Notary Rules, News & Info

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How to Renew Your California Notary Commission

If you are a California Notary and your Commission is due to expire soon, you should be aware of some new rules. As of January 1st, 2008, all Notary applications need to include a 2” x 2” color (passport style) photo attached to the application. Also new is the requirement to have Live Scan Fingerprints submitted to the Department of Justice and the FBI.

So where do you obtain these new, necessary items? Well, you can easily get your passport-type photo from any store that has a photo processing service. You can find places that do Live Scan Fingerprinting by contacting your local police department, or by checking out local services that offer both.

Since this requirement has gone into effect, many new businesses offering the combined service have opened. The photo runs between $10 – $20 and the fingerprinting averages about $30.Also keep in mind that you are still required to take the mandatory 6-hour Notary class. Rumor has it that a shorter refresher course may become available soon for renewing Notaries, however they will probably be hard to come by for a few years.

If you are shopping places to take the Notary Class, you might save yourself some time and money by choosing one that offers the photo and fingerprinting service.Whether you are renewing, or applying for the first time, all Notary applicants must complete the same application. For renewing notaries, there is a place on the application to note your previous Commission Number and Expiration Date.

Posted in Blogroll, New Notary Rules | Comments Off

How A Company Checks Criminal Records Legally

Since 9/11, the American public has become much more conscious about security. It is now common for someone looking for work to learn that an employer checks criminal records of prospective new employees.

Criminal background checks are now being done by some companies on current employees. As a result, some people are finding that offenses committed many years ago are causing trouble in the present.

Additionally, most states have laws requiring professional licensing boards to do criminal record checks to for occupation-related convictions. This practice is leading to youthful offenses, making it difficult for workers to find jobs. Some people are even losing jobs that they have worked at for years.

As part of the Government’s identity theft solutions a company must always obtain a prospective employee’s written consent before it can run a check and get criminal record information. Read your application carefully. Often the wording for obtaining consent for a criminal record check is written into the job application, though some companies use a separate consent form.

Many states have laws limiting how far back they can check for convictions, or limiting the types of convictions they take into account for business or job-related offenses. Even if your record has been expunged, these types of offenses may still come up in a criminal records search. You may want to check with a lawyer to find out how far into the past an employer can look for arrests or convictions.

A licensing board is an agency that checks criminal records for people who wish to work in many occupations. Teachers, health care workers, childcare or elder care workers and accountants are examples of license applicants who may be subject to criminal record search. The licensing agency may limit the background check to occupation-related offenses.

While a larceny conviction will most likely not cause a problem if applying for a license for massage therapy, one for prostitution or for a sex offense would. A criminal record can create special problems if you are applying for a license to work with vulnerable persons, such as children.

A past criminal offense can create problems for a person who is looking for work. This is true whether an employer is doing a criminal records search or it is a state licensing board that checks criminal records. If the arrest or conviction was in the distant past, then having a clean criminal record in the years since can work in your favor. Having the conviction expunged from your record can also help in getting a job or a professional license. In either case, if you have had a past brush with the law, you should talk to an attorney to find out how offense will affect your being able to find work.

Posted in Jobs and Careers, Other | No Comments

Notaries Performing Wedding Ceremonies in Florida

A Notary Public is allowed to perform wedding ceremonies in the State of Florida, but not all Notaries will perform weddings, usually because of their own personal religious beliefs. The law giving Notaries the authority to perform marriages was enacted in 1861.

In order to solemnize a marriage, the couple must obtain a valid Florida marriage license from a county court judge or Clerk of the Circuit Court and present it to the Notary before the marriage ceremony. The Notary must verify the effective date and expiration date of the license and require proper identification if they are not personally known to the Notary.

Vows can be personalized and unique, but the intent to make a legally binding commitment must be made. The Notary is responsible for completing the certificate portion of the Marriage Record and returning it to the office that issued the license, within 10 days after the ceremony.

Following is an example of what a ceremony should contain(at a minimum), when performed by a Notary Public:

Some sort of announcement (like “Dearly Beloved….we are gathered here today..)to announce the joining of the man and woman in (holy) matrimony….Then the Exchange of Vows:

The Notary will ask the woman, “(her name), do you take this man to be your husband, to live together in (holy) matrimony, to love him, to honor him, to comfort him and to keep him in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, for as long as you both shall live”"She should answer….”I do”This may be repeated in kind for the man.

Then the Notary would state, “repeat after me” – To the Man….”I (his name), take you (her name) to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.” To the Woman…” I (her name), take you (his name) to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”

Then they would exchange rings as the Notary would ask the man to place the ring on the woman’s finger and to repeat, “I give you this ring as a token and pledge of our constant faith and abiding love” (same for woman).

Then the Notary would ask the couple to join hands and would declare, “By virtue of the authority vested in me under the laws of the State of Florida, I now pronounce you husband and wife” Then to the man….”you may now kiss the bride”

Posted in General Notary Knowledge, Notary Public Duties | No Comments

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