Procedure Name: Notary Policy

Launch Date: 12/2017

Last Update: 1/2018

Version: 1.1

PURPOSE

EZ Messenger recognizes the necessity to produce a policy governing Notarial acts performed during day-to-day business. This Policy outlines notarization of Affidavits of Service and other documents necessary to effectuate services for our Clients.

RESPONSIBILITIES

All EZ Messenger employees designated as Notaries Public are responsible for adhering to this policy during their course of employment.

ESCALATION POINT OF CONTACT

Any questions or comments concerning this Policy should be directed to EZ Messenger’s Chief Compliance Officer.

POLICY

For an EZ Messenger employee to perform a notarial act, the following must be strictly adhered to:

  • A document signer must appear in the notary’s presence with identification before any notary act can be performed.
  • Notarial act must be evidenced by a certificate.
  • The signature must be original; photocopied/faxed signatures may never be notarized.
  • Notary will administer verbal oath/affirmation and will not proceed unless clear affirmative response is heard. E.g. “Do you affirm under the penalties of perjury, that the information contained in this document is the truth?”
  • Only the document signer has authority to make any changes on the document.
  • Cannot be a “party to the transaction” or a “party to the instrument.” The notary may have no financial or beneficial interest in the transaction, no matter how small.

SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY

Permissible forms of identification:

  • Driver license or nonoperating identification license. Must be unexpired and issued by a state or territory of the united states.
  • U.S. passport. Must be unexpired and issued by the united states department of state.
  • Armed forces identification card. Must be unexpired and can be issued by any branch of the united states armed forces.
  • Personal knowledge of the individual: A notary can use personal knowledge of the signer if the notary has known the individual for a sufficient length of time and the notary is assured that the signer has the identity claimed. In such instances, the notary does not need to request other forms of identification from the individual.

The notarial certificate issued by a notary public must:

  • be executed contemporaneously with the performance of the notarial act;
  • be dated and signed by the notary with the notary public's name exactly and only as it appears on the notary’s commission;
  • identify the county and state in which the notarial act is performed;
  • contain the notary’s official stamp, which must be placed on the certificate near the notary public's signature in a form capable of photographic reproduction.
  • a notary that fails to affix his or her stamp has not properly notarized the document.

Journal entries - all journal entries must include:

  • The date of the notarial act.
  • A description of the document or type of notarial act (e.g.: acknowledgment, jurat, copy certification, and oath or affirmation).
  • The printed full name, address, and signature of each person for whom a notarial act is performed. To ensure accurate documentation of identification information, the notary should record the signer’s name and address in his or her journal as provided on the ID.
  • The type of satisfactory evidence of identity presented to the notary by each person for whom a notarial act is performed.
  • A description of the satisfactory evidence of identity provided, such as serial number, and issuance or expiration dates.
  • The fee, if any, charged per signature. If not charging, it is recommended that the notary simply write “Ø.”
  • If the document is written in a foreign language, the notary public must be able to read enough of that language to describe the document in his or her journal to ensure he or she is not attesting to information outside the scope of his or her authority.
  • A notary is required to keep a journal of all notarial acts for at least five years.

CREDENTIAL REVIEW

It is our Policy to review all notary commission certificates and expiration dates. All EZ Messenger Employees whose notary commissions have expired will not be permitted to perform notarial acts.

TESTING

EZ Messenger has produced testing documents for this policy. All employees responsible for this Policy will be tested with continued testing scheduled yearly. EZ Messenger will review laws for notaries public for any revisions, updates, or amendments.

REFERENCES AND RESOURCES

An EZ Messenger IT Project Portal # 20221 - requesting notation of EZ Messenger notary in the Holder (Employee) profile located in FAST. Requesting report for monthly review of expiration dates. EZ Messenger is processing the audit of Notary Publics in a manual.

ARIZONA - […] Notaries public are prohibited from notarizing his or her own signature, as well as the signature of any person who is related to the notary by marriage or adoption [A.R.S. § 41-328(B)]. Additionally, the notary should keep in mind that notarizing a document for any family member could call into question a notary’s impartiality in the transaction; therefore, this practice is discouraged.

MINNESOTA - *Journal is not required by law, but EZM does require it. Must be either a Minnesota resident, or a resident of a county in IA, ND, SD or WI and list the Minnesota County he or she will be filing in upon receiving their commission. A notary commissioned under Minnesota Statutes 359 (359.02) holds office until January 31 of the fifth year following the year the commission was issued, unless sooner removed by the governor or the district court, or by action of the commissioner of commerce. A notary may apply for renewal within 6 months before the expiration of the commission. Or in the case of an expired commission a new application can be completed to recommission.

TEXAS - A notary should not record any identification number that was assigned by a governmental agency or by the United States to the signer, grantor or maker on an identification card, driver's license, social security card or passport; or any other number that could be used to identify the signer, grantor or maker of the document. 1 Tex. Admin. Code §87.40. A notary is required to keep, in a safe and secure manner, copies of the records of notarizations performed for the longer of: 1) the term of the commission in which the notarization occurred; or 2) three years following the date of notarization. 1 Tex. Admin. Code §87.44. The best practice, however, would be for the notary to permanently maintain copies of the records. When the commission of a notary public expires, or the individual otherwise ceases to be a notary public, the notary seal should be destroyed to prevent possible misuse by another individual.

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