The Whole Notary

Carrie Christensen

What does “being “The Whole Notary” mean?  “The Whole Person implies, ” a person, spiritually, physically, and mentally in sync with life.: A concept from Philosopher, Dr. Mortimer J. Adler that suggests that the ideal life is to work towards a balance of these aspects. The Whole Foods moto begins, ” Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet ”  Their stores remind us that foods in their entirety are better for us than refined or processed. Notarizing documents is important and meaningful work and therefore it’s important to be on top of your game when working as a Notary.

Living a balanced life can help you stay focused and alert. The Whole Notary and The Whole Person are one in the same. Getting plenty of rest, healthy foods, exercise and water while making time for yourself, time for play and time with your family and friends helps in maintaining a balanced lifestyle which in turn can help your performance and decision making abilities. But that’s not all, as a Whole Notary, you’re prepared with your seal, journal, receipt book, pens, ID checking Guide and NPS Sourcebook. They are in a locked, safe place to which only you have access. When traveling, your supplies are in a locked brief case and your locked car. The Whole Notary knows the law and updates herself with the California Secretary of State website and NPS newsletters. He knows the do’s and don’ts of notarizations and doesn’t allow himself to fall into unsafe habits like not checking a signer’s ID because he has known his friend for 10 years. The Whole Notary sets boundaries and only does proper notarizations and doesn’t allow pressure from employers or friends who ask that he perform an improper notarization such as notarizing for someone who does not appear before him. She knows how to stand her ground if she discovers during a notarization that it cannot meet the standards California law sets forth. He knows how to professionally conduct himself when letting his clients know why a notarization can’t be completed.

The Whole Notary practices can save time, money, worry and stress. Be prepared, be rested and be happy.



Our supply department began sharing space with our seminar department when former manager Joy Buckley, initially located a few blocks away retired in March. The supply department is now operated by Carrie Christensen and Leah Cornelius. After a few weeks in the department, Ms. Christensen received a thank you card from an appreciative student. “Thanks, Kar, this is the first card I’ve received from a customer since working in supplies!” -Carrie

Going, Going Green.

Why shop at a Farmer’s market? Sometimes people can be so grabby and it can get so hot with no roof over your head. Arriving early doesn’t help because too many people have the same idea. The upside is buying at your local farmer’s market provides you with the freshest produce available. Fruit is allowed to ripen on it’s own, then picked and brought to the market in a matter of days. Sometimes food manufacturers gas their fruit to help it ripen while sitting in storage. (That can’t be good.) Farmer’s market produce is as fresh as you can get and that means more nourishment for you and you’re helping the environment. On average, food travels 1500 miles to get to your plate. Buying from your local farmer’s market uses less fuel and doesn’t require all the fancy packaging that creates more trash.


General Elections – S.O.S!

Leah Cornelius

This Fall, California will be electing some fresh eyes to the Secretary of State’s office. With Debra Bowen terming out and the primaries out of the way, the General Election campaigns are in full swing. Our choices are between Republican Candidate and Executive director of Pepperdine University’s Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, Pete Peterson, and Democrat and State Senator, Alex Padilla. While we at Notary Public Seminars don’t officially endorse either candidate, we do believe that everyone should exercise their right to vote, and to that end, we want to provide some basics on the candidates.

According to the Primary Elections Voters’ Guide (something the Secretary of State oversees and certifies as correct), Pete Peterson’s statement says that he is “running for Secretary of State to provide Californians with our first ‘Chief Engagement Officer,’ leading the fight to make California’s government more responsive, more transparent, and more accountable to voters and small businesses.” He mentions making politicians accountable for solving problems, not just moving up the political ladder and talks a lot about what he thinks can be done to make California more conducive to starting or maintaining a small business. You can visit his website for his 5-point plan. Peterson goes on to say “while I am not a politician, my unique résumé prepares me for this particular office. I will bring my background in civic engagement and private sector career in direct marketing to Sacramento to increase informed participation, while protecting the integrity of our ballot box.” Peter is endorsed by former Secretary of State Bill Jones, California Police Chiefs Association, and many local Republican groups.

Alex Padilla’s statement in the Primary Elections Voters’ Guide contends that he is the best candidate for the job, as his record as senator has included “working with both parties to pass more than 80 laws from improving education to protecting patients. He championed renewable energy, so by 2020, one-third of California’s electricity will come from renewables. Firefighters, police officers, and nurses support Padilla because he’s dedicated to keeping our communities safe, passing a law to prohibit felons from buying body armor.”  He, like Peterson, indicates that he will focus on creating jobs. You can view Padilla’s priorities hereAccording to the candidate’s campaign website, the MIT grad stresses the importance of taking advantage of available technologies to improve voting practices, to start businesses, and to create healthier communities. Padilla is endorsed by the Sierra Club, California League of Conservation Voters, and many Law enforcement and firefighters associations.

It appears as though neither candidate has made any official statements about any plans for changes to CA notary law, and neither campaign could be reached for comment on the topic, but we will keep you posted if there are any statements made.

Also, we should take a beat to remind everyone in this election season that you cannot charge a notarization fee for the following:

Notarizing nomination documents

Verifying nomination documents

Notarizing absentee ballot identification envelops

Verifying Circulators’ Affidavits


Student of the Month

Marisa bought a Best Buy Package and mailed her Certificate of Authorization to our company. The USPS didn’t forward her Certificate to our new address and it ended up pinging back and forth between our post office and hers. Thankfully, our savvy student had her letter certified. She and our staff were able to track it down and have it delivered to the correct address. Congrats, Marisa! When are we opening up our detective agency together?


kn u ndrstd wht I mn?

Pat O’Connell

If you are adept at figuring out text messages you receive on your “smart” phone, then you are better than me.  My phone, in fact, is so much smarter than I am, I need to take classes just to learn what my smart phone can do.  But if my smart phone was really smart, then it would translate those unintelligible text messages I’ve been receiving.  LOL.

So what does abbreviating words have to do with being a commissioned notary public?  Does AL stand for Alameda County or Alpine county? CO stand for Colusa County or Contra Costa County?  LA stand for Lake County, Lassen County or Los Angeles County?  MO stand for Modesto County, Mohave County or Monterey County?  SB stand for San Bernardino County or Santa Barbara County?  Maybe we are becoming lazy or complacent and not writing out complete words because we assume everyone knows what we mean.  Is the county of notarization important?  You bet it is. Remember, the County of notarization is where your feet are firmly planted on the ground.  Entering the incorrect County or, using initials for the County name that cannot be clearly identifiable, may have negative consequences for your client.

This new media age has us ramped up, speeded up and sent us flying down the information highway.  But as a notary public, it is better to roll along in the slow lane – slow and steady.  We are only as good as the last document we notarized.  But do not limit yourself to just writing out the “county of” names, be thorough when completing all the information required of you.  Printing or handwriting that is legible, t’s that are crossed and i’s that are dotted, signify the mark of an excellent notary. On another note, have you ever seen the abbreviation “S.S.” on a document and wondered what it stood for?

State of            ______________________)

County of         ______________________) S.S.

Importantly, it does not mean enter your client’s social security number!!! “S.S.” stands for the Latin word scilicet – where the act took place, the act being the physical place of notarization.  In modern terms it means venue.

Finally, I know how good it feels when people acknowledge our hard work.  Sometimes we just have to be satisfied with knowing we did a good job for someone.  Being thorough, complete and conscientious when performing your notary duties, I am certain, are greatly appreciated by the receiving agency of the documents.  On their behalf, I thank you for your good work.

Copyright © 2014 Notary Public Seminars Inc, All rights reserved

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