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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.
Notary Help

Email Scams for Notary Service

Notaries Public market their service openly to gain business. While this is a necessity for the self-employed notary, the advertising has opened up an avenue for fraudsters to exploit notaries. Below is an example of an email solicitation received for notary service from a fraudster. Note areas that can help you spot a potential scam solicitation.

Initial emailed solicitation

If you are a self-employed notary public, you may often receive email from customers who are seeking notary public services and want information described in this example. On the surface, receiving such email is welcomed. However, when the email suggests a company is seeking the service and their email appears to be a non-company email, you should further scrutinize the solicitation. Most companies will have contact information below their signature. While this signature block has some legitimate-appearing information, it does not have a phone number. Not listing a phone number might be another alert that the email is not from a legitimate source. For this example, a simple search on the company name will reveal a phone number and it would be a good idea to call the number and ask for the person listed. In doing so for this example, the person who answered the phone immediately indicated that the person listed above is not employed at the company and that what was received is a scam.

Busy notaries may not scrutinize the email and may respond to it. Here is a response received after replying to this email solicitation:

Response received

This email contained an attachment which has viruses. Opening this file could be very dangerous. One way to help notaries to protect their computers and files before opening the file is to save the file and then upload it on a virus checking site like virustotal.com. You can upload the file on the site and it will run a virus checker. Here are the results from the file sent by this fraudster:


https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/475d698ce97709e8472b36fdec94c30fa281a13909aef86f2b0a07a30d3d45a5/analysis/1557847178/

Notaries public help to prevent fraud by certifying signer’s identification,their understanding of what they are signing, and their willingness to sign documents. Notaries must be diligent in protecting their clients by taking all measures possible to protect their accounts from fraudsters who are trying to exploit the clients by fooling notaries. Fraudsters make it difficult to serve the public but you can help deter them by:

  • Not opening files from anyone you do not recognize.
  • Ask for contact information for clients within the body of the email instead of attaching it.
  • Double check any files with antivirus software or run an online check.
  • Search companies online and call them from their website to verify.

Feel free to comment and provide other ways notaries can protect themselves. Together, we can help each other continue protecting our clients from fraud.

Recognition

The Notary Public who administered the Oath of Office to a US President.

President Warren G. Hardy was involved in a rigorous speaking campaign
he dubbed the “Voyage of Understanding” during the summer of 1923. After giving a speech to 25,000 people in a stadium at the University of Washington (what would be his final speech), President Hardy fell ill. On the evening of August 2, 1923, President Hardy’s wife began to read a glowing review on him. When she momentarily paused, President Harding spoke his final words: “That’s good, read some more.”

On August 2, 1923, Vice President Calvin Coolidge was at his family homestead in Vermont. His home had neither electricity nor a telephone, so he received the word about President Harding’s death through messenger. The inauguration of the 30th United States President took place in John Coolidge’s family parlor illuminated by a kerosene lamp at 2:47 am on August 3, 1923. It was Coolidge’s own father, John Calvin Coolidge Sr., a Vermont Notary Public, who administered the oath of office.

Recognition

Happy Veterans Day!

As a company run by a Veteran, NeedANotary.Com is especially grateful to the nation when honoring our active military and veterans each year. There is a special kinship with fellow veterans that is felt whenever I find out a client has served. No matter what branch of service, we know the effort, the training, the experience,  the pride of being in the military,

And the sacrifices…

  • Unreliable imperial data places the total casualties for British regulars fighting in the Revolutionary War around 24,000 men.
  • Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War.
  • The total number of both civilian and military casualties is estimated at around 37 million people. The war killed almost 7 million civilians and 10 million military personnel.
  • World War II fatality statistics vary, with estimates of total deaths ranging from 50 million to more than 80 million.
  • Korean War: Today’s official Pentagon figures are virtually the same: 33,651 battle deaths and 3,262 other deaths.
  • Vietnam War – nearly 60,000 killed-in-action, over 150,000 wounded, and some 1,600 missing.
  • Gulf War – 149 casualties and U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,424 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 31,952 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of the Iraq War.

In honoring Veterans this weekend, here is a guide to all the great Veterans Day free meals! As sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, cousins and neighbors. We thank you so very much for your service!

 

needanotary.com

Happy Notary Public Day!

November 7th has been identified as the day to celebrate the millions of hard-working notaries public whose public service help deter fraud and promote the integrity and reliability of document transactions.

The first Notary Public Day was celebrated on November 7, 1975, and created to “recognize notaries for their public service and their contributions to national and international commerce.”

Every day notaries assist the finance industry, the legal industry, and the health industry by positively confirming the document signer’s identity, and carefully assessing the signer’s comprehension, competence and willingness to sign.

The date of November 7 was chosen as Notary Public Day in recognition of the day that America’s first notary, Thomas Fugill, was appointed. Fugill’s appointment by the Colony of New Haven occurred on October 25, 1639 (Julian calendar), November 7 on the Gregorian calendar now in use.

Today there are over 4.8 million notaries and nearly half of them are driving on the roads to meet and conveniently serve customers who have important documents to complete. From documents at the DMV, vital records, and business contracts to trust, power of attorney, deeds, visas, and school district transfers, Notaries provide certification for over 2.2 billion documents each year.

NeedANotary.Com was created to help people nationwide find a notary public. We recognize the need and we want the process of finding notaries, booking them, and paying for the service upfront to be easy and convenient.

Notaries Public are honoring and serving the nation every day. On November 7, the nation honors Notaries nationwide.

Happy Notary Public Day!