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5 tips for mobile Notaries to always be prepared

A person getting stuff out from their bag inside a car.

Updated 7-18-23. Mobile Notaries have busy days and slow days. On slow days it’s important to prepare for upcoming busy days. Here are some preparedness tips I’ve learned over the years — often through hard life lessons. Following them will help you be a more successful NSA and save you a lot of stress.

1. Dress for success

Whether I have appointments to go out for or don’t, I find that showering, dressing in business casual attire (pajamas and workout clothes don’t count), and putting myself together for the workday helps me feel in the mindset for being successful and makes for a more productive day. Plus, you never know what might come up. If you get a call for a last minute signing and they need you there ASAP, you won’t have the 20-30 minutes to shower and get ready because you’ll need to print documents and get out the door.

2. Fill ‘er up

You look down and see the ‘E’ light up, but it’s been a long busy day, you’re tired and you think to yourself, “Oh… I’ll just get gas tomorrow.” Don’t wait, trust me. Tomorrow will come and unexpectedly you are slammed with appointments and barely have time to stop for gas. The next thing you know the 10 minutes it takes you to get gas you could have used to swing home and print some documents for another appointment that day. Getting gas when you have time not only saves you stress, it’s safer…you don’t want to end up stuck on empty.

3. Always have supplies in your car

FedEx and UPS envelopes, folders, pens, tape, business cards, and a small stapler are all
examples of supplies I leave in my car. Having these available while on the road is so handy. If you don’t have a smartphone with a scanner app, a mobile scanner can also be very helpful tool to have in your car. Don’t wait until you’re out of paper or print ink to get more. I recommend having at least one extra ink cartridge and box of paper on hand.

(Mobile Notaries concerned about COVID-19 or other possible health concerns may also wish to bring and use personal protective equipment such as masks and surgical gloves to reduce the risk of contagion during in-person notarizations. Other health safety supplies mobile Notaries can carry are portable hand sanitizer bottles and single-use thumbprint kits if thumbprints are required during the notarization. — The Editors) 

4. Prepare for bad weather

I live in Florida and deal with frequent heavy rains. I’ve learned to leave a raincoat and umbrella in my car. I also keep a small “emergency” umbrella in my Notary bag in case it starts raining while I’m in a meeting. Dealing with papers on a rainy day is difficult but dealing with papers on a rainy day with no umbrella or raincoat is awful. Whether you’re dealing with rain, sleet, or snow it really helps to have weather-appropriate gear available while on the road.

5. Keep jumper cables and a battery starter handy

The last thing you want is to have a dead car battery and no way to get your car started. This happened to me last year when I was in a very remote area. No one had jumper cables and I ended up waiting until midnight (4 hours) for a tow truck; it was awful. Since then I purchased jumper cables and a battery starter kit. I leave both in my trunk, just in case.

Whether you’re a newbie Notary or a seasoned Notary, I hope these tips help you and save you some trouble. I’m always looking for ways to make the hectic life of a NSA more efficient, do you have any preparedness tips that help you as a NSA?

Amanda Doumanian Reeves has worked as a mobile Notary in Tallahassee, Florida, for more than five years and helps run a thriving business, A Notary on the Go, with her family.

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Add your comment

Patricia Warmack

14 Jan 2018

I recommend carrying spare/blank notary certificates

Sandie Lamb

08 May 2019

How do you print a last minute work in closing while on the road? Most of my closings are in the Metro area so going back to my home office to print is a 45 minute drive.

Kirk Noland

05 Aug 2023

This is true for riding a motorcycle. Best on a Touring Motorcycle.

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