Notary 101 and Other Services


In the litigious society we live in, many documents need to be notarized for validation. Notarizing a document simply entails signing the document in front of a notary public. The notary public is an officer of the court, meaning they can witness the signing of documents. There are many types of notary services and they can differ from state to state. Florida notaries can perform marriage ceremonies, but here in New York, where I’m at, a notary cannot perform these marriage services.

Regular Notary

When signing before a notary public, you have to prove you are the person you say you are and the person named in the document. The most common method is producing a state issued photo identification, i.e. a drivers license. Most people have problems with the identification because they feel any identification is valid. First, the ID cannot be expired, an EXPIRED identification is not valid. Second, the ID has to be issued by a government agency, i.e. driver’s license, state identification, state benefit card with picture and signature, to name a few. Certain situations will arise where the person has no valid identification. In many instances, you can use a witness, or two, that will confirm the individual’s identity.

Notarizing Minors

Special situations call for different approaches when dealing with a tricky notary. In immigration matters, a child may be needed to submit an affidavit for a family member, and it has to be notarized. How do you notarize when a child has no government issued ID? Not all kids have passports, so this kind of notary must be handled differently. Personally, I ask one of the child’s parent to be present with their valid ID and the child’s birth certificate. Immigration applications have increased and the need to notarize these kind of documents has also been on the rise. Make sure you ask what is needed and be ready to provide what was requested from you. There are no set rules on how to do these types of notaries, make sure you ask what the notary requires or the service.

Notarizing in a Hospital Setting

Hospital notarizations are tricky and not done by all notaries. Many hospital notaries are emergency situations where the signer can be really sick, possibly terminal, and/or having surgery. Others are just in that setting and must handle matters during their stay. When dealing with sick people, who are possibly medicated, you must first see the person and how they interact with others around them. Listen to the details they use in their speech, their level of lucidity, and other body language cues that can be used to measure the person’s level of competence. Pay attention to the people present, who might have an interest in what is about to be notarize. Are they trying to fleece the signer or take advantage of the person and their property? Individuals in hospitals are usually in a vulnerable state and can be easily manipulated. As a notary, you must learn to detect the signs of abuse, neglect and/or manipulation, especially when Powers of Attorney are involved. Listen to how the family interacts with each other and with the signer. Be prepared to stay for at least 1/2 while you gauge the situation.

Rules and laws governing notaries differ greatly across the country. Make sure you check with your state on the costs, since prices vary and some notary publics like to take advantage and charge more than the state allows. In New York State, a notary can only charge $2.00 per notarized signature. I’ve seen notaries charge up to $10.00, although this is allowed in other states, like California, it is not allowed in New York. Notaries can offer a wide range of services, not just the notarization of documents. Many notaries offer mobile services, apostille services (American paperwork that is going to be used in a foreign country), among other services. Talk to your local notary before you seek services elsewhere. Chances are, they can offer the service you need, and usually are properly trained to offer the service.

The Time is Now – Repair Your Credit Today

FullSizeRenderWelcome to a new year. A time to start over and a time to fix our past errors. One of the biggest mistakes people often make is not taking care of their credit. Whether noticeable or not, credit affects our day to day lives, regardless of using the credit or not. Knowing how to use credit correctly can open many doors, like:

  • Better rates on mortgages and refinances
  • No or low interest rates on credit cards
  • Lower rates on car loans
  • Better insurance rates, whether life, auto, etc.
  • Positive results on job screenings that perform credit checks
  • Better housing options

Having good credit is important and you need to stay on top of it. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to dispute all inaccurate, erroneous and obsolete information. Information being reported that is wrong can be legally removed from your credit reports. This goes for anything and everything, including but not limited to:

  • Foreclosures
  • Student loans
  • Late payments
  • Bankruptcies
  • Repossessions
  • Child support
  • Charge offs
  • Public records
  • Collections
  • Judgements
  • Tax liens

Martinez Consulting Services will help repair your credit and teach you the necessary tools to help you achieve your credit goals, whether it’s to be debt free, buy a house, buy a car or take that dream vacation. The possibilities are endless if you take control of your credit and finances today. To request information or to get started, please send your contact information with preferred method and time of contact to


Other Services we Offer:

Notary Services

  • Mobile Notary
  • Apostille Services
  • Signing Agent Services

Business Services

  • Business Formation
  • Licensing/Permit Application
  • Consulting Services
  • Credit Services

Individual Services

  • Document Preparation
  • Typing Services
  • Credit Repair/Analysis
  • Translation Services (Spanish/English)
  • Fingerprinting

Lorraine Martinez
Mobile Notary, Business and Certified Credit Consultant
Martinez Consulting Services Corp.
P.O. Box 506
Bronx New York 10459
347-947-0084 Tel/Text
800-957-4405 Fax