For every profession, you need a “Getting Started Kit.” Whether it’s solely the knowledge of that industry or physical things which are pivotal to success, there are preparations to be made.
Being a notary public is no different. There’s actually more to prepare for then with most jobs—yes, you learn more as you go as a notary public, but you must understand the basics before completing any notarial acts. Otherwise, it could end in a mess for you and the public.
So, what exactly do you need before you brave your first notarization?
First and foremost, education. You want to be completely aware of the demands of the job, and what is required of you for different notarial acts. There are many different laws pertaining to notary public in Florida, and you need to understand all of them before you start accidentally breaking them. Florida requires the education course for first-time notaries. You must complete at least three hours of education time. When you pick an education course, be sure you are choosing one that is approved by the State of Florida.
Notary Handbook for quick referrals. As a Florida notary, your commission lasts for four years. By that time, you’ll have the everyday, basic notarial acts covered, but what about those rare and more specific cases? Having a notary handbook for quick reference ensures you are continuously following the rules of a notary public.
Your Notary Seal. The benchmark of a notary is the official notary seal. You cannot complete any notarial act without it. Every state has their own regulations for what the official seal must look like and include.
Record Book for good book keeping. You will not be able to remember all of the notarial acts you have completed, and if there is ever an issue with one you will need the information regarding the notarization for the case. Though, Florida does not currently require their notaries to keep a record book, we highly recommend the use of one. They allow you to decrease your liability as a notary public. If someone accuses you of completing a notarial act on a forged signature, without a record book you have no record to combat their accusations.
Errors &Omissions Insurance for extra coverage. On the same note of the record book, better safe than sorry. As a public servant, you may sometimes encounter difficult situations, you may either make an innocent mistake or be falsely accused. Either way, you will need a legal team to help defend you. The public has your bond to keep them safe, the E&O Insurance will be your safety net, so you don’t go broke from such a case.
With these tools in your arsenal you’ll be prepared for the notary business, and be able to pick up any products that help you along the way. As you learn more about the business and your preferences as a notary public, you may decide to purchase more products to aid you, but to start with these are your central items. You may decide you like the professional look of the embosser to accompany your notary seal, or the mobile stamp’s convenience for your mobile notary business. As with any business venture, you’ll learn your style as you go.