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Can Notaries Offer Other Non-Notarial Services to Clients?


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More often than not, offering notarial services is not the primary occupation of a notary. The larger percentage of notaries acquire a notary commission as an additional credential. A majority of them are influenced by the desire to have an impact on their communities. In many cases, notaries are usually experts in other fields and are gainfully employed in other occupations such as medicine, banking, and real estate. The law, however, prohibits them from discussing the content of documents to be notarized or offering advice to notarial clients in any way or manner in areas where they are experts as this is considered to be illegal.

There are instances when notaries find themselves in a situation where a client seeks advice in areas where the notary is an expert. In this case, what should a notary do? This is a scenario that most notaries find themselves in from time to time. The way this situation is handled is very important considering the fact that in most jurisdictions when a notary involves himself or herself in the transactions of clients aside of offering notarial services, such conduct attracts severe criminal and administrative penalties. A notary must maintain his or her notary impartiality at all times when relating with a notarial client. A notary must restrict his or her involvement to notarial services without getting involved in offering advice or instructions in relation to the document to be notarized.

The duties of a notary public is clearly defined in the statute of every state, although the laws regarding the conduct of notary public may vary from one jurisdiction to another, generally notaries are unauthorized to do some certain acts which include: assisting in the preparation of the document to be notarized, offering advice or recommending that a particular document should be used for a particular transaction, or offering legal advice on what the law says in respect to the document. These three acts are unauthorized acts for every notary public.

A notary public is expected to inform a notarial client in due time of what the client is to expect and not to expect. For instance, if a client walks into the office of a notary public and sees that the notary has accounting credentials or other professional certificates on the wall, such a client may choose to discuss with the notary if the document to be notarized is within the areas of expertise of an accountant. It is left for the notary public to inform the client that by virtue of the law, a notary must be a disinterested party when dealing with a notarial client. At first, a client may be surprised by the refusal of a notary to discuss certain issues, however, it is the duty of a notary to explain to the client in clear terms that such dialogue would amount to a breach of the law.

Becoming a notary public does not mean that a person should abandon other fields of practice, as a matter of fact, a notarial client can come back some other time for non-notarial services, the most important virtue of a notary is integrity and the understanding of the boundaries between what the law allows and disallows during the performance of notarial services.

Coast2Coast Signings is a global signing service dedicated to providing the most convenient, efficient and professional signing services. Our goal is to provide our clients’ with excellent customer service, a knowledgeable staff, and the ability to find experienced notaries wherever and whenever they are needed. Our team is on staff 24/7 to fulfill any of your signing needs. With a combined 50 years of experience, our mission is to help fulfill our clients’ needs with the utmost respect and adaptability. Coast 2 Coast is the only signing company proficient in completing signings on a global scale, on any coast and in any country.