Dear Members,

Hello and welcome to the July/August/September edition of the INM newsletter. You’ll find a table of contents just below this introduction with links to each article.

Table of Contents

01. Notary 101 Workshop
02. INM President’s Message
03. Do You Know What to do if a Service Animal Comes into Your Business?
04. Notary Mistakes Get Incumbent Kicked Off The Ballot
05. Marriage 101: What You Need to Know and Some Things You May Not Realize.
06. Notarious Q&A
07. Networking 101: Remembering Names
08. Welcome New Members!

Notary 101 Workshop

Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014

Time: 12:00pm Registration/Sign-In (lunch is not provided) / 1:00pm – 4:00pm Sponsored Event

Place: Department of Public Safety (State Fire Marshall’s Office, Public Safety Complex), Central Maine Commerce Center, Florian Hall (conference room) – 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta, ME 04330

Cost: $35 Members/$50 Non-Members OR $55 to attend and become an INM Member/$60 to attend and renew INM Membership.

Click here to register now.

Last day to register is October 12 (Any late registrations will be returned unprocessed. Please note: walk-ins will not be allowed to enter so be sure to register early as seating is limited!)
INM is pleased to once again partner with the Secretary of State’s Office to present a Notary 101 workshop this fall. Instructors – Cathy Beaudoin, State Notary Officer will present the workshop and INM Board Members and Staff will be on hand to answer any INM related questions. Seating is limited to 120 attendees; be sure to register early, as this workshop sold out very quickly last year! This three (3) hour workshop will feature information for the new notary as well as for the experienced notary!

A variety of topics will be covered, such as:
•  powers and duties of notaries,
•  best notary practices,
•  when should the notary not act,
•  acceptable forms of identification,
•  record keeping requirements,
•  use of the seal,
•  fee schedule,
•  conflict of interest; and
•  notary forms.

Many sample forms will be reviewed during this workshop. This will allow all attendees to ask questions and help give a clear understanding of when it is best to use each type of form – some of the forms are:
•  jurats,
•  acknowledgments,
•  affidavits,
•  oaths, and
•  sworn statements.

Questions now? Call 207-619-0806 or email: mike.richard@informednotariesofmaine.org or INM supplies and publications will be on sale.
Café on site – come early, order lunch, and network with colleagues before the seminar begins. Check out their menu online at: http://www.brittscafe.com


INM President’s Message

To the INM membership, following the majority vote not to dissolve our organization, a handful of members stepped forward to volunteer their time and energy for the task of guiding the Informed Notaries of Maine in its mission of providing educational workshops to Maine notaries. Your volunteer leaders are as follows:

Directors: Frances Reed, Ogunquit; Karen Dow-Butler, Acton; Susan Parsons, Gorham;
Marilyn Amoroso, Gorham; Tammy Wheeler, Saco, and Taanya Pillsbury, Oxford (Past President)

Officers: Acting Secretary, Tammy Wheeler, Saco; Treasurer, Christine Wolfe, Wiscasset;
Vice President, Nina Rochette, Brunswick; President, Michael Richard, Saco

My sincere appreciation is extended to these leaders for their efforts and determination. I also thank the past officers and directors for their years of volunteer service to the organization: Kathy Montejo; Kathryn Darrah; Victoria Baldwin-Williams; Linda Morin, and Michael Lapham.

Our current challenge is to learn all functions of the INM, expand our team of volunteer leaders, and develop the procedures and controls needed to get all areas of service back on line. To date, we have provided a wedding workshop in June of this year, and we are planning a notary 101 workshop in Augusta on October 16, 2014, and our 2015 Annual meeting and conference is planned for April 16, 2015 in the Bangor Area. We are maintaining and updating the website, and have reopened the shop with your critical notary supplies. We are doing all this exclusively with volunteers from within our membership. If you are looking for an opportunity to develop or sharpen your leadership skills while giving back to the community of fellow notaries in Maine, do we have an opportunity for you! Just contact one of us for details. We are willing to accept whatever amounts of time you are able to share.

We look forward to meeting all of you at a future event!

Warm regards.

Mike Richard, President
Informed Notaries of Maine


Do You Know What to do if a Service Dog Comes into Your Business?

By Frances Reed

Do you know what to do if a service animal comes into your business? While some businesses allow dogs at any time, if your business does not, a service animal on your doorstep may cause you some anxiety. Fortunately, the laws concerning service animals are straightforward and easy to follow.

When we think of service animals, many of us think “seeing eye dog.” But service animals perform many functions, even for people who may not appear to need a service animal. Service animals can calm those with PTSD, remind people to take medicine, or assist someone having a seizure. You may have no indication that the dog is anything other than a pet, except for being told this by the owner.

Remember, a service animal is not a pet. These are highly skilled animals. Professional training for certain service animals can cost upwards of $50,000, or a pet can be owner-trained.

What should you do when a person with a service animal comes into your establishment? First, put aside your skepticism. We tend to think that if we can’t see a handicap, it does not exist. I used to experience this first-hand. In the years leading up to my father’s death, he was legally handicapped. His cancer had spread to his leg bones, and he walked with crutches, a walker, or used a wheelchair, depending upon his pain on any given day. When I would park him in a handicap space, people treated him with kindness and respect. In the months leading to my mother’s death, she was legally handicapped. Her cancer made her breathing labored, and spread to her brain, so she often was forgetful about things like where the car was parked. When I would park her in a handicap space, people would look upon us with derision, because they could not see her handicap. And so, when faced with a service dog, even if it has no identification as such, please assume that it is in fact a service dog.

The ADA states:

When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. This means that you must allow a service dog into any area where you would allow guests. If you own a restaurant, the service dog must be allowed into any dining room, but not into the kitchen, for example.

Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other patrons, treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals. In addition, if a business requires a deposit or fee to be paid by patrons with pets, it must waive the charge for service animals.

I know it seems as if you have no control in your own establishment when it comes to service animals. This is not the case.

The ADA also states:

If a business such as a hotel normally charges guests for damage that they cause, a customer with a disability may also be charged for damage caused by himself or his service animal.

Staff are not required to provide care or food for a service animal.

A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.

To state this another way, you can have the service animal removed under the conditions above.

Keep in mind that a person with a service animal does not need to give you advance warning about the animal when reservations are made. Because the ADA states that you cannot treat the disabled person differently than any other patron, there is no need for the reservation to mention the animal.

Finally, you will notice that I often use the word “animal” instead of “dog”. This is because miniature horses can be trained as service animals, too.

For more information on this topic, go to: http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.pdf


Notary Mistakes Get Incumbent Kicked Off The Ballot

By Michael Lewis on August 07, 2014 in Notary News

All it took was a few mistakes by two Notaries to get an incumbent state legislator kicked off the ballot for the November election.

And because Rep. Reggie Fullwood of Jacksonville, Florida, was running unopposed, it could cost the state more than $200,000 to have a special election, according to local media reports.

Fullwood’s issues began when he filed his candidate’s paperwork — which included a jurat — with the Division of Elections in the state capital of Tallahassee. Later that day, he got a call from the Division to let him know that the Notary had forgotten to sign the jurat.

The next day was the filing deadline. He completed the paperwork a second time and had a second Notary execute the jurat. About 10 minutes before the deadline, he got another call from the Division of Elections informing him that the second Notary had not marked the space saying how the politician had been identified.

By then, Fullwood was back in Jacksonville and there was not enough time to return to Tallahassee. So for the time being, nobody was going to be on the November ballot for House District 13.

Fullwood has filed a lawsuit challenging the Division’s actions. If he loses the challenge, Duvall County will have to hold a special election to fill the seat. Even if he wins, Fullwood and the state will have to bear the legal costs.

Mistakes with notarization are a common reason for challenging candidate paperwork, ballot petitions and other election-related documents. The simplest mistake can have serious consequences.

National Notary Association Vice President of Legislative Affairs Bill Anderson said a journal entry likely would have helped in Fullwood’s case. However, Florida does not require Notaries to keep a record of their notarizations.

“In most journals, the Notary would record what type of identification the Notary used to identify that signer,” Anderson said. If the Notary in this case kept that kind of information, that record would be able to show how the signer was identified.

In general, Anderson noted that journals also would help the governor’s office, which oversees Notaries, to check into complaints made about Notary misconduct.

A measure that would have required Florida Notaries to maintain a journal failed to pass the state legislature this year. The Bill’s sponsor, Rep. Darren Soto of Kissimmee, said he plans to reintroduce the bill in the next session.

Michael Lewis is Managing Editor of member publications for the National Notary Association.


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Email us at editor@informednotariesofmaine.org


Marriage 101: What you need to know and some things you may not realize about the marriage process.

You may be the Notary Public performing a marriage ceremony but are you completely comfortable with what your responsibilities are? Do you know what the process is before you stand in front of the couple being wed? Do you know what the things are that could cause the license to not be accepted at the clerk’s office? Well, let’s do a marriage 101 from start to finish.

Marriage registration includes several steps: filing intentions, obtaining the license, solemnizing the marriage and filing the certificate after the ceremony is performed. The marriage license process starts in the Town Clerk’s office with the filing of marriage intentions. If both parties to a marriage reside in separate municipalities within the State of Maine, they are no longer required to file notice of intentions is separate municipalities. Residents of the State intending to be joined in marriage shall record notice in the office of the clerk of the municipality in which at least one of them reside. Nonresidents may obtain their license from any municipality in Maine.

Previously married persons must present, to the municipal clerk, a certified copy of a divorce decree, divorce certification or death certificate, indicating how the last marriage ended. There is a 21 day waiting period for divorced people who want to remarry unless a waiver is obtained from the court. The clerk, after both parties have completed the marriage intentions, will transfer that information over to the marriage license and produce a copy the couple will take to the officiant. Both parties must appear in the clerk’s office to sign the marriage license before it may be issued.

Applicants must be 18 years of age to obtain a marriage license without parental consent. Please verify that the marriage license contains the parental consent on the back for applicants 16 and 17 years of age. Applicants younger than 16 years of age must have judicial consent. First cousins who wish to marry must provide a certificate of genetic counseling from a physician.

A marriage license is issued to the couple and they are required to verify that all information recorded on the license is correct. Errors caught at the time of issuance can be easily corrected. Errors not caught at the time of issuance will need to be corrected by the use of a VS-7 form which will include a $60 fee if the error is not caught within 90 days of the date of marriage.

A marriage license is required for a marriage to be solemnized in Maine. Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days after the date upon which the marriage intentions are filed. The officiant must verify that the marriage license is valid on the day of the ceremony and that both parties have signed the license. For incarcerated persons and /or in the case where the death of either the bride or groom is imminent, that person will sign the license at the time of the ceremony, in the presence of the officiant.

Marriage licenses must be signed in black ink only. The ENTIRE marriage ceremony section must be completed. It is required that two witnesses be present to sign the marriage license and the officiant cannot be a witness. Make sure that all information is legible! Do not seal the document with a notary seal. After the marriage ceremony the officiant has 7 days to return the marriage license to the town from which it was issued. Under no circumstances should this duty be assigned to the bride or groom or any member of the wedding party.

Once the completed marriage license is returned to the Clerk’s Office the clerk will make sure the license has been properly completed and then will transfer over the ceremony section information onto the official marriage license that is filed with the Office of Vital Records. Once the marriage license is filed in the Clerk’s Office, a certified copy may be purchased to be used for legal purposes.

A Notary Public is required to make and keep a record of all marriages performed. Therefore, based on the language in this section of law, a Notary Public is required not only to make a written record in a notary record book, but also to keep a copy of the actual signed license.

And that is a marriage 101 from a Town Clerk/Notary Public point of view.


Notarious Q&A

By Mike Richard, INM President

Here are a few questions directed to INM recently:

Q: I am a Notary Public here in Maine, and I understand that a record of (non-marriage) Notarial Acts is not required, but is recommended. I perform Notarial services for my employer and I wondered if the employer could require a log be kept of notarial acts? They are not currently making this a requirement, however, they are strongly recommending it.

A: Like you, I mostly perform notarial services for my employer, but, I have always maintained a log book.  Your employer can certainly request that you maintain a log of your notarial acts. You are not legally required to maintain the log (except for marriages you perform) but you might not wish to disregard such a “strong request” by your employer.
Since attending a number of notarial workshops presented by representatives from the Maine Secretary of State’s office at INM workshops, I have increased the documentation in my log by having the person whose signature I am notarizing sign in the spot provided in the log and (in cases where they are not personally known to me) I record the form and number of the ID(s) presented at the time of the notarization.
The value of this extra information/documentation will become evident should you ever be asked to appear in a court proceeding relating to your notarial act.  You are quite correct that it is not required in Maine except for marriages, but you may wish to be better safe than sorry.

Q: How do I print my member certificate and membership card from the INM Website?

A: When Logged on to the Website, look for the “View Profile” link in the upper right of your screen


Click the “View Profile” link and look for the “Member Certificate” and “Membership Card” links.


Click and print the pdf file associated with either link.

Q: My Notary seal and Log book is missing and possibly stolen. What should I do?

A: I spoke with the Secretary of State’s office about this. There is no “formal” procedure to address the loss of your notary seal and log book. However, it is suggested that the loss of the seal and log, etc. should be reported in writing to the Secretary of State’s office in order that you are on record in case of false/fraudulent notarial acts later committed by unauthorized persons that may be in possession of your notary seal and log book. You should then reorder your notary seal in a different style, in order to be able to differentiate the old (stolen/lost) seal from the replacement seal. That way, should you be called to testify in court, you can clearly show that any notary acts performed with the old credentials after the date you notified the State of the theft, were not your notarial acts. That is about the best you can do to protect yourself since fraudulent notarial acts will usually only come to the attention of the authorities if they are contested in a legal setting since few notarial acts are required to be reported to the authorities.

Q: I am an attorney and a notary.  I have known my client since 2009.  His only government- issued photo ID (Maine driver’s license) expired last October. He has no other and will not be able to get another.  Can I notarize a document for him now, based on my knowledge of him these past five years, including during the years his ID was valid?  Or must he have a currently valid ID document for me to notarize now?

A: According to the Notary Public Handbook and Resource Guide published by the Secretary of State’s Office, (available at: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/notary/notaryguide.pdf) page 11: Among the items that should be recorded in a notary’s log book relating to the identity of the client would be
1) a statement that the person is “personally known” to the notary public;

2) a notation of the type of identification document, its issuing agency, its serial or identification number, and its date of issuance or expiration; or

3) the signature, printed name and address of each credible witness swearing or affirming to the person’s identity. If the credible witnesses are not personally known to the notary public, a description of identification documents [of the credible witness(es)] relied on by the notary.

In your instance, your statement that the person is personally known to you should be sufficient, unless there is a possibility that the notarial act might be called into question. In that instance, the “Credible Witness” option should be employed.

Q: Can a Notary Public use a credible witness to verify the identity of a person unknown to the
Notary Public or who does not have a government issued identification card?

A: As a general guideline, the Secretary of State suggests that a Notary Public only use the credible witness process with a witness that is personally known to the Notary Public. The Notary Public should unconditionally trust this person to take their word on the identity of another.  If a Notary Public uses this credible witness process, the notarial certificate should reflect that a credible witness was used in the language of the notarial certificate.
This would not be the first option to exercise by the Notary Public; instead, if appropriate, require the signer to acquire proper identification.

Do you have a question for INM?

Send your questions to editor@informednotariesofmaine.org

We would love to hear from you!


Networking 101: Remembering Names

By Frances Reed

We all know what an impression it makes in business when someone remembers our name. You can’t help but to want to do business with someone who thinks you’re important enough to remember your name. But what do you do if you aren’t good at remembering names?

First, if you can’t remember someone’s name, is it possible that it’s because they never told you? A few weeks ago someone came to my office, had a lengthy conversation with my boss and me, and when he left, I turned to my boss and said, “Who was that?” I knew the name of his business, based on the conversation topics, but didn’t recognize him. She told me, and I realized that although I have spoken to him on the phone and emailed, I have never “met” him! I didn’t know his name because he had never told me, and we had never been introduced.

Pat McGaughey, in his Chamber Mentor blog, suggests I do two things. First, while I’m shaking their hand I should say, “Hi, I’m Frances,” and hope that they reciprocate. People often mirror those they are around, so they will likely follow suit with their name. But not always. So, if that doesn’t work, I need to be more direct. “Please forgive me but I’m at a disadvantage here and your name has left me,” or “Your name is important to me, please refresh my memory.” Now they may get slightly offended, but keep in mind that I gave them a chance to say their name earlier and they didn’t take it, so chances are they never told me their name, even when we met previously!

There are other things we can do to remember names — pay attention to the person and the conversation… stop worrying over the small talk you’re going to have to come up with later – live in the moment. Repeat his or her name out loud. This one works well for me, because I am an aural learner. Bring your glasses so that you can read nametags.

Remembering someone else’s name is only half of the battle in networking. How do you make sure that they remember you?

First … wear that nametag, and make sure it is legible! If you think you have lousy handwriting, have someone else write it for you. Nametags should be worn on the right side, because that’s the side you put forward when you extend your hand to shake. If you are at a conference where your nametag is given to you on a lanyard, print your first name in big letters on the back of your nametag, because you know that by Murphy’s Law, it’s going to turn backward.

Second … say your name. Even if you have already met the person (OK, maybe not if you had dinner with them the night before). Remind them of where you met. “Dawn, Frances Reed. Gosh, I haven’t seen you since you volunteered at the last workshop!”

One final thing: if you still can’t remember someone’s name, and you are embarrassed to admit it to them, discreetly ask someone else. They may know it, or they may be willing to go up and introduce themselves to the other person to find out the name. Either way, you win!
Next newsletter … the handshake.

Welcome New Members!

June – August 2014

Michelle Lamoreau, Augusta

Tina Turgeon, Biddeford

Debra Nutter, Benton

Maureen Catalano, Lewiston

Dana McLaughlin, Greenbush

Wayne Berthiaume, Biddeford

Catherine McDonald, Wells

Tina LaBelle, South China

Carmen Wilkinson, Madison

Lisa Caristinos, South Portland

Anna Levesque, Bangor

Victoria Bryant, Augusta

Raymond Levesque, Ellsworth

Jessica Gabbard, Durham

Renate Thompson, Standish

Ellen Lachapelle, Windham

Neil Bryson, Westbrook

Keita Whitten, LCSW, Portland

Alexis Wollstadt, Old Town

Hope Peterson, Andover

Kelly Woitko, Fryeburg

On behalf of the membership and the board of Directors, we welcome you to the INM, and congratulate you on making a commitment to your future as a notary in the state of Maine! INM has as its purpose:

  • to educate Notaries about the legal, ethical, and technical facets of performing notarial acts,
  • to develop and promote the highest ethical principles for Notaries,
  • to act as a center to promote uniform laws and regulations, and
  • to increase the public awareness and understanding of the Notary’s role.

Please consider getting involved as a member of a committee or by serving on the Board of Directors.