Professor Closen’s Notary Best Practices Guide Book
Professor Closen’s Notary Best Practices: Expert’s Guide to Notarization of Documents, $29, is an excellent 490-page, 6″ W x 9″ H, desktop reference book for notaries.
Michael Closen is Professor Emeritus from John Marshall Law School, has written many books and professional articles on notary law and has served as a subject matter authority, consultant and expert witness on notary law in court cases.
Notary Best Practices was published in 2018 by the National Notary Association (NNA) and serves as a professional guide book for notaries when state notary laws (statutes) are silent or vague. Notary laws vary by state and cannot cover every possible situation that a notary may encounter.
As a ministerial public official, a notary has a duty of office to know and follow state notary laws. When the statutes are silent, the notary has a common law duty to exercise reasonable care, or a high degree of care at times, which includes following notary best practices.
Notary Best Practices Standards
This valuable reference book defines more than 230 best-practice standards for notaries, organized into 30 chapters. The best practices included in this book tell notaries  what to do,  how to do it, and  why to do it.
A best practice is generally accepted as proper by the great majority of expert practitioners and notary regulators, persisting over time, and representing the most reasonable and prudent approach to a notarial issue. Courts often use best-practice standards to fill gaps in state notary laws and rules when rendering legal decisions.
List of Chapters, Best Practices Guide Book
- Notary Qualifications
- Notary Jurisdiction and Venue
- Notary Advertising
- Acknowledgment Notarizations
- Jurat (Verification on Oath or Affirmation) Notarizations
- Signature Witnessing Notarizations
- Notary’s Certificate of Notarization
- Notary’s Official Seal
- Personal Presence Requirement for Document Signers at Notarizations
- Identifying Document Signers
- Name and Signature Requirements for Document Signers and Notaries
- Notary as Public Official, Not a Lay Witness
- Assessing Document Signer Mental Competence
- Assessing Document Signer Willingness
- Oaths and Affirmations for Jurat (Verification) Notarizations
- Signing by Mark and Physical Disabilities Affecting Signing
- Notary Journal Records
- Document Signer Confidentiality and Privacy
- Notary Ethics and Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
- The Savvy Notary and Avoiding Liability
- When Notary Statutes and Regulations are Silent
- Notary Discipline and Commission Expiration and Renewal
- Notary Bonds and Liability Insurance
- Proper Roles of Notary-Employees and Their Employers
- Attorneys, Notary-Attorneys and Conflicts of Interest
- Avoiding the Notary’s Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL)
- Interstate and International Recognition of Notarial Acts
- Notary Fees and Travel Costs
- Notary Membership Organizations
- Notary Continuing Education
Note: The book does not cover electronic documents, electronic notarizations or electronic notary journals.
Notaries must follow state notary laws and rules and can reduce liability risk by using reasonable care and following the notary best practices explained in this book.