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Notary Notes

The Basis for Disciplinary Actions

by PAN
Each issue of Notary Notes includes an article called "Disciplinary Actions." This is a list of the disciplinary actions taken by the Department of State for violations of the notary public law.

If you read these articles, you'll soon notice that most of the violations concern notaries who do not require personal appearance of their customers; and do not keep an accurate and chronological journal. sometimes, the Department of State deems punished notaries as being unfamiliar with the duties of a notary public. Punishments range from fees and probationary costs, commission suspensions or probations, successful completion of a notary education course, or the revocation of the notary's commission.

Of course, there is an entire list of acts and omissions the Department of State views as a basis for disciplinary actions. Here are 15 acts and omissions which demonstrate that an individual "lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a notary public."
  • Notarizing his or her own signature or statement
  • Notarizing a spouse's signature or statement when the notary or spouse has a direct or pecuniary (financial) interest in the record
  • Notarizing records which are blank or records which contain blank spaces
  • Postdating or predating notary acts
  • Altering a document after it has been notarized
  • Issueing a personal check to a State agency or the Commonwealth without enough funds on deposit
  • Performing a notary act within Pennsylvania when the person was not commissioned as a notary or was not authorized to perform a notary act
  • Performing a notary act in another state under the authority of the notary's Pennsylvania commission
  • Making a representation that the notayr has powers, qualifications, rights or privileges that the notary does not have
  • Using the term "notario" or "notario publico" or any non-english equivalent term which misrepresents the authority of the notary
  • Engaging in the unauthorized practice of any regulated profession, including law
  • Endorsing or promoting a product, service, contest or other offering by using the notary's title or official stamp
  • Executing a notary certicate that contains a statement that the notary knows to be false
  • Using the notary's official stmap for a purpose other than to perform a notary act
  • Using another notary's stamp or embossing seal to perform a notary act

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