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Creating A Successful Mobile Notary Business

creatingsuccessful mobile biz

Updated 6-27-17. Many people ask how they can start working independently as a mobile Notary. As with just about any profession, creating a successful mobile Notary business requires dedication and effort — every day.

Beyond a willingness to work hard, there are a number of things anyone trying to succeed as a mobile Notary should consider. These activities have worked for me and the many Notary entrepreneurs I have mentored through my business, At Your Service Mobile Notary.

1: Know your ‘why’ and write a plan
 

Take the time to document your mission with a business plan. This will be your guide for making future decisions about how you run your business and what you are willing to do or not do. Each time you market, advertise, network, etc., it should take you closer to achieving your “why”.

Your plan should include basic business requirements such as hours of service, specialties, expected expenses, how your service fulfills a niche that other Notaries do not, and what your goals are. This, too, will give you direction in building a successful business.

2: Find a coach or mentor
 

Depending on your circumstances, you may need a Notary-specific mentor, a small business expert, a life coach, etc. You can find a Notary mentor by asking on social media, such as the NNA's LinkedIn discussion groups. Be sure to choose wisely, especially if you pay for the service. Check their credentials to verify that they have the expertise in the area you need.

If you’re seeking a Notary mentor or coach, make sure they understand the Notary laws and any special requirements in your state.

A good Notary coach also should be actively earning income either by leveraging his or her commission or finding complementary non-notary services. In addition, social media savvy is important. Do they have a seasoned website that generates leads/revenue?

3: Diversify
 

Many mobile Notaries put all their energies into getting loan-signing assignments, but this is risky. It’s better to build a solid revenue stream through a suite of services — especially if they have staggered income cycles.

Consider what other Notary specialties or services beyond Notary work that complement the service you provide.  Different receivables cycles help keep cash flow steady.

  • NSA/Loan signings are typically 30 – 45 days after completion of job, while general mobile Notary work direct to consumer is paid at completion of job.
  • Are there assignments that require a specific skill set or qualifications beyond being a Notary that would differentiate you from other Notary services?

4: Consider strategic alliances
 

Don’t automatically view other Notaries in your market as competition. Instead, finds ways to make them strategic partners in order to broaden your reach.

Do they have skills or offer services that you do not (i.e. offer bilingual services or work 24/7 or are attorneys)? And vice versa?

This even applies to retail businesses. For example, if you refer clients who do not need mobile service to your local parcel shipping store, the store will refer clients who need Notary services after normal business hours to you.

Another way to build strategic alliances is by networking with local professional and business associations, interest groups and charitable organizations. This is not necessarily about getting direct work. Instead, it’s about building relationships with people in your community who can spread the word about your services. In other words, turn them into your marketing team. It will take you from being a stranger to the inner circle, and that is who we do business with, those we know and like.

5: Identify/evaluate your client base
 

As you look for new clients, remember not all clients are the right fit. For example, customers who offer assignments that do not produce a profit for you means you won’t stay in business long.

Customers, such as signing services and title companies, who pay long after the work has been completed should be evaluated for credit worthiness. How many jobs will you do while previous work has not yet been paid? Research clients on Notary registries, LinkedIn sites, Yelp and other sources for recommendations or warnings.

Do they fit your fee structure? Remember, as an independent contractor you determine your costs and what your profit margin will be. Make sure you know what your bottom line is.

Then monitor, measure, adjust. If the prospective client does not meet your requirements, let them go. It is better to have fewer, revenue-generating clients than 50 who lead you to bankruptcy. That’s doubly true of clients that do business in a way that goes against your own philosophy or raises compliance concerns.

Always keep an eye on your “why”. In other words, regularly ask yourself if you are meeting your mission, then make adjustments as needed.

Laura Biewer owns At Your Service Mobile Notary in Modesto, California. She also teaches seminars for the National Notary Association and is a regular presenter at the NNA’s annual Conferences.

 

99 Comments

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ivan garcia

11 Jan 2015

I am interested in starting a errand/mobile notary services business.

Martha Esparza

12 Jan 2015

Interested in becoming a mobile notary

Rick Easter

12 Jan 2015

Errands, or courier services are a vital part of my business as a mobile notary. Really consider your rate structure, though. Don't do one and lose just to gain the other. Remember, you are in business to make money, not give away your services just to have some cash. Vehicle expenses are at the forefront, but decide how much you want to charge for your time that still allows profit. Your services are worth something! You won't get paid what you're worth by thinking as an hourly employee.

C.M. Jordan

14 Jan 2015

Advertise all the time, as you will learn if you are in the loan signing business, that once your contact leaves the job, you most likely no longer have that "in" at that company....advertise outside your area, they need notaries in your area, most places in your immediate area already have their own notaries on staff...I've been doing this since 1992.....it's a profitable business if you play smart! Good luck!

Bonita Palmer

20 Jan 2015

Very helpful article. I'm just about to take the exam. Now I have so many questions. I have no idea what to specialize in. Also do Notaries in California perform marriages? So perplexed.N

National Notary Association

21 Jan 2015

Hello, Notaries in California are not authorized to officiate weddings.

Margaret Waite

20 May 2015

I would like to go into the mobile notary business and need some input. I have been a notary since 2005 but mainly by appointment while working in my full time job as a nurse. Now i want to start a a Mobile Notary Business. Thank you in advance for your response.

National Notary Association

22 May 2015

Hi Margaret. Here's a link to additional Bulletin articles on starting and building a business: www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/building-your-business. Thanks for your interest and have a good holiday weekend.

Yen-Suong Le

15 Jun 2015

Thanks for sharing!

JAY

29 Feb 2016

What does it take to start it in Texas?

National Notary Association

01 Mar 2016

Hi Jay. To become a Notary in Texas, you must be a resident of the state, at least 18 years old and not have been convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude. A course or test is not required. If you need help getting started, you can contact our Customer Care Team at 1-800-876-6827 or visit the TX Secretary of State's web site at http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/notary-public.shtml.

Warren

13 Mar 2016

What does it take to start in NY?

National Notary Association

14 Mar 2016

Hello. To be commissioned as a Notary in New York, you will need to pass a proctored state examination. Information is available here from the NY Department of State website: http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/notary/notary.html. If you need additional assistance, we also offer a prep course for the NY exam: https://www.nationalnotary.org/new-york/become-a-notary

Simone

21 Mar 2016

I'm considering becoming a notary service provider in Northern VA. I'd really like to know if it's something I can profit from. I have an MBA and can't find employment that doesn't require a ridiculous commute. I'm already providing writing services like essay, research papers and business documents and presentations. I thought this could legitimize my business and add an additional revenue stream. I'd like a mentor to start for some direction. I want to know about liability as well. Are there classes or specific reading I can do to gain knowledge and expertise? Thanks.

National Notary Association

21 Mar 2016

Hello. If you're looking for a mentor, here are some links that may help you: Here are two places on Facebook to visit: 1. https://www.facebook.com/AllStatesNotary?fref=ts 2. https://www.facebook.com/groups/NotaryPublicMentor/ The next are on LinkedIn. These are groups that we manage for Notaries to connect with each other. Notary General Discussion: https://www.linkedin.com/.../NNA-Notary-General.../about Notary Professionals: https://www.linkedin.com/.../NNA-Notary.../about Notary Signing Agents: https://www.linkedin.com/.../NNA-Notary-Signing.../about Hope this helps!

Gwen

29 Mar 2016

Do you have any advise for starting a mobile notary business in Georgia?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2016

Hello. You may find the articles on Notary business-building at this link helpful: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/building-your-business

Cassandra Brown

07 Apr 2016

I am in my second renewal for notary, so that's about 5 years. I've only done freebies thus far. I'm a single mother, substitute teacher, and starting law school in the fall. I desperately need income for the summer and would like to build a mobile notary business mainly for flexibility & supplemental income once school is back in. HELP!! Where do I start? Should I purchase business cards? Are the expensive dude courses necessary?

National Notary Association

08 Apr 2016

Hello. You might want to check out some of the articles at this link: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/building-your-business

vsnotary@optonline.net

29 Apr 2016

Hi Laura, You mentioned 'Title Source' as one company you transact with Are there any others that stand out for how they value, and pay, signing agents? 2) as for the W9 do you give the EIN of your company (preferred) for payment or your SSN for invoicing? Thanks

Yvette Ray

25 May 2016

What are mobile notaries allowed to do in NJ or not allowed to do

National Notary Association

25 May 2016

Hello Yvette. A mobile Notary is simply a Notary who offers to travel to a signer's location to perform notarizations, and follows the same rules as any other commissioned New Jersey Notary.

Laura

25 May 2016

@vsnotary@optonline.net It is up to each notary to decide. I use my SSN for W9, however, many notaries do not want to do that and establish and EIN instead. IT is your choice. Regarding other Title or Signing companies, if you want to reach out to me at Biewer@sbcglobal.net, I am happy to discuss how to find reputable companies to work with. At Your Service, Laura

Samantha

15 Jun 2016

What does a Pennsylvania notary need to do to start a notary business?

National Notary Association

16 Jun 2016

Hello. You may find these articles helpful: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/building-your-business

Glor

29 Jun 2016

Thanks so much for all your help. All of the comments and suggestions help.

Daniel

20 Jul 2016

I am Located in MI, and I am looking to be a Notary. I would like to start a small business, I understand the max charge for the Notary service per document is $10.00. I am curious, How much or how do you calculate to charge people for travel? Is it mileage based? What appears to be fair? How do I calculate wear and tear on a vehicle for depreciation? To be a Loan Signing Agent do I need to go to School/training for that? What other services do you recommend to compliment Notary services? Thank you for your time and whichever reference material you can provide. I am very excited.

National Notary Association

21 Jul 2016

Hello. Michigan does not specify the amount Notaries may charge for travel time and mileage. However, state law does say, "Before the notary public commences to travel in order to perform a notarial act, the notary public and client may agree concerning a separate travel fee to be charged by the notary public for traveling to perform the notarial act” (MCL 55.285[7]). More information about Signing Agents is available here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/support/signing-agents/signing-agents and here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/michigan/signing-agent

Tahis Garrido

20 Jul 2016

I am interested in working as a mobile notary but i am not sure if there is anything else other than being a Florida State Notary that i need. I work in real estate, title so I have knowledge of closing docs already. can you please guide me in the right direction? tnx

Juliet

21 Jul 2016

I am interested in becoming a (mobile) Notary but I had some concerns about the growing e-signature alternative. Could someone that has some experience in the field currently be able to address that topic/concern? Is there a concern that Notaries would become obsolete?

Laura Biewer

21 Jul 2016

Tahis, there is no special certification needed to become a mobile notary. Just a willingness to travel to the appointments and reliable transportation. Common documents notarized include Power of Attorney documents, applications for vital records, Travel for minors without 1 parent affidavits. If you are interested in becoming a loan signing agent, that does have a certification process that includes a background screening. Check the NNA website for information on that. I do mentor notaries trying to get started, just reach out to me at biewer@sbcglobal.net and I can give you some ideas.

Tish

06 Aug 2016

I am an solo attorney/notary. I am taking a year off from my practice for maternity leave and would like to start a mobile notary service to generate income during this time. I am really interested in how to find reputable loan signing companies and the start-up process. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

National Notary Association

09 Aug 2016

Hello, Tish. You may wish to join our Notary Signing Agent Discussion Group on LinkedIn to ask questions and request recommendations from other Signing Agents. You can apply to join the group at: www.bitly.com/NSAGroup

Domica

11 Aug 2016

Hello! I am in the State of Colorado and the max that can be charged for Notary services is 10.00. So my question is: Does that include mobile services? Can I charge more for my services as notary if I am going to the client?

National Notary Association

12 Aug 2016

Hello. The maximum fee per notarization in Colorado is $5. Colorado Notary laws do not address travel fees.

Madison

17 Aug 2016

Just started looking into starting up my own mobile notary business here in Texas. After the application and acceptance steps I was curious as how to start from there being that I am a newbe.

National Notary Association

18 Aug 2016

Hi Madison. These Bulletin articles have some tips that you may find helpful: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/building-your-business

Daniel Faust

23 Aug 2016

Hello I am interested in becoming a mobile notary in the state of North Carolina. Are there any restrictions in doing so within the state?

National Notary Association

25 Aug 2016

Hello. There is nothing prohibiting you from becoming a mobile Notary in North Carolina. However, be aware that Notaries in North Carolina may only charge for their Notary services up to the maximum set by state law-no ancillary fees may be charged.

TOYA MCBETH

02 Sep 2016

I have worked in the banking/credit union interested for over 10 years, im interested in starting my own business as a mobile notary in Illinois. What skills can I bring that would stand out?

National Notary Association

06 Sep 2016

Hello. You may find the following article helpful: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/07/smart-approach-building-notary-business

Barb

19 Sep 2016

I am in Ohio and have been a notary for 10 years. I went through signing agent certification with another company and am beginning to sign up with mortgage companies to handle signings. I have a E & O policy in place good through 8/2017. I read every article that comes via email from Natl Notary. I am interested in how to connect with other members from Ohio. I've not yet signed up with any associations but plan to do so. I am looking for assistance in determining where my membership gives the biggest bang for the buck. Do you have any recommendations?

Phara

19 Sep 2016

Hi, i would like to know if a notary can notarize document that they translate from other language to English version for their client.

National Notary Association

20 Sep 2016

Hello. You are not permitted to "certify" the accuracy of your own translation, nor may you notarize your own signature under any circumstance. However, if a different third-party translator signs a written declaration that he or she has translated a document accurately, you may notarize the translator's signature on the declaration, provided all other requirements for notarization are met.

JANENE HOLLOWELL

02 Oct 2016

I have been a notary for a while i eant to expand my business and knowlege of notory please i would love for your to help me thanks

National Notary Association

05 Oct 2016

Hello. You may want to check out some more articles in the Bulletin's "Building Your Business" category: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/building-your-business

Keith Davis

12 Oct 2016

DO you need a business License and Tax ID to operate a mobile notary business in California?

National Notary Association

14 Oct 2016

Hello. This depends on what city you live in and other factors. You would need to consult with a qualified tax expert for that information.

K. Rivera

17 Oct 2016

I am looking into starting a mobile notary business here in Las Vegas, NV. After the application and certification process, what proceeding steps would I need to make? Does Nevada have any special laws for notaries specifically as well? Thank you!

April

27 Oct 2016

I am a notary in the state of VA. Are there any specific requirements to become a mobile notary and to sign loan documents?

National Notary Association

31 Oct 2016

Hello. Virginia restricts Notaries from conducting real property signings without an escrow license if they but once handle monies for closing costs.

Jill

27 Nov 2016

Ive been a notary for 30 years and a realtor. I'm interested in expanding my business to include a mobile notary service.

Dion

11 Dec 2016

This may seem like a silly question but do you really need a vehicle to run this business?.. I live in NYC and plan on servicing only the 5 boroughs.. The MTA is going my way at all times

National Notary Association

12 Dec 2016

Hello Dion. If public transportation meets your needs as a mobile Notary, there's no problem with that at all. Best of luck with your business!

Mary

18 Dec 2016

I have been a notary for a few years now and I'm interested in becoming a traveling notary to expand my business. What is the process to become a traveling notary in the state of California?

National Notary Association

19 Dec 2016

Hello. There is not a separate commissioning process to become a mobile Notary in California-all Notary's are commissioned in the same way. However, if you wish to become a Notary Signing Agent (a mobile Notary who notarizes and performs courier services for loan documents), companies may ask that you undergo an additional background check and certification in order to work with them. For more information, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/california/signing-agent

Jacqueline Martin

04 Jan 2017

I am restarting my mobile notary business. Can I continue to use the same journal from 5-6 years ago or will I need a new one? Thanks for your assistance.

National Notary Association

04 Jan 2017

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

Syokota@yahoo.com

09 Jan 2017

Hi. I recently got my commission as a notary public in California. I would like to start my own mobile notary business. Do I need to apply for a business license or can I just start offering services? And do I need to open up a business bank account?

National Notary Association

11 Jan 2017

Hello. Business licenses are generally regulated through city and county entities, so you should check with the local agency in your area that handles business licenses to find out if you must obtain one. For more information on starting a Notary business, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/09/5-tips-new-notaries-starting-business

Katherine Wolff

17 Jan 2017

Looking to become a Mobile Notary Public in North Dakota. Do you know the rules there or can you direct me? TYIA

National Notary Association

18 Jan 2017

Hello Katherine. If you do not already have a Notary commission, you can find more information about becoming a North Dakota Notary at the Secretary of State's page here: http://sos.nd.gov/notaries-public/how-become-notary-public and through the NNA at www.NationalNotary.org. There is no special training or process required in order to offer general mobile Notary services traveling to a customer's location to notarize documents, though you may want to contact the agency that issues business licenses in your area to find out if you require one. However, if you are interested in becoming a Notary Signing Agent who specializes in notarizing loan documents, be aware many companies require Signing Agents they work with to be certified and background screened. You can find more information about becoming a Notary Signing Agent in North Dakota here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/north-dakota/signing-agent.

leagels@stanford.edu

18 Jan 2017

I want to expand my mobile notary business. What would you recommend? Should I register as a LLC?

National Notary Association

19 Jan 2017

Hello. This article includes suggestions from an experienced Signing Agent and signing service owner: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/07/smart-approach-building-notary-business

Debbie

19 Jan 2017

Hello, I already have my notary would like to look at the possibility of having a mobile business. Would like to know if there is a site or a contact person I can access or talk to. Thank you

National Notary Association

19 Jan 2017

Hello. You may find the articles at this link helpful: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/building-your-business

mleimbachmk@yahoo.com

19 Jan 2017

I have decided I want a notary mobile business. I registered for the exam next weekend the 28th. I found a mentor and met a city notary last Friday!

Karina Navarro

21 Jan 2017

I'd like to become a mobile signing agent and work as mobile notary for the general public as well. Can I just work using my legal name as a sole proprietor? Or should I get a fictitious name registered and all? I know I am still responsible of filing my own taxes, etc,

National Notary Association

24 Jan 2017

Hello Karina. The SBA has some information on using a fictitious business name here: https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/choose-register-your-business/register-your-business-name

Candice Drozdowski

16 Feb 2017

Hello: I retired as a Mortgage Loan Underwriter 8/31/2016 and moved home to Florida (Brevard County) and I found I hate retirement! I started researching the possibility of being a traveling notary after I read a sign on a car in Georgia. Do any states restrict traveling notaries, and if so, is Florida one? How do I research to see if the market is flooded?

karim

23 Feb 2017

Hello all. Does anyone know what is the best signing website to advertise with , I specialize in Loan Docs Singing, thank you for your advise.

Kendal Robinson

17 Mar 2017

I am also seeking information on becoming a traveling notary in Florida. I did see one site stating, as a newbie, the state of Florida requires you to take a 3hour on-line session. After the course what is the next step

National Notary Association

17 Mar 2017

Hello. This page includes the steps to become a Florida Notary: https://www.nationalnotary.org/florida/how-to-become-florida-notary

Vicki Postway

18 Mar 2017

I currently have a notary commission in Texas and I am interested in becoming a mobile notary. I would be available after hours during weekdays and on weekends. I am looking for a mentor or someone to talk to about this opportunity. Please advise. Thank you.

Lakisha

22 Mar 2017

How do I get started for a mobile Notary in Texas, I have had my Notary for a while and I'm wanting to put it to use just clueless on what to do and how much to charge for services?

simplydivine727@gmail.com

29 Mar 2017

Im a recent notary in indiana i want to do errands and courier work how do i get started

Michael

03 Apr 2017

I am interested in starting a Mobile Notary business in St. Louis. Are there any great tips for this state and city and what other service can I provide easily after start up?

National Notary Association

03 Apr 2017

Hello. This article offers some alternate services Notaries can offer to help build their business: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2014/07/five-ways-to-earn-alternate-income

Morgan

16 May 2017

Hi! I just want to know whats the process for becoming a mobile notary and a notary signing agent in the state of GEORGIA. Where it is an attorney only state.

National Notary Association

16 May 2017

Hello. Only licensed attorneys may handle closings of home loans and other real estate transactions in Georgia-not Notary Signing Agents. Effective July 1, 2012, Georgia Senate Bill 365 was signed into law as Act No. 744 to clarify that only a lender or a licensed Georgia attorney may conduct settlements and disburse closing funds in the state; and the law further prohibits anyone other than the settlement agent for the entire transaction from overseeing the closing session (OCGA 44-14-13[10]). If you wish to apply for a Georgia Notary commission to perform general notarizations, you can contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 for assistance, or visit the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority webpage at www.gsccca.org/notary-and-apostilles/

Julie

20 Jun 2017

Hello, Does anyone have any information on becoming a mobile notary in South Carolina?

Maryam Safari

28 Jun 2017

DO you need a business License and Tax ID to operate a mobile notary business in Missouri?

National Notary Association

29 Jun 2017

Hello. You would need to check the business license requirements for your local municipality.

Wanda Poer

03 Jul 2017

How do you know what to charge for individual notaries such as, power of attorney etc?

National Notary Association

03 Jul 2017

Hello Wanda. The maximum fees that can be charged for each notarial act are set by state law. You can find a comparison of state fees for common notarial acts here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/11/how-state-notary-fees-compare

Ryan Headington

05 Jul 2017

Is it a requirement to setup a business entity (ex: LLC) when starting a notary business in New York State?

Courtney Williams

24 Jul 2017

I'm interested in starting a mobile notary trying to find out what it takes in Tennessee

Makenna Garcia

27 Nov 2017

What do I need to start in Bakersfield, CA?

National Notary Association

28 Nov 2017

Hello. This article may be helpful to you: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/09/5-tips-new-notaries-starting-business

Sireka G

10 Jan 2018

Do I need a LLC to setup my mobile notary business(ex: LLC) starting a notary business if I’m already a licensed notary in my state? (Florida) I’m already bonded and insured!

National Notary Association

11 Jan 2018

Hello. You should contact the Florida Division of Corporations at 850.245.6052 to ask about LLC requirements for your business.

Todd

02 Feb 2018

After years of being a litigation paralegal in NYC, I found myself out of work. Finding other paralegal/legal assistant work has been difficult at best. I am thinking of either looking for work as a notary or starting out on my own, as I have been a commissioned notary since 1992, though I used those skills rarely. is there a way I can bring myself up to speed?

Maria Ferrell

11 Feb 2018

These are great ideas. Advertising and the way of advertising both of these thing affect the business is very important for progress. Thanks for sharing these tips. Keep sharing more posts like this! Mobile Notary Service Baton Rogue

Sherryl Bragg

16 Feb 2018

Hi..what are my steps in becoming a notary

National Notary Association

16 Feb 2018

Hello Sherryl. If you contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 and let them know what state you are from, they can assist you with starting the commissioning process.

Sharee Smith

26 May 2018

Hi I’m in Washington State I’ve been a notary since 2005. I’d like to become certified so I can be a signing agent and start my own mobile traveling business. I’d appreciate any directional help you could give. Do I need more certifications or business license and special insurance.

National Notary Association

29 May 2018

Hello. Please see here for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/washington/signing-agent

My Mobile Notary LA

27 May 2018

Hey, I'm a long time fan and reader of your blog, first time commenter. Just wanted to say this post really hit home with the stuff I've been looking into. Thanks man

VIP Notary

21 Jul 2018

Great tips. Definitely agree with diversifying and creating strategic alliances. Both will help build customer base and foster new business! VIP Mobile Notary Los Angeles

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