Notary Public Central    

 

 

 

 

 Introduction  |  Course Outline  |  Lesson 1  |  Lesson 2  |  Lesson 3

 

 Lesson 4 | Lesson 5  |  Sample Forms |  Application  |  References  | Test Prep  | 

 

Introduction

Directions: Simply click each link above from left to right beginning with "Introduction" and ending with "Review"

Title:    Notary Public Training Course New Jersey

Course No: 210

Instructor: Dina DiRoma

URL: www.NotaryPublicCentral.Com

Course Type: Professional Development

Duration: 3 Hours approx.

 

Course Description:

 

This on-line notary course is designed to educate you with essential information you need to make informed decisions with respect to the New Jersey State Notary Public Office. In addition, this course will thoroughly prepare you to understand your duties and function as a Notary Public Officer. You will gain a thorough insight of what a Notary Public's key responsibilities and limitations are.

 

Course Requirements:

Use of a highlighter is strongly recommended.

Students are expected to be focused, as this information can be very comprehensive.  Interest and enthusiasm will make this course an enlightening experience.  Students should have an educational desire to become knowledgeable with respect to your function and responsibilities as a Public Officer.

 

Course Prerequisites:

 

Course Materials:

Students must download & print a copy of the New York State License Law Booklet (15 pages) that will be used in conjunction with this course.  You may download it here: License Law Booklet

 

 

Course Outline:

Topics to be discussed:

Lesson 1:         

The Office of Notary PublicWhat is a Notary Public?

Who Appoints Notaries and what is the Notary￿s Commission Period?

What are the Qualifications for holding Office?

How does one apply for the office?

 

Lesson 2:         

Guidelines for Notary Services: (What is a Notary Authorized to Do)?

Oaths and Affirmations

Acknowledgments

Proof of Execution

Jurats

Protests for Non-Payment/Non-Acceptance

 

 Lesson 3:       

Prohibitions and Liability      

What is a Notary Prohibited from Doing?

Opinion 41 - Unauthorized Practice of Law

Is there any Liabilities Associated with the Office?

 

 Lesson 4         

Fees for Notary Services

 

 Lesson5:         

Information for Maintaining a Commission  

What happens when a Notary changes their name or address

How can a Notary obtain a duplicate commission?

How do you authenticate a Notary commission?

            Apostilles and Notary Certifications

 


 

 Lesson 1

INTRODUCTION: (NJ Manual Page 1)

A1423: A notary public who is not licensed as an attorney-at-law shall not use or advertise the title of lawyer or attorney-at-law. A notary who advertises his services must provide a statement, I am not an attorney licensed to practice law and may not give legal advice about immigration or any other legal matter or accept fees for legal advice.

Types of organizations that utilize the services of a Notary Public in the State of New Jersey are:

 

The purpose of a Notary Public in this respect is to ensure that documents in need of notarization, as they relate to the above organizations have been:

 

 

Types of documents that are commonly notarized are:

The word Act or the Action used in this manual refers to a Notary performing their function which is the procedure in notarizing a document.

 

The office of Notary Public

What is A Notary Public?  (NJ Manual Page 1)

The Notary Public serves as an impartial witness (meaning that they have absolutely no interest involvement in what they are notarizing nor are they to give any advice or offer their opinion on the document being executed by the signer) to the signing of documents.

 Interest includes the following:

a) Beneficial Int. - the interest of a beneficiary, tangible or intangible, gain or advantage.  Motives could be questioned if you receive a benefit later.  Special interest in influencing the signer. (ie: you or family benefits)

b) Financial Int. - monetary reward or value.  Not considered financial int. If you had no prior knowledge (ie: bonus)

c) Emotional Int. - something that would cause you to influence the signing (ie: executing a power of attorney for relative)

2. A Notary may, attest (Witness) the signature being executed on a document. 

3. A Notary may also administer oaths and affirmations (these are verbal pledges given by a Notary to the document signer appearing before you).

A Notaries jurisdiction (where they are authorized to perform notarial acts)

Any county within the State of New Jersey.

 

Who Appoints Notaries, and What is the Notary's Commission Period?  

(NJ Manual Page 2):

The State Treasurer Division of Revenue appoints/commissions a notary public after the Notary files an endorsed application (See Appendix A) and is sworn in by the County Clerk of their residence.

The State Treasurer is also responsible for a notary's removal from office in the event a Notary is misusing their commission and for other reasons the State deems to be poor conduct by a Notary.

The term of office is five-years.  You may reapply every 5 years for another 5 year appointment.

How does one apply for office?

You must be sworn into office by the clerk of the county in which you reside.

You must complete an application (see Appendix A), which requires an endorsement from your State legislator. (See Appendix I for a listing of State legislatures in your area).  There is a $25 application fee.

Mail Application and payment to:  The Division of Revenue, Notary Public Unit , PO Box 452, Trenton, NJ 08646.

Expedited (over-the-counter Notary Public Unit) service is also available for an additional $15.00 fee. This service, which will ensure a processing time of 8 business hours, may be requested either in person or by any overnight courier service other than the United States Postal Service. The address for expedited service requests is:

Notary Public Unit, 33 West State Street, 5th Floor, Trenton, NJ 08608-1214.

Should you need to confirm the status of a notary public, you may submit your request online at  https://www.njportal.com/DOR/Notary/Status/Search

or to the address listed above.

 

What are the Qualifications for becoming a Notary in NJ 

(NJ Manual Page 2):

 

Form of Documents to be Notarized

Documents come in many varieties and regardless of whether the form is a Mortgage, Deed, Contract, Corporate Transaction, Lease, Promissory Note etc.. you are guaranteed that these forms will be one of two types:

 Affidavit

 Acknowledgment

The rules are generally the same with both types, but there are two additional rules for an Affidavits that does not apply to Acknowledgments.

Affidavits 

Must be signed in the presence of a Notary; and

Notary must administer an Oath or Affirmation to the signer.

See Sample Affidavit forms in (Appendix F and F-2) for further explanation.

Acknowledgments on the other hand

Do not have to be signed in the presence of a Notary, (but usually are)

Document signer does not take an Oath/Affirmation

See Sample Acknowledgment forms in (Appendix D and D-2) for further explanation.

 

Identifying Individuals

 Always verify identification containing 4 elements:

1) Photo

2) Signature; 

3) Physical description

4) Expiration (must be unexpired)

Types of acceptable ID: US Drivers License (Canada, Mexico & US Territory: Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, US Samoa) & non-drivers license, US Military Id card, *USCIS Card (green card) (*formerly INS) ￿ now U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), US Passport (or foreign only if stamped by a US INS official),  Prof. License (ie: Firearm,) (ID: must be issued by State /Gov￿t agency), Permanent Resident Card

Alternative to Identification:

Personal acquaintance of the Notary.  Notary must have known the signer for at least 7 years and verily believes them to be an upstanding citizen.

NOTE: If identification is inadequate or a signer is unable to obtain id due to age or physically disability, use a credible witness  (personally known to signer and the notary, trustworthy & impartial. Both take oath and sign document). A credible witness should not have any type of interest in the transaction.

Alternatively:

Subscribing Witness a person presenting a document in the absence of the actual document signer, whereby the actual document signer was unable to appear before the notary, but has signed the document being presented.  A subscribing witness must personally know the signer, take oath, sign document.   This is called Proof of Execution

EXAMPLE: My neighbor needs something notarized and has the flu.  I watch her sign it, bring it to a notary, take an oath and swear to the notary I witnessed the signature of the actual signer and I know them.

NOTE: NJ State Law provides that proofs may be taken for a DEED.  There is no specific guidance with respect to other types of documents/instruments.  Therefore, it is STRONGLY ADVISED to limit subscribing witness services to DEEDS.

*** Proofs of Execution AKA Proof (NJ Manual Page 4-5)

Fee $2.50 No extra charge for administering an oath/affirmation to subscribing witness. (see Appendix E for Sample Proof)

A proof is a declaration made by a subscribing witness to the Notary that he/she knows the person who signed the document being presented and was present for its signing or acknowledgment by the signer.

A proof is taken when a document signer cannot appear before a Notary and he/she sends a Subscribing Witness in their absence.  To effectuate such signing, the following conditions must be met:

The Notary MUST personally know the subscribing witness. 

The Notary must administer an oath or affirmation to such subscribing witness to compel truthfulness. 

The subscribing witness must sign the document being presented before the Notary


 

 Lesson 2

GUIDELINES FOR NOTARY SERVICES

        What is a Notary Authorized to Do?

(NJ State Manual Page 3):

 Remember; once you are appointed as a Notary Public, you may perform the following acts in ANY county within the State of New Jersey:

 

 (See Appendix C for further explanations of each act)

 Administer oaths and affirmations - to public officials and officers of various organizations & in order to execute jurats for affidavits/verifications

 Take acknowledgments

 Execute jurats for affidavits and other verifications

 Take proofs of deeds

 Execute protests for non-payment or non-acceptance

 

Oaths and Affirmations - (NJ State Manual Page 3):

Fee: $2.50

There are 2 forms of oaths; one is known as the Oath the other is known as The Affirmation. 

An Oath/Affirmation is used in the following situations:

Document Form

Affidavit (handwritten or typed document containing a Jurat)

Verifications 

Verbal Form

Swear in a witness (ie: witness to a crime)

Swear in a public official (ie: Governor)

Swear in Officers of various organizations (ie: CEO)

They are both equally as binding; the only difference between the two is in the wording.  You should always begin with an Oath, however, if your document signer has reservations about the oath due to religious or ethical reason (since the oath involves swearing to a Supreme Being) you may administer an Affirmation.

The Oath Do you swear that the information presented in this document entitled ABC, which you have signed before me, is the truth, so help you God? Document signer must confirm with a yes answer.

The Affirmation Do you solemnly affirm that the information presented in this document entitled ABC, which you have signed before me, is the truth, and this you affirm under the pains and penalties of perjury? Document signer must confirm with a yes answer.

Whether you administer an Oath or an Affirmation, your document signer is swearing that the content of the document is true. Or in the case of a verbal pledge for a public official, that they will uphold the laws under which they were appointed.  Therefore, if the document or public official were fraudulent, they would be charged with that crime in addition to lying under oath (Perjury). 

An oath is a verbal pledge given by the document signer to the notary and used in the following situations:

 

 

 

 

Fee:

The Notary may Charge the Statutory fee of $2.50 for administering an Oath or Affirmation.  No fee shall be collected for swearing in a witness in conjunction with an acknowledgement.

 Formalized Gestures:

Although not required, a notary may ask a document signer to raise his/her hand and/or place their hand on a holy book (ie: Holy Bible, Old Testament, Koran etc) when consummating an oath or affirmation.

 

Acknowledgments (NJ Manual Page 4)

Fee $2.50

 An Acknowledgement is a type of document you will be notarizing

 (see Appendix D for sample Acknowledgment)

 

An acknowledgment formally documents the following:

 The document singer appeared before the Notary

 The Notary positively identified the Notary

 The Signer acknowledges their signature to be that of their own and further that the document was willingly signed by them.

*** A related notary act (the proof) is discussed later in this section.

 

Requirements for Taking an Acknowledgment - (NJ Manual Page 3-4)

When executing an Acknowledgment the Notary should do the following:

Note ID: Remember, identifying individuals ALWAYS requires the Notary to view Actual ID for all acts except where Personal Knowledge (known for several years) or Credible Witness known both to the signer and the notary must be established and swears to the identity of the signer.  Individuals requiring ID are those who are not known to the notary in addition to a Subscribing Witness.  Journal entries should reflect same.

Note Journal: Journals should be bound to prevent tampering.  Furthermore, they should be kept confidential and in the Notaries possession at all times.

*** Proofs of Execution AKA Proof (NJ Manual Page 4-5)

Fee $2.50 No extra charge for administering an oath/affirmation to subscribing witness. (see Appendix E for Sample Proof)

A proof is a declaration made by a subscribing witness that he/she knows the person who signed the document being presented and was present for its signing or acknowledgment by the signer.

A proof is taken when a document signer cannot appear before a Notary and he/she sends a Subscribing Witness in their absence.  To effectuate such signing, the following conditions must be met:

NOTE: NJ State Law provides that proofs may be taken for a DEED.  There is no specific guidance with respect to other types of documents/instruments.  Therefore, it is STRONGLY ADVISED to limit subscribing witness services to DEEDS.

  Jurats    (NJ Manual Page 4-5)

Fee: $2.50

An Affidavit or Verification is a type of document you will be notarizing which contains a Jurat

 (see Appendix F and F-2 for sample Affidavit/Verification)

A jurat is primarily used for Affidavits and other forms of Verifications.  It is the certificate portion of a document (usually found at the bottom of the page) stating the office or person before whom writing was sworn and is designated to compel truthfulness on the part of the signer.  A jurat typically begins with the wording "Sworn to" or "Subscribed to" and states when, where, and before whom such affidavit was sworn.

 

Requirements for a Jurat (NJ Manual Page 5)

 

The Notary should perform the following procedures when executing a Jurat: Fee $2.50

  Ensure that Personal appearance by the document signer is established at the time of notarization

  Ensure the signer signs the document in the presence of the Notary

  Notary must administer an Oath or Affirmation to the signer

Note ID: Remember, identifying individuals ALWAYS requires the Notary to view Actual ID for all acts except where Personal Knowledge (known for several years) or Credible Witness known both to the signer and the notary must be established, and swears to the identity of the signer.  Individuals requiring ID are those who are not known to the notary in addition to a Subscribing Witness.  Journal entries should reflect same.

Note Journal: Journals should be bound to prevent tampering.  Furthermore, they should be kept confidential and in the Notaries possession at all times.

 

Protests for Non-Payment/Non-Acceptance

(NJ Manual Page 5-6)

The area of protests and non-payment/non-acceptance of Bills and Notes are a specialized area dealing with complex financial and commercial instruments that are refused for payment.  Because of this reason Notaries are advised to consult the State￿s UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) (NJSA 12:A) in addition to their employers for further technical guidance on providing this particular service.

The protests itself is a formal written declaration made by the Notary on behalf of a holder of a bill or note, that payment or acceptance of the bill/note has been refused. 

For a simplified example: let's say you own a clothing company and someone pays for the clothing by check.  After deposited, the check was returned for payment by your bank.  At this point you would need to go to the bank to get a letter of protest for the exact reason why the check was refused for payment (insufficient funds).  This is the documentation one would need if they were to successfully litigate such claim in a court of law.

 

Requirements for Executing a Protest

To execute a protest, a Notary should note the following:


 

 Lesson 3

PROHIBITIONS AND LIABILITY (NJ Manual Page 6)

What is a Notary Prohibited from Doing?

Never notarize a document where your PERSONAL INTEREST is involved, especially documents prepared for a fee.   PERSONAL INTEREST involves the following:

 a) Beneficial Int. - the interest of a beneficiary, tangible or intangible, gain or advantage.  Motives could be questioned if you receive a benefit later.  Special interest in influencing the signer. (ie: you or family benefits)

 b) Financial Int. - monetary reward or value.  Not considered financial int. If you had no prior knowledge (ie: bonus)

 c) Emotional Int. - something that would cause you to influence the signing (ie: executing a power of attorney for relative)

 For additional information on Unauthorized Practice of the Law by a Notary, please see (Appendix G)

 

ARE THERE ANY LIABILITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE OFFICE?

(NJ Manual Page 6)

 Yes, willful violations, which include ￿Unauthorized Practice of the Law￿, are subject to the following:

 Removal from office as a Notary Public

 Civil action

 Criminal action

 

 


 

 Lesson 4

NOTARY FEES (NJ Manual Page 7)

What are the Fees for Notary Services?

Administering an oath/affirmation

$2.50/ea

Executing a Jurat

$2.50/ea

Taking an acknowledgment

$2.50/ea

Taking an acknowledgment

$2.50/ea

Notary Public Filing Service Fees

The online Notary Commissions, new and renewed

$30.00

All Notary and Foreign Commissioner of Deeds commissions, new and renewed

$25.00

All certificates (standings and Apostilles), each

***The fee for Apostilles is $5 per certificate where the certificates are being obtained in connection with the adoption of a child

$25.00

Notary name change

$25.00

Drawing a certificate to pass under the Great Seal or any other

$5.00

Expedited service fee, per filing (applies only to over-the-counter transactions)

$15.00

 


 

Lesson 5    

       

INFORMATION ON MAINTAINING A COMMISSION (NJ Manual Page 7)

What Happens When a Notary Changes His/Her Name or Address?

Name Change: (Name and Address Change Form)

Before Notarizing any documents using a name other than that of which you were appointed, you must notify and file a change of address form with the following  agencies:

State Treasurer; and Clerk of your County of Residence

The cost is $25 for a name change (there is no charge for an ADDRESS change)

Sample Change of Name/Address form can be found (Appendix H) and

Online at: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/notarychange.pdf

By Mail:          Business Services Customer Information Center

                       P.O. BOX 452

                       Trenton, NJ 08646

By Phone:       609-292-9292, Option #2

 

Address Change:

If you move during your term of office, you must immediately notify the above offices (See #'s 1 & 2 under Name Change) and file a change of address form as listed in the Name Change section above.  There is no charge for an address change.

 

HOW CAN A NOTARY OBTAIN A DUPLICATE COMMISSION? (NJ Manual Page 7-8)

A duplicate commission is not required for use in other counties; however, if a Notary so wishes they MAY file a duplicate commission to be placed on file with another county by doing the following:

Contact the State Treasurer or Clerk of the County where you were sworn.  Ask them for a copy of your commission and qualification certificate for filing in another county.  Once you receive these copies you may present them along with a copy of your signature to any County Clerk in the State of NJ for filing.

 

HOW DO YOU AUTHENTICATE A NOTARY COMMISSION? (NJ Manual Page 8)

Authenticating your commission is a procedure that does not involve the Notary per se. 

It is essentially an individual verifying that the Notary Public in question was authorized and commissioned to perform notarizations for a particular action (ie: Acknowledgment) on a particular date in question for the State of New Jersey. 

One may request such documentation for matters in which a Notary was involved with the notarization of a document that may subsequently be used in a Court of Law.

Upon the request of an individual the State Treasurer and County Clerk may attach under hand and seal, to any Notary action (ie Acknowledgment), a certification.  The certification attests that at the time of the notary's action, the Notary was duly commissioned, sworn and residing in this State, and was authorized to take the action (ie: Acknowledgment).

The State Treasurer handles certifications for Notary's in the State of New Jersey.  Whereas, the County Clerk may only provide a certification for Notaries who reside in their respective counties or a Notary that filed a copy of their commission/qualification and signature for that county.

Contacts:

The Division of Revenue's Business Support Services Bureau serves as the administrative agency for the Notary Public program in New Jersey.  To contact the Bureau, e-mail us at https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/revgencode.shtml

or write:

NJ Division of Revenue
Business Support Services/Notary Section
PO Box 452
Trenton, New Jersey  08646


 

 

APOSTILLES and NOTARY CERTIFICATIONS

Apostilles and certifications attest to the legal status of New Jersey Notaries Public and selected public officials, such as Superior Court judges, County Clerks, and the State Registrar of Vital Statistics, who have authenticated or notarized documents to be used in business transactions and/or international document exchange. Public officials for whom our office will issue Apostilles and certifications.

Apostilles and certifications issued by the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services are one-page, 8.5 x 11 documents with a color laser print of the Great Seal of the State of New Jersey and the signature of the New Jersey State Treasurer.

We affix Apostilles and certifications to the signature page of the submitted document with staples. 
Please do not remove the Apostille or certification once it is attached.

The Division will provide an Apostille if the transaction involves a country that subscribes to the 
Hague Convention. If the authenticated or notarized document is going to a country that does not appear on the Hague Convention list, the Division will provide a certification of the public official.

In all cases involving international document exchange, we recommend that you contact officials in the receiving country or visit the 
U.S. Department of State website for further information and guidance on the exchange process.
 

How to Obtain an Apostille or Certification:

  1. Obtain the original or certified copy of the document bearing the original notarization or certification by the public official.

    Important Notes: 
    Obtain vital records (birth, marriage, divorce, death, etc.) from January 1, 1917 forward from the 
    NJ Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics and Registry (609.292.4087). For vital records dated prior to January 1, 1917, contact the New Jersey State Archives.

    We cannot issue Apostilles or certifications for vital records from other states. Have out-of-state records authenticated in the state of origin.

    For documents in languages other than English, we recommend that you attach a notarized English translation. Note that if you attach a notarized translation to a vital record, we will issue two Apostilles/Certifications, and that we will assess two fees (see table below for fees).

    Submit notarized documents with the original (inked) signature of the NJ Notary Public and the original (inked) signature of the person who presented the document for notarization.
  2. If you intend to hand-deliver your document, fill out the Service Request and Control Receipt Form available at the front desk in our lobby, (33 West State Street, 5th floor), otherwise go to Step 3. The Division￿s walk-in lobby hours are 8:30 am through 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. The lobby is closed on all State holidays.
  3. Complete the Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form. *Please note that the chosen Service Option has a direct effect on the processing time frame. View Service Options and the corresponding processing times.

 

  1. Attach the document(s) to the Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form.
  2. Per the Service Option Table below, select a service option and delivery method, and then determine the fee amount.

WARNING: If you use Priority. Express Mail or certified mail from the United States Postal Service, note that the USPS does not deliver to or pick up directly from our office. We treat requests received via Priority or Express Mail from the United States Postal Service as regular mail and the regular mail processing time applies to all such requests. Regular mail delivery time may take up to 15 days from mail in date to date of receipt.

  1. Write out a check made payable to the ￿Treasurer, State of New Jersey￿ for the selected fee amount.
  2. On your request form, indicate how you wish to receive your completed work ￿ regular mail (include self-addressed envelope) or private express service/courier (include appropriate self-addressed, pre-paid envelope). Note that unless the Division receives instructions to the contrary, we return all completed requests via regular mail, including expedited work.
  3. Package and send your request. Include:
    Request form with document attached
    Check for the fee
    Return envelope if you are not picking up (self-addressed envelope for regular mail or self-addressed, pre-paid envelope for private carrier, with customer as the sender and bill-to party)

Service Options:

SERVICE OPTION

FEE PER DOCUMENT (NOT RELATED TO AN ADOPTION)

FEE PER DOCUMENT (RELATED TO AN ADOPTION)

DELIVERY METHOD

PROCESSING TIME (EXCLUDES MAIL IN TIME)

Regular Processing

$25.00 per document

$5 per document

Regular Mail: 
State of New Jersey 
Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services 
PO Box 452
Trenton, NJ 08646

Typically 20 business days from date of receipt. This time frame is not guaranteed and may be longer based upon the number of requests received.

*Please allow an additional 15 days for regular mail delivery.

Next day-Expedited

$40.00 per document
($25 plus $15 expedited fee)

$20 per document ($5 plus $15 expedited fee)

Courier or Walk-in: 
State of New Jersey 
Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services 
33 West State Street, 5th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08608 
Attn: Notary Unit

8.5 business hours from date/time of receipt

 


*Please allow an additional 15 days for regular mail delivery.

Two-Hour Expedited
(Over-the-counter)

$525.00 per document ($25 plus $500 expedited fee)

$505 per document ($5 plus $500 expedited fee)

Walk-in: 
State of New Jersey 
Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services
33 West State Street, 5th Floor 
Trenton, NJ 08608 
Attn: Notary Unit

2-hours of receipt (must be submitted over-the-counter by 2:15)

One-Hour Expedited
(Over-the-counter)

$1,025.00 per document ($25 plus $1000 expedited fee)

$1,005 per document ($5 plus $1000 expedited fee)

Walk-in: 
State of New Jersey 
Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services 
33 West State Street, 5th Floor 
Trenton, NJ 08608 
Attn: Notary Unit

1-hour of receipt (must be submitted over-the-counter by 3:15)

WARNING: If you use Priority. Express Mail or certified mail from the United States Postal Service, note that the USPS does not deliver to or pick up directly from our office. We treat requests received via Priority or Express Mail from the United States Postal Service as regular mail and the regular mail processing time applies to all such requests. Regular mail delivery time may take up to 15 days from mail in date to date of receipt.

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

Appendix A

Application for Appointment/Renewal

Online $30: https://www.njportal.com/DOR/Notary

 - Or  -  

 Paper Application $25 (see below)

 

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND BACKGROUND

ON THE

OFFICE OF NOTARY PUBLIC

 

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

Following is a play-script that describes the process and provides instructions for applying and obtaining both new and renewed Notary Public commissions (appointments).

 

Play-script for Application Process

1. Applicant

a. Obtains a Notary application form from the county clerk or Office of the State Treasurer.

**Under normal operating conditions, the State sends out a renewal package three months prior to the commission expiration date. If renewal packages are not received in this time frame, applicants are responsible for requesting packages via one of the alternatives listed above.

 

2. Applicant

a. Completes the application form in strict accordance with the instructions listed on the form.

b. As part of completing the form, obtains endorsement of a member of the Legislature.

c. Sends the completed/endorsed form with a check for the filing fee of $25.00 to: Notary Public Section, PO Box 452, Trenton, N.J. 08646. The check is to be made payable to: Treasurer, State of New Jersey.

d. Non-resident applicants must also file an affidavit with the Treasurer setting forth their residence and address of the office or place of employment in New Jersey. The affidavit should be submitted with the application form to the Notary Section.

 

 

3. Notary Public and Fee Section

   Reviews the application form for completeness and fee and:

- Accepts it and returns a Notary Public Commission Certificate and Oath Qualification Certificate to the applicant; or

- Rejects it and returns the form with rejection notice to applicant for correction and resubmission.

 

 

4. Applicant

a. Takes the Commission Certificate and Oath Qualification Certificate to the County Clerk of the county in which he/she resides, within three (3) months of the date listed on the commission certificate.

**Remember that failure to meet the 3-month time limit will result in the cancellation of the appointment, and the filing fee will be non-refundable.

 

 

5. County Clerk

a. Administers an oath to the applicant.

b. Collects a filing fee (varies/county) per the clerk's statutory fee schedule.

c. Returns the Qualification Certificate to the Notary Section, thereby completing the application process.

 

**The Notary Public Section maintains a computer database of all Notary commissions, and will enter the "sworn date" from the Qualification Certificate to insure that the public record reflects the official date of the Notary￿s appointment.

 

 



 

Appendix C   

 

Explanation of What is a Notary Authorized to Do?

(NJ Manual Page 3) - Go Back

 

  1. Administer oaths and affirmations

 

Documents requiring an Oath/Affirmation will begin with the phrase Sworn to or Subscribed to in the Jurat section of the document (the bottom portion of the document in which a Notary is executing).  To administer an Oath or Affirmation, the Notary proclaims to the document signer the following:

 

  1. Take acknowledgments

 

The process of taking an acknowledgment is similar to that of administering an oath; however the acknowledgments are NOT sworn to.  These documents will contain a phrase beginning with Acknowledged to or Affirmed to in the Notarial Certificate section of the document.  The language in the administration of an acknowledgment is different from that of an oath.  With an acknowledgement the notary proclaims the following to the document signer:

 

The Acknowledgment  Was this document freely signed and for the purposes stated in the document?  Document signer must confirm with a yes answer.

 

  1. Execute jurats for affidavits and other verifications

 

A Jurat is the portion of the document that the notary is executing (signing and stamping).  This is generally found at the bottom of the document and will generally read something similar to the following:

 

Sworn to before me appeared _____ on this ____ day of ______.

 

Jurats are found on Affidavit forms or forms that are sworn to by the document signer.

 

  1. Take proofs of deeds

 

Is the act of Notarizing a deed and when necessary (if subscribing witness is used or someone other than land-owner) such act shall be accompanied by a certificate of proof. 

 

  1. Execute protests for non-payment or non-acceptance


 


 

Appendix D (Scroll Down)

Sample Acknowledgment

 

ILLUSTRATIONS

The following illustrations are intended to show the basic elements of two common notary actions -- acknowledgments, as well as the basic elements for a proof of execution. The illustrations serve AS EXAMPLES ONLY, and are not intended to be comprehensive or exclusive standards.

CERTIFICATE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The following illustration reflects the basic elements of a certificate of acknowledgment. The certificate wording could be incorporated into the document involved, or may be attached to the document as a separate sheet. Language or lines that do not apply to a particular action may be crossed out -- e.g., crossing out the words "Witness(es)" when none appear.

 

 



 

Appendix D-2

Sample Acknowledgment

 

 

STATE OF                                       )  (Venue/jurisdiction)

COUNTY OF                                   )   #1 Notary to fill!

 

I   John Doe                   , acknowledge that I signed the foregoing lease for a 2000 Mercedes Benz vin #1ZK..

 

 

    John Doe                                                 #2 Could have signed at home!

Affiant￿s signature

 

 

Acknowledged and affirmed to before me appeared ________________ on this                day of ______200__. 

(Notary certificate#3 Notary to take ID & execute Notary Certificate!

 

                                 . Permanent Non-erasable - non-marker pen!

Notary Public                              #4 Notary to sign in Blue or Black             

 

Your Name

Notary Public

State of New Jersey

My Commission Expires: ________

 

   [STAMP BELOW SIGNATURE IN BLACK INK]

 

Appendix E

Sample Certificate of Proof of Execution 

 

 

CERTIFICATE OF PROOF OF EXECUTION

The following illustration reflects the basic elements of a certificate of proof of execution. The certificate wording could be incorporated into the document involved, or may be attached to the document as a separate sheet. Language or lines that do not apply to a particular action may be crossed out -- e.g., crossing out the words "Credible Witness" when none appears.

 

 

 

 


 

Appendix F

Sample Affidavit/Verification

ILLUSTRATIONS

The following illustrations are intended to show the basic elements of two common notary actions -- acknowledgments, as well as the basic elements for a proof of execution. The illustrations serve AS EXAMPLES ONLY, and are not intended to be comprehensive or exclusive standards.

JURAT

The following illustration reflects the basic elements of a jurat.  The jurat IS ALWAYS PART of an affidavit or verification.  The venue (state/county where the Jurat is done) precedes the body of the affidavit/verification, while the Notary's certification follows the body affidavit/verification and affiant's signature.


 

Appendix F-2

Sample Affidavit

 

 

STATE OF                                      )  (Venue/jurisdiction)

COUNTY OF                                  )   #1 Notary to fill!

 

 

I    Jane Doe                     , affirm that I have not been known by any other name for the past Ten (10) years.

 

 

 Jane Doe                                          #2 Must sign in Notaries presence!    

Affiant's signature

 

 

 

Sworn/Subscribed to before me personally appeared _________on this                ______day of                    200__. 

(Jurat

#3 Notary to administer an oath, take ID & execute Jurat!

 

                                 .               #4 Notary to sign in Blue or Black            

Notary Public                   (permanent Non-erasable - Non marker pen!)

 

Your Name

Notary Public

State of New Jersey

My Commission Expires:_________

 

 

[STAMP BELOW SIGNATURE IN BLACK INK]

(Back to Course)

 

 

 



Appendix G

Unauthorized Practice of the Law 

 COMMITTEE ON THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW

Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court

OPINION NO. 41

Notaries Public and the Unauthorized Practice of Law

This Committee has been asked by several members of the State Judiciary to investigate lay persons who are commissioned as notaries public in New Jersey and whose actions may constitute the unauthorized practice of law. (See N.J.S.A. 2C:21-22 and Rule 1.21-1(a) governing the unauthorized practice of law, and compare with N.J.S.A. 52:7-10 to 52:7-21, the Notaries Public Act of 1979). Our investigation discloses that some notaries public in New Jersey are performing functions outside the scope permitted by statute and as set forth herein. This Committee has concluded that to prevent future unauthorized practice of law and to give guidance to notaries public and unwary consumers, it is necessary to define the role of a notary public in relation to the unauthorized practice of law.

When a person in New Jersey is commissioned as a notary public, he or she is given a copy of the New Jersey Notary Public Manual (New Jersey Division of Revenue). This manual explains the function of a notary and states that a notary is authorized to: administer oaths and affirmations; take acknowledgments; execute jurats for affidavits and other verifications; take proof of deeds; execute protests for non-payment or non-acceptance. The manual cites the statutory requirement that a notary be 18 years of age or older. A person desiring such appointment must make application on a form prescribed by the State Treasurer who authorizes such appointments. The notary public manual states specifically that a notary public may not prepare a legal document, give advice on legal matters, or appear as a representative of another person in a legal proceeding. Notary fees are set by the regulations and are relatively modest.

We emphasize that the practice of law includes the preparation or drafting of any kind of legal document and the giving of legal advice with regard to any document or matter. (See UPLC Opinion 40 of the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, 176 N.J.L.J. 1195 and 13 N.J.L. 1311, June 21, 2004). Investigations of various complaints by the Committee have revealed that unsuspecting consumers, many of whom are unfamiliar with the English language, have paid substantial fees to persons holding the title of ￿notary public to have pleadings, affidavits, briefs and other submissions to the court prepared for them. Misunderstandings may arise from cultural or language differences among consumers, many of whom may not realize that notaries public in this country differ in powers and duties from their counterparts in other lands; the title of notary public may encompass broader duties in other countries where the ￿notary￿ may be the equivalent of a legal advocate. (See Milagros Cisneros, Notorious Notaries  How Arizona Is Curbing Notario Fraud in the Immigrant Community, 32 Ariz. St. L. J. 287, [2000].)  Considerable confusion has resulted when notaries in New Jersey have advertised themselves in the language of the potential consumer, with such words as notario. In Mexico and other civil law countries, notario has a very different meaning from a ￿notary public￿ in the United States. While notario or notario publico in civil law countries may be synonymous with attorney, in the United States notaries public hold strictly a witness position. There have been many victims of notario fraud because persons come to notaries thinking that they will receive legal advice as they may have received in their native land. (Id., at 299)

The incidence of notario fraud whether intentional or otherwise perpetrated against persons seeking immigration representation resulted in the enactment of a statute in New Jersey which focuses on the unauthorized practice of law in the immigration area (N.J.S.A. 2C:21-31). No such specific statute exists to warn the unwary consumer of the fraud that may occur if a notary who is not an attorney prepares legal documents, such as a complaint for divorce, for a person seeking remedies in a court of law.

In many cases investigated by this committee, notaries public have charged fees for improper services. Many of the fees are in addition to the normal charge for witnessing a signature and are highly excessive considering the permitted witnessing fee of two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) allowed by law. This Committee has seen incidents of hundreds of dollars charged by notaries to consumer-litigants who were told merely to sign what was put in front of them. They received only a cursory explanation by the non-lawyer notary who had prepared the papers.  Often mistakes of fact or law result from this illegal representation￿ particularly when the documents are submitted pro se in the name of a consumer-litigant and merely appear to be ￿witnessed￿ by the notary. This practice is a disservice to the consumer-litigant whose submissions may be rejected by the court for inaccuracy or insufficiency. Moreover, the papers may result in omissions or errors which impede proper relief.

As stated in UPLC Opinion 40, supra., the Do-It-Yourself Kits opinion,  although a non-lawyer seller may assist the purchaser [of Do-It-Yourself kits] by typing, transcribing, or translating, the rendering of any other assistance with the preparation, review, analysis, or completion of materials included in these kits in person, in writing, electronically, or otherwise constitutes the unauthorized practice of law and is therefore prohibited.

We conclude that it is beyond the scope of the permissible duty and authority of a notary public of the State of New Jersey to give legal advice concerning the preparation of documents, or to perform services other than those approved by statute.

Specifically, the Committee deems it to be an unauthorized practice of law for any notary public of the State of New Jersey to render assistance by giving advice or by preparing, reviewing, analyzing, or completing any forms, writings, pleadings, or other documents in person, in writing, electronically or otherwise.

We recommend that the commissioning authority advise applicants and

commissioned notaries public about the contents of this opinion in order to minimize abuses. In the future, any violation of this opinion called to our attention will be referred by this committee to the commissioning authority or county prosecutor for appropriate

action.

 

 


 

Appendix H  (Back)

Sample Change of Name/Address Form

Also available online at: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/notarychange.pdf

 

 


 

Appendix I (Scroll Down)

Reference Sources and Books and Guides

REFERENCE SOURCES

Following are several reference sources that relate to the office of Notary Public and notary practices in general:

State Law
The laws governing notary practices can be found in Titles 2A, 22A, 46 and 52 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated (NJSA). The New Jersey State Library and county libraries can help locate these titles. They are also available on the Internet at
www.njleg.state.nj.us.

Professional Associations
There are various professional associations that provide advice publications and forums for discussing notary practices and issues. Two such associations are listed below.

National Notary Association, 9350 De Soto Ave. Chatsworth, CA 91313-2402
Telephone:  800.876.6827       Web Site:  
www.nationalnotary.org

American Society of Notaries, P.O. Box 5707, Tallahassee, Fl. 32314-5707
Telephone:  1.850.671.5164        Web Site:
www.asnnotary.org

New Jersey Notary Association 431 Nineteenth Avenue Brick, NJ 08724
Telephone: 1.732.267.7422       Web:
www.newjerseynotaryassociation.org

 Books/Guides
The following lists several books and guides that cover notary practices. It is recommended that the Notary consult at least one of these before obtaining a commission. It is further recommended that the Notary visit the library at least once a year to determine whether any new or revised texts on notary practices have been published.

 

 

Members of the Legislature to Receive Endorsement

 (Back to Course)

 

 


Appendix J

Sample Notary Stamp Format

 

 

Jane Doe

Notary Public

State of New Jersey

Commission #:

My Commission Expires Sept. 25, 2017

 


 

 

Appendix K (Back)

Notary Public Filing Fees

 

 

 


 

Notary Prep Test

 

 

Directions:     Circle the best answer that completes the sentence or questions.

 

 1.            A notary public is most likely described as a(n) [a] attorney at law [b] affiant [c] power of attorney [d] public official

 

  2.             A newly commissioned notary public is required to file their endorsed application with [a] the State Treasurer [b] Supreme Court [c] County Clerk￿s office [d] Secretary of

 

 3.             The need for an Apostille is required for which of the following instances? [a] a conveyance of land [b] when the document is to be used within New Jersey [c] a sale of a home [d] when the document is used outside the boundaries of the State of New Jersey

  4.             If a notary expects to sign documents outside his county of residence, he MAY elect to file his/her signature with [a] other County Clerks [b] the Attorey General [c] the State Supreme Court [d] Board of law examiners

  5.             Non-resident notaries are empowered to do which of the following? [a] commit a fraud [b] Issue certified copies [c] Notarize documents [d] Notarize their own documents

  6.             Identifying a document signer involves which of the following: [a] county clerk [b] reviewing ID for 4 characteristics [c] Legal Counsel [d] notary personally

 

 7.            Which of the following may a notary public do? [a] Draft a Will [b] Execute an acknowledgment  [c] Give legal advice [d] Draw up legal documents

 

 8.            Willful violations of the law by a notary may cause [a] removal from office [b] criminal action [c] civil action [d] all of the above

 

 9.            Types of documents that are not commonly notarized [a] Deeds [b] Mortgates [c] Protests for non-payment/non-acceptance [d] Contracts

 

10.          The term of a notary public commission is [a] 1 year [b] 5 year [c] 6 months [d] 4 years minimum

 

 11.          One of the criteria for persons appointed as a notary public is that you must [a] be 18 years of age [b] have a common school education [c] have a college degree [d] be a secretary

 

 12.         Which type of interest would preclude a Notary from executing a Jurat [a] emotional interest [b] beneficial interest [c] financial interest [d] all of the above

 

 13.         Which of the following is true [a] Acknowledgments do not need to be signed in the presence of a Notary but Affidavits must [b] Affidavits to not have to be signed in the presence of a Notary but Acknowledgments must.

 

 14.         The fee for taking an acknowledgment and swearing two witnesses is [a] $2.50 [b] $5.00 [c] $7.50 [d] $10.00

 

15.          New Jersey State does not require a notary to use one of the following [a] Journal [b] Black Ink [c] Seal [d] Jurat

 

 16.        A person appearing before a notary in the absence of the actual signer is known as a(n) [a] Affiant [b] Document Signer [c] Credible Witness [d] Subscribing Witness

 

 17.         A Notary may ask a document signer to formalize their oath by doing which of the following [a] having a constituent raise their right hand [b] placing a signers hand on a Holy Bible [c] placing a document signers hand on a Koran  [d] All of the above

 18.         That part of an affidavit where the officer (notary) certifies that it was sworn to before him/her is referred to as the [a] affidavit [b] seal [c] venue [d] Jurat

 19.         What would be administered to a person with reservations about taking an Oath [a] Justice [b] Affirmation [c] Matrimony [d] Verbal Pledge

 

 20.         Authenticating a Notary commission involves [a] The Notary Swearing they were authorized to act  [b] A document Signer being sworn in to a Court of Law by a Notary  [c] the State Treasurer or County Clerk verifying that a notary was duly authorized to act  [d] Attorney General

 

 



Answer Key

 

  1. D
  2. A
  3. D
  4. A
  5. C
  6. B
  7. B
  8. D
  9. C
  10. B
  11. A
  12. D
  13. A
  14. C
  15. C
  16. D
  17. D
  18. D
  19. B
  20. C