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10 Important Safety Tips For Notaries And Signing Agents To Follow

resized driving safety

Updated 6-14-17. Traveling to meet signers is an essential part of every mobile Notary’s business. But there’s always a risk when heading to unfamiliar locations. However, following these important steps can help keep Notaries safe when traveling on assignment:

1. Always let someone know where you are going, and how long you’ll be gone.

2. Make sure to carry a charged mobile phone at all times so you can contact someone in an emergency.

3. Some signing agents schedule a “check-in” time during assignments, asking a trusted friend or relative to call during an assignment to confirm everything is going OK. Others have panic buttons on their phones that contact 911 and their emergency contacts, and provides a GPS location.

4. Never let a stranger know details of your schedule — for example, if a signing is your last appointment for the day or if you plan to go straight home after the notarization is finished.

5. Always prioritize your safety. If you feel yourself to be in danger during a signing, find a way to leave immediately and contact someone. Don’t put yourself in danger trying to complete a notarization or collect documents — just leave as soon as possible.

6. If you have concerns about traveling to the signer’s home or neighborhood, offer to meet at a neutral, well-lit public location with other people around, such as a coffee shop.

7. Have your vehicle serviced regularly and check your spare tire to ensure it is in good condition. Check your windshield wipers before you encounter rainy weather. If you live in a region with severe cold weather, be sure to have an ice scraper for frost on your windshield and snow chains if you need to drive through an area with heavy ice or snow on the roads.

8. Carry emergency supplies in your vehicle as a safety precaution. Items you should include are a first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables in case your battery dies, a blanket and jacket along with water and snacks that won’t spoil.

9. Invest in a good GPS system or smartphone app to help avoid getting lost when traveling to an unfamiliar location. Another good investment is a roadside assistance service such as AAA in the event your vehicle breaks down, has a flat or you encounter other mechanical problems on the road.

10. Don’t embark on a long trip with your gas tank nearly empty! Always make sure you have enough fuel to get to your assignment and return.

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

 

9 Comments

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April

24 Nov 2015

I just got liarey about become a Signing Agent

Grace Turner

24 Feb 2016

This site really makes being a notary look like a risky job. I had no idea that notaries needed to take so many precautions to make sure they stay safe. Hopefully all notary professionals are aware of this and are preparing accordingly! I'll pass this along to one of our friends whose daughter wants to be a notary, thank you!

Power of attorney notarized San Diego

20 Dec 2016

I like the tips you have shared that a mobile notary or signing agent should follow for his/her safety when going to a place for documents notarization and signing papers.

Gary B.

20 Mar 2017

Best GPS for me is WISE. It is always up to date with traffic and congestion issues. Just enter it into your browser. It is a FREE download.

Gary Benson

20 Mar 2017

Best GPS for me is WISE. It's a FREE download off your browser. Update and congestion issues are updated automatically. It is very accurate.

Skateri

20 Mar 2017

It is not just mobile notaries or signing agents that should take heed in this. These are good things for anyone to follow when meeting up with someone you do not know.

Andrea Derrick

21 Jun 2017

Great info! I am a mobile notary in a rural area in CA. We need to be diligent about our territories and what is safe and what doesn't feel safe. Get a good sense of your signer when setting up the appointment. Ask questions. Let someone know where you'll be and how long it should take. I do this with my husband. I also use the Life 360 ap on my phone so he can see where I am. The ap is great. It gives you the ability to "check in" with anyone you want by giving them a screen shot of your location. You can also make emergency calls through the ap. When in doubt, take someone with you. My husband has rode with me to signings and waited in the car. You can never be too safe in this ever changing culture.

George Tyler

21 Jun 2017

We have find a friend software, called Life 360. As we are both notaries, we can track each other. Then we know if one of us is at a house too long, or what part of town.

Andrea Derrick

21 Jun 2017

Great info! I am a mobile notary in a rural area in CA. We need to be diligent about our territories and what is safe and what doesn't feel safe. Get a good sense of your signer when setting up the appointment. Ask questions. Let someone know where you'll be and how long it should take. I do this with my husband. I also use the Life 360 ap on my phone so he can see where I am. The ap is great. It gives you the ability to "check in" with anyone you want by giving them a screen shot of your location. You can also make emergency calls through the ap. When in doubt, take someone with you. My husband has rode with me to signings and waited in the car. You can never be too safe in this ever changing culture.

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