There are a few things that are critical for making sure your NYC traveling notary signing and/or NY apostille processing goes smoothly:
FOR NY MOBILE NOTARIZATIONS
1) Physical Presence: The signer(s) being notarized must be present at the time of the NY notarization.
2) ID: The signer(s) must have photo ID that covers the names shown on the document (for example, if your middle name is spelled out on the document, it must be spelled out on your photo ID). The ID can have more than the document, just not less.
3) The Document and the Names on the Document: You must have the document that is being notarized. A NY Notary is not permitted to draft documents or provide legal documents. We can, however, print the document for you that you email to us (see Pricing and Payment section). Note: Please try to print the documents at least 1 hr before the NY Mobile Notary arrives so that you have time to warn us if you have trouble printing and to give you time to proofread the document, especially making sure the name on the document is spelled correctly and checked against the signer’s ID. The ID can have more of the name than what is on the document, but not less. It is okay to use a commonly known nickname on your documents, like Jim for James (where “James” is on the ID, but document says “Jim”).
4) Blank Lines: We cannot notarize incomplete documents with incomplete blank lines (that you don’t have the information for) in the text above your signature line or just the last “signature page” without the rest of the document present.
5) Competency and Comprehension: All signers need to be competent to sign and be fully alert and be able to prove to the notary that they understand the contents being signed. Nodding is not sufficient. If the signer cannot speak, then he or she will need to be able to write out complete sentences to questions like: “Please explain what a Power of Attorney is or does?” We cannot notarize someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia or someone on medication that makes the signer extremely drowsy. You may need to go to court to be able to take over the signing responsibilities for someone if signing a document such as a Power of Attorney cannot be notarized because of these issues.
6) Foreign Language: Each signer needs to be able to explain what he or she is signing in English directly to the notary, without a translator. It is not a problem if the document is in a foreign language, but the notary wording that we sign has to be in English or we can provide the notary wording on a stamp.
7) Signature Issues: The signer needs to be able to sign in a way that resembles a signature, even if no longer looks like the original signature on an ID. If the signer can only make some kind of small mark or “x” on the signature line, then that is considered “signature by mark” and it adds additional layers of complexity that we are, unfortunately, not set up to handle.
…and One Recommendation: Please try to print your documents at least an hour before our appointment in case there is a problem with the printing (so there is time to fix it or run to a Kinkos) and to give you time to proofread the document (especially the names of the signers). Thanks.
FOR NY APOSTILLES
1) Correct Document: We need to make sure you have the right type of document. For example, for a birth certificate or death certificate to receive an apostille, it must be a long-form birth certificate and you must have a Letter of Exemplification from the NYC Department of Health or Vitalchek.com (the letter comes automatically when you check off “apostille” to answer why you need the birth or death certificate within the Vitalchek system. You need to write “for apostille” on the NYC Health Department application.)
2) Minor Margin Modifications: We will need to see the document in advance to make sure there is ample space for the State Department’s grommet (which can sometimes be placed a couple inches down the page) plus our NY notary stamps on the signature page.