Protecting your notary tools is of the utmost importance for notaries. If their stamps or journals get into the wrong hands, this could expose the notary and their customers to potential fraud and privacy breaches. Avoid fees and fines from negligence and the risk of losing your notary commission by using these best practices for protecting your notary stamp.
Do Not Let Others Use Your Stamp
Keeping your notary stamp out of the hands of the wrong people starts with making the conscious effort not to grant permission for others to use your tool. It is illegal to allow an employee, coworker, family member, or friend to use your stamping device. You were the one authorized to make notarizations, so you will be held responsible for any misuse of your stamp.
Do Not Leave Your Notary Stamp Unattended
If you need to step away from your notary tools for any reason, you need to secure them properly so they cannot be accessed by anyone else. This rule applies whether you are notarizing from home, the office, or a remote location.
Store Your Stamp Properly
When you need to step away from your notary stamp for any length of time, keep it in a locked area, such as a safe or a locked drawer. Some state laws specify how to store your stamp, so be sure to review these regulations prior to putting your tool away.
Report Lost or Stolen Notary Stamps
As soon as you lose your stamp (or suspect it was stolen), contact both your Secretary of State’s office and the police. You’ll want to describe the notary stamp, where and when you last had it, and any other helpful information. Once you have a complete police report, you’ll want to turn in a copy of this to your public notary administrator. The process for reporting lost or stolen notary stamping devices varies by state, so check your state’s regulations.
Destroy Your Old Notary Stamp
When a notary’s commission ends, many states recommend the notary public destroy their stamp. In the event a notary public resigns, dies, or is adjudicated, Pennsylvania’s guidelines state that the stamping device should be defaced, damaged, or secured in such a way that it is unusable.
Best Practices for Protecting Your Notary Stamp
A notary’s job is dependent on the safekeeping of their tools. By following these best practices, you can keep your notary stamp secure and protect yourself from any liabilities.
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