Constraints On Mobile Notary Service From A Legal And Moral Standpoint
Having a notary public who can go to their customers’ locations to do notarial acts is an important and handy service (read more about its benefits at https://onenotary.us/mobile-notary-service/). While mobile notaries play an important role in ensuring the validity of papers and identities, they are nonetheless subject to certain constraints. These constraints have their origins in legal and ethical concerns, and they serve to ensure that notarial actions are performed honestly and in accordance with the law.
The Unauthorized Use Of Legal Knowledge
The inability to practice law is a significant barrier to entry for mobile notaries. As a result, they are unable to:
- provide customers with legal counsel;
- create new legal documents;
- interpret existing ones.
The difference between notarial services and legal representation is crucial. A notary’s only authority is to serve as an impartial witness in legal matters; they are unable to provide legal advice or draft legal documents like wills, contracts, or deeds. If a client needs legal advice, the notary should refer them to an attorney but should not provide legal advice themselves.
Jurisdiction Limited To A Single State
Since a mobile notary’s commission is only valid inside the state where they were issued, they cannot legally function as a notary public in any other state. The notary laws and regulations that are in place in one state may not necessarily apply in another. Every state has its own set of rules and regulations that notaries must follow to the letter. A customer who needs a notarization in another state will need to locate a notary who is authorized to act in that state. Any attempt to notarize a document outside of the notary’s state of commission is likely to be illegal and render the notarial operation null and void.
No Verification Of Identify
Although mobile notaries are experts at authenticating signers’ identities, they are bound by legal protocol when doing so. However, if they have any concerns about the signer’s identity or willingness, they cannot undertake notarial actions. Notaries must verify the signer’s identity and determine whether or not they are signing the document against their will. Notaries must deny notarization if they have any doubts about the authenticity of a document. This level of care ensures that notarial actions continue to be valid and trustworthy.
Evaluation Of Capabilities
It is not within the scope of practice for mobile notaries to evaluate the sanity of signatories. They are able to confirm the signer’s identity and desire to sign, but not their understanding of the document’s contents or ramifications. It is recommended to seek the advice of an attorney or medical expert if there are any doubts regarding a signer’s competence due to factors such as cognitive impairment or incapacity. If a notary has reasonable reservations about a signer’s mental capacity, they should not notarize the document.
Sealing And Notarizing Half-Done Paperwork
Never should a mobile notary notarize a document that is missing essential information, such as a signature or a date. Before having a document notarized, it must have all mandatory fields (such as signers’ names, dates, and signatures) filled in. As it may be unclear what the document reflects or what the signer meant, notarizing an incomplete document may cause legal issues.
No Pressure Or Coercion
Mobile notaries have a responsibility to verify that their signers are sober before having them formally acknowledge their signatures on any legal papers. In addition, they should verify that all signatories are doing so voluntarily and under no duress. Any notary who has reasonable suspicion of coercion or undue influence shall refuse to notarize the document in question. The signer’s rights and the validity of the notarial act depend on this.