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4 Questions To Ask Clients Before A Notarization

phone-call-resized.jpgEver had a notarization where you arrived at the signer’s house, only to find out you had to cancel or reschedule the appointment due to an expired ID, a missing document, or some other crucial element being absent? It’s a situation that frustrates both Notaries and clients.

However, there’s a simple way to avoid many of these problems. Before the notarization takes place,  contact the client and ask these 4 questions recommended by the NNA’s Notary Hotline team:

1. Will everyone who needs their signature notarized be present?

If more than one person will need their signature notarized, or if a signer needs to be identified by credible witnesses, confirm that everyone required for the notarization will be present at the appointment.

2. Does the client have all necessary documents ready for the notarization?

If multiple documents require notarization, check to be sure the client will have all documents present and ready when you arrive.

3. Do all signers have acceptable ID?

When speaking with the client before the appointment, don’t just ask “Do you have ID?” because the client might not know what kind of ID is required. Make sure you also check the following:

  • Ask the client to describe the type of ID (for example, “I have a California driver’s license.” or “I’m using a U.S. passport.”) to confirm that you can accept it as proof of identity.
  • Check if the ID is current or expired, and if expired for how long. Some states do not permit Notaries to accept expired IDs, but others allow IDs that have expired within a certain timeframe.
  • If there’s a problem with the signer’s ID, find out if they have any other type of acceptable identification. Otherwise they will need to bring one or more credible identifying witnesses to the appointment (if this option is permitted in your state).

4.  Does the client agree to all your payment terms?

If you charge a separate travel fee, require payment if the notarization cannot be completed or have any other payment terms clients should be aware of, contact them before the appointment, let them know and make sure they agree to any payment terms. That way you can avoid any potential dispute if the notarization has to be stopped or rescheduled. Also, be aware that some states, such as Montana, Nevada and South Carolina, have a statutory requirement for Notaries to explain and agree upon travel fees in advance with clients.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

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Cc Swenson

18 Sep 2019

Thanks for the info

Carla Swenson

18 Sep 2019

Thanks for sharing

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