Would this be a personal decision or is there a policy for this? Virginia notaries are not required to post a bond in order to obtain their commission; but we should consider liability insurance for our own protection, is this correct? Thank you for your assistance.

National Notary Association

28 Sep 2016

Hello. No matter who pays for a Notary's commission, the commission is the sole property of the Notary. It is up to you whether you choose to complete your application or discontinue it. Virginia Notary law does not provide guidelines for reimbursing an employer for the cost of a Notary commission.

Alyssa

05 Oct 2016

California- I recently left my employer, it's been a month. Are they required to return my certificate and supplies back to me?

National Notary Association

06 Oct 2016

Hello Alyssa. In California, a Notary's tools such as the seal and your journal belong to the Notary, not the employer, regardless of who paid for the commission. If your former employer has possession of your seal and/or journal and will not return them to you, you should report this to the CA Secretary of State's office. You can reach the Notary Public Section at 916-653-3595 or online at www.sos.ca.gov/notary.

Regina

29 Nov 2016

I am in Arkansas and my previous employer paid for my surety bond. I have not yet received my stamp so I have not notarized anything. My question is can they revoke or withdraw what they paid for my bond and cancel it? I did not sign any contract with them or make any agreements with them regarding use of my notary.

National Notary Association

30 Nov 2016

Hello. Arkansas’ Notary statutes do not address this specifically. The law does say the seal and commission shall not be surrendered to an employer upon termination of employment, regardless of whether or not the employer paid for the seal or for the commission (AS 21-14-108[e]).

Amber Harris

14 Dec 2016

Im an Ohio Notary, When I left my last employer I was told I had to return my Stamp and Card. I Have my stamp, but I do not have my card. (My employer threw it away, as was intended for my stamp) Can I get my card replaced? What actions should I take against my past employer to help the situation?

National Notary Association

14 Dec 2016

Hi Amber. We apologize, but we are not clear what type of card you are referring to-could you explain in more detail, please? Alternately, you can also contact our Hotline Team directly at 1-888-876-6827 or hotline@nationalnotary.org for assistance if you need a response more quickly.

Bambi

16 Jan 2017

My boss paid for my Notary but is he allowed to go through my Notary Journal without my consent?

National Notary Association

17 Jan 2017

Hello Bambi. Different states have different rules regarding employer access to journals. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Devika Datt

02 Mar 2017

I am a Notary Public on my own (wasn't paid by my employer on any fees) and had joined the State of CA working full time as a Legal Secretary. Can I notarize documents for attorneys working with me for the State department I'm working in or would it be conflicting?

National Notary Association

02 Mar 2017

Hello. A CA Notary Public cannot notarize his or her own signature or a document the Notary is named in or has a direct benefit or financial interest in. The Notary is considered to have a direct financial or beneficial interest in a transaction if the Notary: A. is named, individually, as a principal to the transaction. B. With respect to real property, is named, individually, as a grantor, grantee, mortgagor, mortgagee, trustor, trustee, beneficiary, vendor, vendee, lessor, or lessee, to the transaction. (GC 8224).

Katelyn

20 Mar 2017

Missouri- Came from previous employer already bonded. Current employer's notary handbook states that employees cannot notarize for non-customers. Is this correct or can I notarize for general public when not on the clock?

National Notary Association

28 Mar 2017

Hello. Notary commissions are granted to a person as an individual, even if their employer paid for the supplies and commission fees. A Notary must follow any agreement made with their employer while at work, but the employer does not have the right to prohibit them from notarizing outside of work hours.

Rose

30 Mar 2017

Hi - my employer is asking me if I'd like to become a notary and the basic reason would be to notarize contracts that we enter into with people renting space from our company. Would that be legal?

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2017

Hi Rose. To help us answer your question can you please tell us what state you are located in?

Teri

06 Apr 2017

I am a Notary Public in the state of Washington. Is my employer allowed to go through my journal and audit my documentation?

National Notary Association

11 Apr 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but because Washington state doesn't have a mandatory journal requirement, state law does not address this issue. For states that do not have laws or rules on journal entry inspection, The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility recommends that the request should be made in writing and include the names of the signer or signers; the document type; and the month and year of the notarization. If you have special contractual obligations to or are performing notarizations exclusively for your employer, it may be appropriate to allow your employer access to the journal, but only for the purpose of checking notarizations executed for the benefit of the employer.

Kelly Griffard

21 Apr 2017

Hello, I am a Notary for Missouri. I use my notary strictly to notarize affidavits going to our network of attorneys in order to file suit against consumers who are not voluntarily paying their debts. I always notarize the same employee (affiant) and the affidavits are always for judicial proceedings. Am I still required to keep a journal? It looks to me like I am not since the affidavits are for judicial proceedings when I look on my SOS website but I've been keeping the journals for literally 18 years because I was told I have to. The journal takes up a lot of time so I would love to cut this out of my schedule of duties if possible. Here is the excerpt I found on the MO SOS site: "Notarial acts connected with judicial proceedings and those for whose public record the law provides the public record to be publicly filed within ninety days of execution, are not required to be logged in the journal"

National Notary Association

21 Apr 2017

Hello Kelly. Missouri Notary law states that a journal entry must be made for each act, except those notarial acts connected with judicial proceedings, and those for whose public record the law provides and the public record is publicly filed within ninety days of execution (RSMo 486.260).When performing notarizations for judicial proceedings, you would not have to record those acts in your journal.

Christi

16 Jun 2017

I am planning on becoming a California Notary next month, primarily to help my father-in-law with notarizations in his law office when needed. I am a bit confused on the business rules, though. Would I need to get my own business license, or would I be covered under his? What if I picked up the occasional outside notarization? I am a stay home mom with 2 small kids, so this would mostly be a part-time thing to boost our household income by a couple hundred a month, for the most part.

National Notary Association

16 Jun 2017

Hello. You should contact your city and/or county business license department to find out if you need to obtain a separate business license. To locate the department, check the government pages of your telephone directory (for example, look for the terms license or business license under City Government Offices and County Government Offices).

Felisha

30 Jun 2017

I am a notary for TN and my current employer helped to get me secure bonded. I am leaving going to another job. Will my secure bond be revoked??

National Notary Association

03 Jul 2017

Hello. If your employer paid for your bond, you would need to speak to them to find out if the bond will be cancelled when you leave.

Tina

10 Aug 2017

I am employed for a city in Southern California. My question is, I was already commissioned before I started working for the company, ( I payed for my own commission). My job description did not required for me to be a notary; however, I was told that it would be beneficial for the City. I started doing notaries for the company without an agreement - I now have 200 signatures and still no compensation or agreement. I addressed this matter to my director and said he would bring it to the City Managers attention, I followed up with him and said there would be no compensation because it was part of my "hiring process" again, this was NOT in my job description & there is nothing in writing stating that I would give my services for free. What can I do? I love this job and l don't want to take this to another level when it doesn't have to be. Please advise. Thank you!

National Notary Association

11 Aug 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but we can't provide legal advice on what steps to take involving a labor dispute with your employer. You would need to speak with an attorney familiar with labor law to assist you.

Alejandra Apollon

02 Oct 2017

I work at a pension department and i just got my notary licence, the only notary is my boss at work. He did not pay for my class and i obtained it for my purposes but i was told by a co-worker who had gotten the licence years ago that he forced her to use it once he found out she had it during work hours so his job became lighter. Can he make me us my licence while on the clock?

National Notary Association

03 Oct 2017

Hello. That may depend on your workplace's policies and the state you are commissioned in. What state are you writing from?

Brenda

12 Dec 2017

I'm a notary in HI. I'm in between jobs right now and am not bonded. Am I still able to notarize?

National Notary Association

12 Dec 2017

Hello. Unless you are a government employee, you are required to have a surety bond in order to notarize.

Denise

10 May 2018

I live in illinois and my employer paid for my notary. I quit the job and they deducted this fee from my last paycheck. Is this legal?

National Notary Association

10 May 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but Illinois Notary statutes do not address this specific issue. You may wish to consult with an attorney familiar with Illinois employment law for advice.

Claudia

23 May 2018

I just started a new job and am a notary in my state, Ga. Am I required to keep a journal of notarized items? Secondly, can I charge my employer for notarizing documents for them? Thanks in advance!

National Notary Association

24 May 2018

Hello. Georgia does not require its Notaries to keep a journal, but state officials recommend doing so in order to keep a record of the notarial services you perform. State Notary law does not address charging employers for notarizations; this is something you would need to discuss with your employer.

Chance

30 May 2018

I am wondering in the state of PA, if I’m doing notary work out of my place of employment who receives the fees collected. My employer paid for my notary.

National Notary Association

30 May 2018

Hello. Under the new Pennsylvania Notary law which took effect October 26, an employer may limit Notary services during business hours to only business related documents. Also, all fees collected during business hours would be remitted back to the employer. Finally, you may be responsible for reimbursement of commissioning costs if you are fired or quit during the commission term.

Patti

18 Jun 2018

I work for a real estate attorney in Florida. If I notarize a document while in his office, not related to my job, is he responsible if something goes wrong.

National Notary Association

19 Jun 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but that is a legal issue we are not authorized to provide advice for. You would need to speak to an attorney familiar with the relevant Florida laws to answer legal questions about your boss' potential liability for a notarization performed in his office.

LaVonda Arthur

27 Jul 2018

I'm a notary for NM, I add 1.00 more to my charge of $3.00. I started charging $4.00 per notary. My employment paid for my training and notary when I first became a notary. Now without consulting with me and another co-worker who is also notary she posted a sign on the door in the front lobby stating that we charged $3.00. As I remember during our training we were informed that it was up to the notary to charge what was reasonable. The more people come in for notary it was best to charge $4.00. Does my supervisor have the right to post the amount of notary by public display without consulting with the certified public notary?

National Notary Association

27 Jul 2018

Hello. New Mexico's Notary laws do not address employers setting the fees employee-Notaries may charge. The New Mexico Secretary of State's website says that an employer "shall not establish fees for notarial services that are in excess of those specified on page 10 of the New Mexico Notary Public Handbook, nor on the attributes of the principal as delineated." (http://www.sos.state.nm.us/Business_Services/Reminders.aspx)

Denise

20 Sep 2018

I am a notary in GA. My employer (municipal government) paid for me to become a notary and for the seal. I was recently terminated and they are refusing to give it to me stating that it belongs to the city. Is this true?

National Notary Association

24 Sep 2018

Hello. The following information is from the "Georgia Notary Handbook" published by the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority: "“Even though an employer may pay for a notary’s commission…(w)hen you leave your place of employment, your commission and supplies go with you. Your employer may not require you to leave your stamp or seal, commission certificate, or recordbook behind.”

Bev

01 Nov 2018

I am a notary public in the state of Pennsylvania. I have never turned away an employee who who asked for a notarized document, charge them a fee and I keep that fee. My employer did pay for my education, supplies and fees. One person filed an unfair labor practice against my employer and although I was uncomfortable signing it, he had everything he needed and I felt I could not turn him away. I did notarize the document and my employer is furious over it. Was I in the wrong? What types of polices can my employer make in reference to notarizing?

National Notary Association

01 Nov 2018

Hello. It is important to remember that notarizing a signature on a document does not mean that you endorse or support its content. The Notary simply acts as an impartial witness to verify the identity of the signer. As long as the request for the notarization was lawful, and you are not a party to the document in question, named in the document or have some other disqualifying interest, you may perform the notarization. Also, even if an employer paid for your commission and tools, that does not give the employer authority to force you to refuse a lawful notarization request. Pennsylvania does allow an employee's Notary fees to be remitted to the employer, but only if the employer and employee both agree (57 Pa.C.S. 329.1[d]).

Victoria

05 Dec 2018

I am a notary in the state of California. If your employer pays for the costs of your commission and supplies, can you be required to perform notarial services free of charge for other employees for personal documents? There are no fees for business related documents but what about personal documents offered as a company benefit?

National Notary Association

05 Dec 2018

Hello. In California, “A private employer, pursuant to an agreement with an employee who is a notary public, may pay the premiums on any bond and the cost of any stamps, seals, or other supplies required in connection with the appointment, commission, or performance of the duties of such notary public. Such agreement may also provide for the remission of fees collected by such notary public to the employer, in which case any fees collected or obtained by such notary public while such agreement is in effect shall be remitted by such notary public to the employer which shall deposit such funds to the credit of the fund from which the compensation of the notary public is paid” (GC 8202.7). If a Notary has entered into such an agreement with a private employer, the employer may limit the employee to notarizing “solely to transactions directly associated with the business purposes of the employer” during the employee’s normal working hours (GC 8202.8).

Rebecka Hountha

08 Jan 2019

I am a Louisiana Notary, are there rules regarding employer compensation, as I am available during work hours to notarize documents. Am I able to charge a fee or ask for compensation for my services?

National Notary Association

11 Jan 2019

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

haley.mattison@windingwaters.org

05 Feb 2019

Hello, I am a notary in the state of Oregon and am trying to find a sample document for a Fee Agreement with my employer. Is there a resource for this kind of document? I have been unable to find one so far.

National Notary Association

05 Feb 2019

Hello. Page 25 of the Oregon Notary Public Guide states the following: " An employee notary public may enter into an agreement with their employer whereby the notary performs their notarial duties and the fee is retained by the employer. The fees must not be more than established by Oregon law, ORS 194.400(1), and the agreement should make it clear that the notary gives the employer the right to collect and retain the appropriate revenue. The notary public, however, should be allowed to keep fees collected when notarizations are not connected to his/her employment. An agreement should be reviewed by legal counsel, if available, to ensure compliance with notary law and rule."

Brenda Updike

18 Mar 2019

Do you happen to have the number of the Oklahoma Executive Order that you refer to in the article?

National Notary Association

18 Mar 2019

“An employer, in setting terms and conditions of employment, may limit the notarial acts performed by the notary during employment hours. For example, the employer could prohibit the notary from performing notarial acts for anyone other than the employer while at work. The employer, however, may not prohibit the notary, as a ministerial officer, from performing lawful notarial acts, as set forth in 49 O.S. 1991, § 6, outside employment hours. Courts have generally held that employers cannot restrict employees from pursuing outside employment as long as such employment does not interfere with duties owed to the employer” (Okla. Atty. Gen. Opinion 00-28 of May 11, 2000).

Lillian San Agustin-Davis

20 Mar 2019

I'm a notary in the State of Nevada. My employer paid for all fees associated with me becoming a notary. While at work I do not charge any fees and have not done any outside of my work as well. Do I have this option to not charge? Please advise.

National Notary Association

20 Mar 2019

Hello. Nevada Notaries are not required to charge a fee for their services.

ginger

20 Mar 2019

I am a Nevada Notary. I paid for my notary and bonds, etc. My employer is collecting notary/signing fees and keeping them and not paying me for my notary service. Is this allowed? Again they have not paid for my notary bond appointments etc.. do they have the right to keep the fees or even charge the clients a fee?

National Notary Association

22 Mar 2019

Hello. “A person who employs a notary public may prohibit the notary public from charging a fee for a notarial act that the notary public performs within the scope of the employment. Such a person shall not require the notary public whom the person employs to surrender to the person all or part of a fee charged by the notary public for a notarial act performed outside the scope of the employment of the notary public” (NRS 240.100[6]).

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