Notary Public

A government appointee and public servant...

Notary Public, Trust Agent 

Today, Notaries Public are on the front line of defense against fraud. Notaries act as “trust agents” to affirmation and acknowledge the authentication of the many documents required for commercial and/or personal use before they can be used or officially recorded for any legal effect. Consequently, it is imperative that Notaries Public be solidly grounded in the education needed to understand their role, perform both basic and challenging notarial duties, and willingly learn new skills and certifications in preparation for new opportunities.

According to the American Society of Notaries, the "golden rule" of every notarial act (whether it is paper-based or electronic) is the physical presence of both the signer and the notary. A notary’s ability to fully evaluate the signer’s identification, develop a basic understanding of the transaction itself, and ascertain the signer's free will in doing so would be diminished by any condition other than the physical presence of the two parties.

A Notary Public is a government appointee and public servant who serves as an impartial witness in taking acknowledgments, administering oaths and affirmations, and performing other acts authorized by state law. The overwhelming majority of the 4.4 million notaries in the US become notaries as part of their job duties or as a value-added skill on their resume. Many others choose to become notaries so they can have their own mobile notary or notary signing agent business. These individuals are independent contractors and earn money by handling mortgage signings, notarizing trust documents and performing many other tasks.

In Maryland, Notaries are appointed for renewable four year terms by the Governor. The Secretary of State maintains and regulates their appointments. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, live or work in the State of Maryland, and known be of good character, integrity, and abilities.

Core Courses 

GEN-307: Notary Public Procedures. For both prospective and present notaries, this course will demonstrate how to prevent fraud when documents are notarized properly and legally. Topics will also include how to properly identify clients, keep adequate records of notarial acts, and charge proper fees. Classroom delivery, 1 session, 6 hours.

GEN-339: Applied Notary Practices and Procedures. This course reviews notary practices and procedures for performing proper notarizations. Students will have an opportunity to sharpen their notarial knowledge through exercises in completing notarial certificates, administering verbal declarations, documenting journal entries, and spotting fake ids. GEN-307 recommended. Classroom delivery, 1 session, 6 hours.

GEN-363: Advanced Notarial Procedures. This course provides Notaries Public with advanced notarial procedures for handling challenging situations with confidence and ease. Learn to perform all notarial requests properly and accurately and how to respond to Apostille and Medallion Signature requests. GEN-339 recommended. Classroom delivery, 1 session, 6 hours.

Special Events 

GEN-517: Notary Enrichment Day. As each year begins, Notary professionals should look back and analyze the year -- how their businesses have grown and been enhanced, what works, what doesn’t. More importantly, they should plan steps that can be taken now to ensure continuing growth! In this open forum, Elaine Wright-Harris shares and discusses notarization tips, software applications, and best practices in evolving businesses – including working smarter through improved time management. Classroom delivery, 1 session, 4 hours (FREE)

GEN-365: Annual Notary Public Day. Calling All Notaries Public Professionals! This day is set aside each year to recognize Notaries Public for their service and contribution to national and international commerce. It is filled with teaching, discussion and special events by top industry executives and experts in the profession – often including officials from the Department of the Secretary of State. Workshop highlights from 2017 include: Building Business by Understanding Taxes, Embracing the Future: E-Notarization, Income Opportunities for Notaries, and 15 more! Hosted by Elaine Wright Harris. Lecture with classroom breakout sessions, 8 hours (FREE).

Supplemental Courses 

GEN-345: Marketing Your Notarial Services. Explore different marketing techniques to promote your notarial business. With the variety of notarial opportunities available, all notaries, notary signing agents, and licensed Maryland title insurance producers can increase their businesses by using variable techniques to capture their markets. Classroom delivery, 1 session, 3 hours.

GEN-374: Web Design for Notaries Public. To successfully grow a notary business in today’s market, a web presence on the Internet is a necessary extension to marketing your notarial services. Fast, secure, reliable hosting can make a significant impact on your bottom line! This course, designed specifically for Notaries Public, will introduce you to a website builder application that’s both easy and reliable. Traditional marking is fine, but a website will vastly expand your market outreach lightning-fast while adding credibility to your notary profession. Offered in a computer-lab, but feel free to bring your own laptop. Classroom delivery, 1 session, 3 hours.

GEN-375: Web Development for Notaries Public. This hands-on course takes Notaries Public step-by-step through a website builder application to create your own web page. No technical expertise or coding skills are required. Simply select the web design, add text, drag and drop images; and you’re ready to launch your own website that will make a lasting impression on customers. Marketing your notarial services suddenly becomes faster, easier, and more professional for as little as $10 a month. Prerequisite GEN-374. Offered in a computer-lab, but feel free to bring your own laptop. Classroom delivery, 1 session, 3 hours.

GEN-369: 21st Century Notary: Information Technology for the Mobile Notary. Run your home-based business like a big company using multiple smart devices, i.e. smart phone, tablets, and computers. Learn about Information Technology (IT) applications that utilize smart phones, cloud-based software that protects Non-public Personal Information (NPI) and how to synchronize data files and pictures across multiple devices. Classroom delivery, 1 session, 3 hours.

GEN-371: Notaries Public Protect Information (NPPI). Notaries Public can avoid potential penalties by protecting their client's Non-Public Personal Information (NPPI). Penalties may include commission suspension, fines, or criminal charges. Learn how to assess risks and determine preventative measures. Develop a plan to protect NPPI and effectively execute notarial duties in accordance with legal and professional requirements and standards. Classroom delivery, 1 session, 3 hours.

GEN-372: Electronic Journaling Simplified. Today's technology now provides "electronic" journaling through the app, NotaryAct, which runs on computers and most smart devices. NotaryAct affords Notaries Public with legal protection while safeguarding the public's trust that important documents are executed properly. Notarizations are performed in a legally compliant and secure manner by quickly capturing critical evidence of each transaction. NotaryAct is affordable. It includes features of the paper journal, while providing expanded and quicker data entry and retrieval. Classroom delivery, 1 session, 3 hours.