I-9 Form and Notaries Public

Notaries are often asked to complete I-9 forms by employees hired or working remotely from their employer. Employers may actually be instructing their newly hired employees to seek out a notary public in their area to assist in completing the form and review identifying documents. This may appear as something a Notary can do since they are reviewing identifying documents as a normal course of notarization. However, the I-9 Form is not a document that gets notarized – Ever! Before discussing why this is so, let’s learn what an I-9 Form is and how it must be completed.

It is required for all Employers to complete and retain the I-9 Form for all employees they hire. The form has three sections. Once hired, the Employee completes Section 1 of the form. This must be submitted to the Employer by the first day of employment.

Section 1 of I-9 Form

The Employer is responsible for completing Section 2. This is the section that Notaries are contacted to assist with. There are temporary rules that allow this completion and inspection of identifying documents to be conducted remotely. Employers will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. The Employer can either complete this form or authorize another (Authorized Representative) to complete the form.  An authorized representative can be any person the employer designates to complete and sign Form I-9 on their behalf. This is where Notaries can get into trouble. Often Notaries are getting requests for completing I-9 Forms from Employees. But this form specifically states that it must be completed by the Employer or their Authorized Representative. The reason for this is because the Employer is liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process, including any violations in connection with the form or the verification process, including any violations of the employer sanctions laws committed by the person designated to act on the employer’s behalf. Notaries are not commissioned (or licensed) by their state for this authority; therefore, it is not within their capacity to conduct the completion of the I-9 Form.

I-9 Form Section 2

Can Notaries assist with the completion of the I-9 Form? Based upon the information on the document and from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services site, anyone the Employer selects and approves as Authorized Representative of the Employer may complete the form. If the Employer requests and approves a Notary Public to act as the Authorized Representative, and the notary agrees, then the Notary Public may assist in completing the I-9 Form based upon the instructions. However, any Notary doing so is no longer acting in the capacity of a Notary Public, but as the Authorized Representative of the Employer.

When notaries get requests to complete an I-9 Form, be prepared to gain information on the following:

  • Is the request coming from an Employer? If not, direct the requester to have their Employer seek the request. Only the employer can authorize a representative on their behalf.
  • In accepting the assignment as Authorized Representative, review what tasks are necessary to complete the form.
  • Never complete the form as a Notary Public or place your seal on the form. Seek guidance from your state’s licensing/commission before accepting the assignment.
  • Make sure you are aware that you are signing the document under penalty of perjury and that everything on the document is true and accurate. If there are blanks, consider having it completed or not signing.

Mileage2Go Develops Smart Mileage Calculator for Vehicle Users

American based app developer; Mileage2Go has developed a smart solution to calculate mileage of vehicles, making it easier to get miles driven each year.

The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2020 tax year standard mileage rate of 57.5. This rate is used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Mileage has become an important component of determining tax deductions and the second-hand value of a car. While mileage is one component of a vehicle’s health, many people see it also a measure of reliability and durability, as well as a measure of fuel economy. 

Mileage2Go uses Google Calendar entries and calculates the mileage to and from a starting point selected by the driver. With the Mileage2Go solution, filing expense reports just got easier.

“Mileage2Go is a great tool to calculate mileage for tax deductions and for expense reports,” the app developer said in a statement on its website.

Drivers do not have to remember to turn anything on or off when they are traveling. They don’t have to look up every distance between two appointments. 

To use this innovative mileage calculator, drivers simply log the event on their Google Calendar. When a vehicle user is ready to figure out their mileage, they simply sign into their Mileage2Go account, select their starting point and the timeframe they want to use and Mileage2Go will create a report of the trips they have taken directly from their Google Calendar and provide the mileage. All they have to do is review and analyze entries. 

For those who does not use Google calendar, they can import their data with Excel format.

Mileage2Go also allows users to upload spreadsheets to get their mileage in a particular format.

Mileage2Go has subscription packages for one month, 3 months and 12 months. . One can select any one week of calendar entries for free to try out this service and will be able to download a report which will show the mileage calculated.

Covid-19, RON

Notaries, Beware of RON

States are enacting emergency orders to allow RON, Remote Online Notarization, as a way to safeguard both the public and notaries in areas where quarantine orders have been instituted. Besides taking away one of the primary functions of personal appearance, RON also takes away the notary’s ability to identify the signers. The function of identity verification occurs through a third party function before the signer is connected to the notary public via audio visual means.

If notaries conduct business in a state which mandates notary’s responsibility for identification, using RON can make the notaries legally responsible for incorrect identification that the third party made.

Considering RON only uses a less reliable system where personal questions are posed to the signer who must answer correctly before being given access to the notary public, the ability of fraud can become prevalent. Currently RON does not have the ability to use Biometric methods (facial recognition, thumbprinting, etc) even though states, like Virginia, have written laws to require it.

Primary functions of the notary public are to identify the signer and determine their understanding and awareness of what they are signing. These functions are seriously limited when using RON. With the identification piece entirely eliminated from the notary’s responsibility, states that place the legal responsibility on the notary will need to revise their laws to safeguard notaries public from legal ramifications regarding the identification of signers.

If you are a notary, please read your state laws carefully before engaging in RON. You may be subjecting yourself to more harm than protecting yourself from Covid-19.noron


Notaries Public and Signing Agents are Essential Workforce

Notaries Public are ” Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce for the financial services sector” as defined by the attached memorandum from US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. Notaries Public are “. . . workers who are needed to process . . . financial transactions and services, such as . . . settlement services,. . . to provide consumer access to . . . lending services, including . . key third party providers who deliver core services.” Notaries Essential


Honoring the First Female Notary Public on International Womans Day

” I am a woman and I am a lawyer-and what of it? I came into the practice of my profession under the laws of this State, regularly and honestly, . . . and I have come to stay. I am neither to be bullied out nor worn out. ” ~~ Clara Shortridge Foltz

Unlike other original Suffragists, Clara Shortridge Foltz was able to exercise her vote after the ratification of the Ninteenth Amendment which gave women the ability to vote. Clara was the “first woman” in many ways in California:

  • 1878: First woman admitted to the Bar in California. 20th District Court at San Jose.
  • 1880: First woman to hold position Clerk for State Assembly Judiciary Committee.
  • 1881: Elected President of California’s Woman Suffrage Association.
  • 1887: First woman to hold statewide office in California (Board of State State Normal School).
  • 1891: First woman Notary Public in California. Lobbied for parole and penal reform.
  • 1909: First woman appointed to the California State Board of Charities and Corrections.
  • 1910: First female Deputy District Attorney of Los Angeles. [resource link]

This remarkable woman shaped a path for women when women weren’t in a position to do so. In 1849 when Clara Shortridge Folz was born, the United States had only its 12th US President, the California Constitution was just ratified which extended property rights to women, and the first female physician was awarded her MD (Elizabeth Blackwell). At a time before the Civil War ended and slaves were freed, a 15 year old teacher eloped with a Union soldier and thus began a life as most mid-west women did at the time. Clara Shortridge Foltz gave birth to five children and traveled to California with her husband, settling in San Jose.

During the Civil War, the Suffrage movement halted because women put their energy into the war effort. In 1878, there was a devastating economic depression. This was the year Clara Foltz became a single mother after divorce. She was a seamstress but the income was not sufficient to care for her five children, and in a time when women could not hold property in their own name let alone vote or hold prominent positions, a single mom didn’t have a great outlook. However, this did not deter Ms. Clara Shortridge Foltz. She studied law at her father’s law office in San Jose and took up a career as a public speaker arguing for women’s suffrage. She discovered that California law only allowed “any white male citizen” to become a lawyer, so she drew up an amendment striking out those limiting qualifications and pushed it through the legislature in 1878. Just months after the enactment of the Senate Bill 66, “the Woman Lawyer’s Bill”, she became the first woman admitted to the California bar. 

The triumph of this first for the single mother gave rise to another obstacle. When she was denied entry to law school because she was female, she was again not deterred. She sued the law school and won the right to enter it. She became the first Notary Public in California and developed a passion as a humane and sympathetic counselor which brought many indigent clients into her office. She discovered an inequity with the defense of the indigent clients and the highly paid and skilled prosecutors convicting them. Because she believed that unless there was comparable representation, the constitutional due process could not be had. Foltz wrote and personally promoted the “Foltz Defender Bill,” which was adopted by 31 states. She became known as the founder of the Public Defender.

Clara Shortridge Folz was an active and outspoken advocate for the Suffrage movement. Among her achievements she advocated for constitutional clauses guaranteeing women access to education and employment. In advocating for women’s rights, she kept traditional values where it concerned men:

“Men cannot succeed without the aid of women, nor can women be more truly working for the advancement of their own sex than when seeking to uplift, dignify, and purify men. Women compel men to think. “

A woman, single mother, trail blazer, advocate, and one of the original suffragists, Clara Shortridge Foltz never let the obstacles that plagued her life as a woman deter her from what she wanted. She provides inspiration to all women to never let anyone tell you, that you cannot do it. The perfect woman to be honored on International Womans Day, 2019.

#IWD2019 #BalanceforBetter

State Notary References, Uncategorized

State Max Notary Fees – April 2018

To get a document notarized, you may need to pay a modest fee. Those fees often depend on where you get the document notarized—states set maximum allowable charges, and notaries can charge any amount up to that maximum. They can also charge nothing at all.

Customers want to know what a Notary Public charges for services. With NeedANotary.Com, you can request a service and receive quotes from Notaries Public. Before submitting your request, you can enter suggested fee ranges in the “Enter Additional Information” to let Notaries know what you’d like to pay.
Mobile notaries are allowed to charge additional fees for making the trip to your location, but some states limit the maximum trip fee. In many cases, those limits are quite low, but in all cases, the cost must be “reasonable.”  Offers from notaries on NeedANotary.Com will probably include trip fees. Before requesting a visit from a mobile notary, review the limits imposed by your state to help you get an idea of the fees in your area.

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Notary Registration

The Journey Begins

What NeedANotary is:

The purpose of this website is to create a universal platform where people looking for notaries can find notaries public that service their area. Whether a person seeks traveling to the notary, meeting the notary somewhere, or working with a notary over the internet, NeedANotary.Com is designed to connect them.  There are powers in numbers, and we feel having one known spot online will generate more business for notaries while making notaries more visible to customers.

What NeedANotary is not:

A paid service!  There are no sign-up, monthly or annual charges. We structured NeedANotary to profit from the volume which means we are motivated to focus on increasing your signing opportunities.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Notary Help, Uncategorized

The New Uniform Residential Loan Application

Some tips to guide signatures and initials.

The new Loan Application is at least 10 pages long and may generally require an initial and a signature. For more than one borrower, the document may add additional 5 pages per additional borrower. Each borrower will have their own page to initial but all will sign on one page (under Section 6, “Acknowledgments and Agreements”).

Here are some pictures to help you find where the initials and signatures required will appear:

Additionally there may be another document (named “Lender Loan Information”) containing three pages, all of which will need to be initialed by all borrowers:

There may be additional aspects to look for and NeedANotary.Com will look to add the information as it comes up.

Happy Signings!


Introducing Mileage2Go.Com – Get your Mileage Deduction using your Google Calendar!

Mileage2Go is a great tool to calculate mileage for tax deductions and for expense reports.

Mileage2Go uses your Google Calendar entries and calculates the mileage to and from a starting point you select. You don’t have to remember to turn anything on or off when you are traveling. You don’t have to look up every distance between two appointments. Simply log the event on your Google Calendar. When you are ready to figure out your mileage, simply sign into your Mileage2Go account, select your starting point and the timeframe you want to use and Mileage2Go will create a report of the trips you’ve taken directly from your Google Calendar and provide you the mileage.

If you are old school and log everything on a spreadsheet, Mileage2Go allows you to upload spreadsheets to get your mileage. There is a particular format that will be needed, but it is possible to get your mileage using Mileage2Go.

Give it a try! Mileage2Go allows you to process 30 days free.