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Notarizing During Business Hours

by American Association of Notaries
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.
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Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information and ideas for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary educations, and securing their notary supplies but makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained . 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 federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.
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