Friday, June 8, 2012

Spanish Mobile Notary Public

NNA does a good job at explaining the functions of a Notary in the USA and other Spanish speaking countries: in Hispanic countries, Notarios Publicos are highly trained legal professionals akin to attorneys who provide legal advice and draft legal documents.

In the United States, however, Notaries are state-commissioned officials with narrow witnessing duties and much less discretion. Many unethical individuals exploit the confusion over these different roles to take advantage of unsuspecting immigrants.

For four decades, the National Notary Association has worked to educate Notaries, government officials and the general public about Notario abuse.

One of the most important resources is a booklet entitled “What Is A Notary Public”, which explains in English and Spanish the lawful role of U.S. Notaries and how it differs from that of Notarios.

In June 2011, the federal government announced an unprecedented, multi-agency, nationwide initiative targeting immigration assistance scams and the unauthorized practice of law — often involving individuals falsely holding themselves out as Notarios Publicos. The NNA fully supports this initiative to combat abuses of consumers and immigrants.

Great info from 123Notary also provides some notes about Spanish Notary Public

If you live in Los Angeles, or New York, learn Spanish. You will need it regularly. These days, Spanish-only speaking people are moving all throughout the United States, so we all need to learn at least some Spanish. If you only know a little bit, don't try to pass yourself off as bilingual. But, the notary needs to be able to communicate directly with the signer, and not through their daughter who was born in America and is fluent in English. When they call you to do the notary job, they will not tell you that the mother speaks no English, since their in-house interpreter is always there. You need to know phrases like, "Do you understand what this document means?". "Do you swear that the contents of this document are correct?". "Please sign here". "Do you have identification?"

If you are a notary who speaks English and another language, you are considered bilingual. Some notaries speak many languages. The most common foreign language is Spanish, but there are many other popular languages. Bilingual notaries are a popular choice for lenders to hire if a signer or their family feels more comfortable with a particular language. Some signers don't understand English at all, and they absolutely have to have a bilingual notary signing agent. 
When Notaries study for the exam to receive their Notary commission, they will read about the advertising rules: The laws for foreign language advertising differ from state to state. It is illegal in many states to use the Spanish translation of the word Notary Public and perhaps illegal to use translations of the word notary public into other languages as well. If you advertise in a foreign language, its safer to use the English term "Notary Public" in the midst of the foreign language and explain that you are not an attorney and can not give legal advice.+

Some words of advice for new notaries as well as Spanish speakers trying to notarize their documents:  If the signer doesn't speak English, don't use an interpreter. 
The notary is required by law to be able to communicate DIRECTLY with the signer. If the notary knows enough of the language to communicate enough to get the job done, thats fine. Don't allow relatives to interpret for you during your notary work. Its not legal.
If you can't communicate directly enough to get the job done, cancel the signing. Stay within the law!+


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