Notary Home Study Course


Important note regarding conflict of interest

You will remember that a notary may not notarize any document for which he or she has a direct beneficial or financial interest. Many notaries are employed by mortgage companies, real estate companies or insurance companies, contractors and so on and notarizing documents for their company might be incorrectly viewed as having a financial interest in the document.

Notary legislation specifically says that with respect to financial transactions, a notary acting in the capacity of an attorney, agent, employee, insurer, escrow or lender has NO beneficial interest in the transaction and may notarize the document so long as they are not a principal to the document or an executor (signer) on the document. 

However, with respect to real-estate documents, any notary who is named individually as a grantor, grantee, mortgagor, mortgagee, trustor, trustee, beneficiary, vendor, vendee, lessor or lessee to a transaction is determined to have a beneficial or financial interest in the document and may NOT notarize that document.

One final note regarding employees

When the notary who has obtained their commission as an employee leaves the employer, he or she is to keep their notary seal and journals. The employer may not demand that either the notary seal or the journal be returned to them or left on their premises after termination of employment. Remember that the commission is yours and the seal and journal is your personal property which you must retain and control at all times.  If your employer wishes to have copies of the notary journal records pertaining to the business, the notary must supervise the process of copying.

If, during the course of your commission, your place of business changes, you will need to notify the Secretary of State by certified mail within 30 days of your new business address. You will not need to re-file your oath or bond if your place of business is in a different county, although you may elect to do so and has 30 days to obtain a new notary seal for the new county.

As an employee, if your position is terminated or you resign prior to the expiration date of your commission, your commission does not automatically expire unless you are commissioned on behalf of the state, city, county, or public school districts, or on behalf of a military reservation. If this is the case, you must resign your commission when you terminate employment. If you elect to resign your commission after changing employment, you must notify the Secretary of State in writing and turn in all notary journals to the county clerk’s office within 30 days.