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Notary Information (Free Helpful Hints)


What is a Notary Public?

Safeguard Your Notary Seal

Properly Dispose of Your Old Notary Seal

Notary Stamp/ Notary Seal Usage

Essential Notary Supplies to Support Best Practices

The Importance of Recordkeeping

Traditional Notary Seals




 What is a Notary Public?

Most people believe that notaries simply "notarize signatures." This greatly oversimplifies a notary's duties and responsibilities.

Notaries derive their authority from their state governments. They are "appointed" or "commissioned" by a top official of their state, generally the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State or Treasurer. Each state has its own unique notary laws and notaries must follow the laws of their particular state. This means that notaries in one state may have authority to perform duties that notaries in another do not.

In all states, a notary's chief responsibility is to act as an impartial witness in the execution (signing) of documents, and to certify the facts of such transactions in a notarial certificate. By properly performing their duties, notaries help deter fraud and promote the integrity and reliability of document transactions.

Signers of documents requiring notarization must physically appear before a notary, prove their identity to the notary, and acknowledge signing the document voluntarily for its stated purpose; OR swear/affirm that the contents of the document are true. The required notarial act is determined by the composition of the document or is at the direction of the signer or other party involved with the document--it is not determined by the notary.

Notaries convey the facts of a notarial act/transaction by completing an official statement called the "notarial certificate." The notarial certificate is always signed, and often sealed (depending on state requirements) by the notary. The notarial certificate commonly appears at the end of a document or is attached to the document as a separate sheet. The most familiar notarial certificate language reads substantially like: "Acknowledged before me by (Signer's Name) this (date) day of (month), (year)" or "Sworn/affirmed and subscribed (signed) before me this (date) day of (month), (year)." [Anchor Rubber Stamp sells Notarial Certificates on CD--never find yourself without the proper notarial certificate language! Includes state-specific certificates.]

The format of a notary's seal, and whether or not a notary is actually required to use an ink stamp or embossing seal, is unique to each state and is set forth in each state's notary laws. [You can trust Anchor Rubber Stamp to produce the highest-quality notary stamps and seals that COMPLY with your state's requirements.]

A notary may perform notarial acts ONLY while his or her commission is current. The length of a notary's commission term varies by state.

To order any of our high-quality notary supplies please visit our homepage: www.anchorstamp.com

The preceding information appears courtesy of ASN; Copyright 2012.  Unauthorized use is prohibited

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 Safeguard Your Notary Seal

Can you put your hands on your notary seal at this moment? Do you know exactly where it is? Is it safely locked away where no one but you can get to it?

You, and only you, are responsible for the security of your official notary seal, your recordbook, your notary commission certificate and any other documents relating to your work as a notary public. This means that your seal and your other notary items must be safely stored and accessible ONLY by you, at all times.

What if your notary seal is lost or stolen and falls into the hands of the wrong person? Your notary seal can then be used to perpetrate fraud on unsuspecting individuals in your name.

Even persons you trust can cause you big problems if you allow them access to your notary seal. Co-workers, for example, will sometimes "notarize" for an absent notary by stamping a document with the notary's official seal--not realizing that this is strictly prohibited and that the notary must answer for any loss that might result.

Some employers, especially those who have paid for their employee notaries' commission and supplies, mistakenly believe they have the right to lock up an employee notary's seal and allow the notary access only when a notarization is desired. Quite the opposite is true: no matter the circumstances, only the notary may physically control his/her notarial seal. If an employee notary leaves the company that paid for his/her commission, seal and supplies, ALL those items stay with the notary, not the company.

Your official notary seal conveys the authority of your office, and you are accountable every time it is used. Always safeguard your notary seal!

To order any of our high-quality notary supplies please visit our homepage: www.anchorstamp.com

The preceding information appears courtesy of ASN; Copyright 2012.  Unauthorized use is prohibited

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 Properly Dispose of Your Old Notary Seal

What should a notary do with an official notary commission stamp or embosser (your notary public seal) from an expired commission?

Some states have specific steps that the notary must take, such as submitting the expired notary seal to state notary authorities (most commonly, when the notary's commission is expired and not renewed). Check your state notary statutes and rules to determine if you might be subject to such a requirement.

If your state has no conflicting instructions for the disposition of your notary seal when your commission term expires, you must deface or destroy your expired notary seal to ensure it can never be used again. This is a valuable fraud-prevention measure that protects you, but do you know how to carry it out effectively?

The old notary seal must be defaced in a way that makes a legible seal impression impossible. That is, the portion of the seal that leaves an ink impression or embossment must be destroyed. (We know of a notary who smashed his self-inking stamp case to smithereens with a hammer, but left intact the rubber pad that was used to make the seal impression.)

  • To destroy a self-inking notary stamp, put the stamp case upside-down on a non-slippery surface and push down on the case to expose the stamp surface. Carefully peel the rubber impression pad away from its base. Cut up the pad with a pair of scissors, and distribute the pieces of the pad into at least two different trash containers
  • Destroying a metal embossing seal is a little more involved.
  1. One way is to remove the die insert from the embosser handle and carefully deface the raised portion of the seal impression with a heavy-duty steel file. This works especially well if you break the die insert into two pieces. Discard each die insert piece into separate trash containers.
  2. Another method is to contact your local law enforcement agency, and ask ifyou may turn in the embossing seal's die insert to be melted down with confiscated firearms. (We include this because we actually spoke with one local law enforcement agency that was happy to accept die inserts for melting.)

Never simply ignore your old, expired notary stamp or notary seal—a forgotten notary stamp or notary seal in the wrong hands can be used to commit fraud that you would be called upon to explain. Take a little time to properly dispose of your old notary stamp or notary seal!

To order any of our high-quality notary supplies please visit our homepage: www.anchorstamp.com

The preceding information appears courtesy of ASN; Copyright 2012.  Unauthorized use is prohibited

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 Notary Stamp/ Notary Seal Usage

Notary Stamps Anchor Rubber Stamp offers a wide range of notary stamps. The best type of notary stamp is the pre-inked model. The pre-inked notary stamp creates the highest DPI impression available. This notary stamp operates by pressing down on the handle and the stamp simply kisses the paper. There are fewer moving parts involved in its operation. This notary stamp also uses a high-quality, oil-based ink. When re-inking the pre-inked stamp, it is essential to use the proper ink. Using the wrong ink can result in a distortion of the lettering. 

Anchor also manufacturers high-quality self-inking notary stamps. The self-inking stamp has a die enclosed inside the body of the notary stamp. The notary presses down and the die rotates downward to ink the paper before rotating upward to re-ink itself on the pad. This notary stamp uses a water-based ink contained within the pad located horizontally in the middle of the stamp frame. Again, it is critical to use the proper water-based ink when re-inking. Use of an oil-based ink will cause the die to swell to the point that the impression looks like a big blob.

For traditionalists, Anchor also offers classic notary stamps; that is, the old-fashioned rubber stamp with a die glued to a mount. This notary stamp requires the use of a stamp pad. Here, the equal distribution of pressure is needed to make an even impression.
All notary stamps require a flat, porous (non-glossy) surface to maximize the quality of the impression and ensure a professional impression every time.

Notary Seals (also known as Notary Embossers) Anchor Rubber Stamp offers two different types of notary seals: The hand-held pocket notary seal and the notary desk seal. The pocket notary seal is the most commonly used. The difference between the two items is that the desk model allows for more leverage and is designed for frequent usage. The notary desk seal also features four rubber feet so that it can stand alone with good stability. On the other hand, the pocket notary seal is the tool of choice for the notary public who delivers mobile notary public services. If you plan to offer mobile notary public services, the pocket notary seal is the one you want.

When receiving either notary seal, the first thing you should do is slide back the lock on the top while squeezing to open the seal. These seals are designed for single-sheet use, since multiple sheets may cause early wearing. We recommend keeping these seals in the closed, locked position when not in use to prevent dust and debris from entering the unit. We strongly suggests keeping the notary seals in a moderate temperature range. Extreme heat or cold could cause the adhesive to loosen over time and the bottom inner wording may shift slightly. This would result in an uneven impression.

Follow the above recommendations to ensure clean, crisp impressions of your notary stamps and notary seals for many years to come.

To order high-quality, affordable notary supplies please go to our homepage: www.anchorstamp.com


The preceding information appears courtesy of ASN; Copyright 2012.  Unauthorized use is prohibited

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 Essential Notary Supplies to Support Best Practices


Anchor Rubber Stamp offers the finest notary public supplies on the market. We manufacture our products right here in the United States, sell them at extremely fair prices, and ship most notary public supply orders the next business day. Our comprehensive line of notary public supplies includes the essentials that every notary needs to support correct procedure and best practices. These essential notary public supplies include:

Notary Stamp and Notary Seal
The seal impression made by your notary stamp and/or notary seal is the most recognizable symbol of your office, and is affixed to extremely important and sensitive documents. It is essential that your notary stamp and notary seal be a high-quality device that you can trust to make a clean, legible impression every time. Don't have a document returned to your client because your seal impression is not legible, or does not contain the information required by your state's notary laws. Anchor Rubber Stamp specializes in manufacturing superb notary commission stamps and embossing seals that fully comply with your state's unique notary seal requirements… don't trust the creation of such a sensitive piece of equipment to anyone but the experts!

Notary Recordbook (Notary Journal)
The All-States Recordbook of Notarial Acts © offered by Anchor Rubber Stamp is suitable for use in all states with a recordkeeping requirement. Even in states where notary recordbook use is not required, recordkeeping is strongly recommended for its evidentiary value and the protection it provides the notary. If you are ever called to testify about a notarial act, your notary recordbook entry will remind you of key facts such as the date, name of signer, notarial act performed, and more.

Each entry blank in Anchor's All-States Recordbook of Notarial Acts © is thoughtfully designed to help guide you through the steps for performing an expert notarial act.

Notary Handbook
A notary handbook is a convenient way to keep information on proper notarial procedure and state requirements at your fingertips. Have on-the-spot access to state notary laws and best notarial practices with our compact notary handbook–ideal for the mobile notary. Notary handbooks offered by Anchor Rubber Stamp include: Delaware Notary Handbook, Florida Notary Handbook, Georgia Notary Handbook, Texas Notary Handbook, District of Columbia Notary Handbook, and New Jersey Notary Handbook.

Notarial Certificates
From time-to-time you will be asked to notarize a document that lacks notarial wording. At the signer's direction, you may attach a loose notarial certificate containing the correct wording for the chosen notarial act. Anchor Rubber Stamp offers a wide variety of notarial certificates on its Certificates on CD. Just access the correct certificate and print out a neat, clean notarial certificate to attach to the document. With Certificates on CD, you can always be prepared to proceed with the correct notarial wording.

Notary Study Course
Nothing contributes more to a notary's competency than training in best practices and procedures. Anchor Rubber Stamp offers an excellent American Notary Study Course that covers every aspect of performing notarial acts. Learn what it takes to perform notarial acts expertly and confidently. The American Notary Study Course is a bound textbook that allows you to study and learn anywhere, at your own pace. The Study Course is also a terrific reference guide that you'll use time and again, whenever you need a refresher on correct procedures and best practices.

To order any of our high-quality notary supplies, please visit our homepage: www.anchorstamp.com

The following information appears courtesy of ASN; Copyright 2012.  Unauthorized use is prohibited

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 The Importance of Recordkeeping

Many states require notaries to record and keep the details of each notarial act performed.  Even where recordbook use is not required, it is strongly recommended because it is among the most conscientious and professional practices that a notary can follow.

You may hear the notary recordbook called a log, a register, or a journal.  The most customary format is a "well-bound" paper book, designed in such a way that insertion or removal of pages can be detected.  Recordbook pages and entry blanks are usually sequentially numbered.  The details of each notarial act are entered in chronological order, and usually include such information as the date of notarization, type of notarial act performed, document type or name, document date, signer name and address, signer signature, and more.

A record of your official acts as a notary serves several valuable purposes, including:

  • The design of your recordbook entry blanks can remind you of the steps you should take in performing a notarial act, such as requiring acceptable identification of the person requesting the notarial act.
  • Your recordbook provides valuable evidence of the notarial acts you performed, and can help refresh your memory should you be called upon to testify about a particular act.  Your recordbook can also help establish that you acted properly (for instance, that you did require the presence of the signer and assessed his or her identification), if you are accused of negligence or impropriety.
  • A record can help establish that you notarized a particular document when the notarial certificate has been torn off or destroyed in some way.
  • If someone were to forge your signature on a notarial certificate, the absence of a recorded transaction in your recordbook would tend to validate your claim that you did not perform the notarial act.

Notary recordbook use also helps deter fraud. Persons intent on fraud do not want the additional evidence trail that the journal entry creates, and often will walk away rather than leave an address, a signature or any other information in the recordbook entry.  And because journal use compels the physical, personal appearance of the signer before the notary, proper vetting of the signer's identity by the notary is enhanced.

States that require recordbook use may also have requirements about retention or disposition of the notary's records upon commission expiration, resignation, revocation or death.  Be sure to consult your state notary statutes for any specific recordbook requirements, and above all, make notary recordkeeping a habit.

To order our notary recordbook or any other notary supplies, please visit our homepage: www.anchorstamp.com

The following information appears courtesy of ASN; Copyright 2012.  Unauthorized use is prohibited

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 Traditional Notary Seals

Nothing conveys the authority and beauty of an official notary seal quite like the raised imprint created by an embossing seal device.

While the need for a reproducible image has made the ink-stamp style of notary seal more commonly used, the embossing seal is still authorized for use as an official notary seal in 30 states (includes the U.S. Virgin Islands). Elsewhere, many notaries choose to use an embossing-style notary seal in conjunction with their official ink-stamp notary seal for the additional ceremonial impact that the raised notary seal impression achieves, and to help assure acceptance of notarized documents in other countries and jurisdictions.

Whether it's the required type of notary seal in your state or whether you use one by choice, the embossing seal is a special tool that requires thoughtful use and handling. Keep these tips in mind:

1. Never discard any intact die or insert. You need to deface or destroy the die/insert so the two halves cannot be salvaged and used to create a fraudulent seal impression. We suggest breaking the die/insert in two, using a heavy metal file to deface both halves of the die, and tossing them in separate trash bins.

2. Some states require your notary seal image to be photographically reproducible. If you use an embossing seal in one of these states, always remember to ink the raised seal image using a seal impression inker (available from Anchor's online Notary Store, along with all your must-have notary supplies including notary journal, notary handbook, notary kits, even the American Notary Study Course).

3. If your state's required notary seal-making tool is the ink-stamp, but you also own an embossing seal, remember never to use your embossing seal in lieu of your ink-stamp notary seal for official notarial acts. You may use your embossing seal ONLY in combination with your official ink-stamp notary seal.

To order notary seals or notary supplies, please go to: www.anchorstamp.com

The following information appears courtesy of ASN; Copyright 2012.  Unauthorized use is prohibited

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