Notarizing During Business Hours

Since most employed notaries become commissioned at the request of their employers, they occasionally inquire as to what types of restrictions their employers can place on them when it comes to performing their notarial duties. The answer to this question differs from state to state, so be sure to consult with you state's notary laws. If state law does not address it, be sure to speak with your employer to come up with a plan that is reasonable.

In general, a notary's employer may restrict the employee-notary from providing notarial services during working hours - especially when it comes to non-customers. Some employers allow their notaries to notarize only work-related transactions. Banks, for example, often restrict their notaries to notarizing only for bank customers and may refuse to notarize certain types of documents at their location. An employer generally has the right to restrict a notary from performing non-work related notarizations during working hours.

An employer may also insist that any notary fees collected during the business day belong to the employer. These types of agreements are acceptable, but make sure that you and your employer come up with some plan that can be applied uniformly among all customers.

Employers cannot, however, restrict you from performing notarial services outside working hours, even if the employer paid for your commission and notary supplies. An employer may not restrict you from taking your notary stamp and journal home. For this reason, employed notaries should never share journals. If an employer requires some sort of communal journal, you should still keep your own separate sequential records.

Always remember, your notary stamp and journal belong to you even if your employer paid for them. Your notary commission also belongs to you, and your employer cannot force you to resign when you decide to leave your employer.

As always, consult your state's laws to determine what, if any, restrictions an employer can place on a notary during working hours.

Legal Disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding notaries' best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss or consequential loss out of or in connection with the use of the information contained in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states' notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.

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