Join  |  Login  |   Cart    

Notary Rotary
Jail Notarizations
Notary Discussion History
 
Jail Notarizations
Go Back to March, 2009 Index
 
 

Posted by SANTA CLARITA MOBILE NOTARY on 3/11/09 1:59am
Msg #280271

Jail Notarizations

With regard to fees a notary charges to notarize documents at a California jail, prison or detention center. I charge a minimum of $150 to notarize at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, California on a weekday. This includes the $10 for one signature. The rest of the fee is for traveling, wait time, unforeseen circumstances, phone calls, overnight shipping of documents, etc. During weekedays, it generally takes an hour or more for notaries to get into the facility. On weekends it takes more time and I charge a minimum of $300-350 because there is a 3-4 hour wait in a long line and I have to ride on a bus just to get in the facility. If the inmate doesn't have a picture ID, the information of two credible witnesses must be recorded in the notary journal which takes additional time. What the general public doesn't know is that notaries must also pay for a lot of other things, such as insurance, memberships, training, advertising, supplies, phone calls, etc. It costs a lot to be a notary and keep up with the laws (especially in California). It can be very time consuming. Notaries have to really be "on the ball." So my question is this: Would you rather have a notary who will charge a cheaper price, or would you rather use a notary who knows what they're doing so your document is valid and done right the first time?

Reply by Shoshana Roller on 3/11/09 2:16am
Msg #280272

Just because a notary charges a lot of money, doesn't mean they know what they're doing! The items that you mention that the notary must pay for is simply the cost of doing business.

Reply by CaliNotary on 3/11/09 2:56am
Msg #280273

"It costs a lot to be a notary and keep up with the laws (especially in California)"

It doesn't cost anything to keep up with CA notary laws. You check the SOS website near the end of the year, they make it quite clear what changes the new year will bring.

"Would you rather have a notary who will charge a cheaper price, or would you rather use a notary who knows what they're doing"
"If the inmate doesn't have a picture ID, the information of two credible witnesses must be recorded in the notary journal which takes additional time."

Then it's time to lower your prices because you're obviously not familiar with all of the forms of acceptable ID in CA, which is BASIC stuff every notary should know. This is straight from the CA handbook section about what we can use as identification:

(e) An inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation, if the inmate is in custody.

But I do agree with your premise that notarizing at a prison requires more time and effort, and therefore a higher fee.


Reply by davidK/CA on 3/11/09 11:25am
Msg #280301

In my local County Jail the inmates do not have the proscribed "Identification Card". Instead they wear a plastic wristband issued by the local jail authorities, not by the California Department of Corrections. Although the wristband contains the inmate's digitized picture, the inmate's name may be abbreviated and thus not conform to the rules regarding "More or Less", and there is no physical description of the inmate shown on the wristband. Obviously, this ID does not conform to the requirements of California Law, yet the inmate is not allowed to carry or possess any identification beyond the wristband.

As a practical matter, it's impossible to obtain credible witness(s) for a specific prisoner inside the jail since the jailers are responsible for lots of other things and aren't available to perform such activities, should they even be willing to do so. It's eyes on the inmate, not eyes on some signature line in a book.

So as a practical matter, is it reasonable for the Notary Public to assume that the ID wristband alone meets the ID tests necessary to become "satisfactory evidence"? IMHO, I say yes this is one case where no other officially issued governmental ID is available and that the inmate possesses the only possible ID he/she is allowed by the governmental unit controlling the inmate. Perhaps the California Legislature will fix this issue in the future, but as it stands now the burden is placed on the Notary Public to make a decision to accept (or reject) ID that is technically unapproved by the state.

It's a judgment call as far as I can see it.

As to the charges for the assignment, I believe that there are such significant time issues to obtain the signature of a person in custody. IMHO, those time constraints do and should result in relatively higher fees.



Reply by CaliNotary on 3/11/09 11:32am
Msg #280302

"So as a practical matter, is it reasonable for the Notary Public to assume that the ID wristband alone meets the ID tests necessary to become "satisfactory evidence"?"

If that's what they're issued, then that's satisfactory evidence to me.

I think it's perfectly reasonable to assume that the Dept of Corrections has appropriately identified somebody before incarcerating them, and that if they bring you Joe Simth, it really is Joe Smith, even if the wristband says J. Smith.

Reply by BrendaTx on 3/11/09 11:41am
Msg #280303

Mention of "the inmate's name may be abbreviated and thus not conform to the rules regarding "More or Less", " makes me think of this...just commenting...

Many of the documents we see as notaries are not loan documents. The refi boom has certainly changed the way notaries look at signatures and signing documents...quite often, regular every day documents (besides loan docs) can be notarized/signed as the ID shows the name with no problem....no "matching" of the documents to ID required.

The name "matching" thing (especially discussed by the NNA) is/was absolutely a foreign concept for me as a "loan signer" notary...it was completely backwards to the way we learned before loan signers from the SoS...or in a law office (and YES my teachers DID know what he/she were talking about).

We notarized their signature, took their name off their ID...documents signed. More/less...to me that's so unreal. It's like the chicken/egg...which came first, the person or the loan documents. The person came first; you notarize the signature and ID who THEY are...now days notaries have to match ID to documents...it's just all backwards.

You'd have to have been around before loan signing...doing lots of different kinds of documents for years to understand what I'm getting at.

Aye-yi-yi....or however you spell it.

Reply by SANTA CLARITA MOBILE NOTARY on 3/14/09 2:35pm
Msg #280749

CaliNotary - You can "lower" your prices if you want. I'm sticking with mine. I know what I'm worth and I have a business to run. I barely make ends meet as it is.

Just for the record, I am "familiar with all of the forms of acceptable ID in CA, which is BASIC stuff every notary should know" and I most certainly would never go by "wristbands." I've been doing this a long time.

Uusually the requesting party can come up with the inmate's ID, or an older ID that has been issued within the past five years which is acceptable. Otherwise, I ask the requesting party to look for two credible witnesses with IDs who can verify the inmate's ID.

I just posted about the issue of jail notarization fees. The subject on IDs should be left for another topic.


Reply by RickG/CA on 3/11/09 11:22am
Msg #280300

"If the inmate doesn't have a picture ID, the information of two credible witnesses must be recorded in the notary journal which takes additional time."

Just curious as to where you find two credible witnesses at the jail, prison or detention center that will swear to:

1. The individual appearing before the notary public as the signer of the document is the person named in the document;

2. The credible witness personally knows the signer;

3. The credible witness reasonably believes that the circumstances of the signer are such that it would be very difficult or impossible for the signer to obtain another form of identification;

4. The signer does not possess any of the identification documents authorized by law to establish the signerís identity;

5. The credible witness does not have a financial interest and is not named in the document signed.

Number 2 possibly being the deal killer for me. And as someone else already noted, the ID card issued by the facility should suffice.

Reply by SOCAL/CA on 3/11/09 11:43am
Msg #280304

Please read the CA Handbook, page 8(e).

Reply by MrEd_Ca on 3/11/09 12:37pm
Msg #280313

... I have been at our local County Jail twice in the past 3 months, & each time the inmate has been able to get his drivers license from the property storage room for me. Both times it involves the inmate asking before hand that a Detention Officer retrieve the DL from a locked storage room or locker somewhere within the jail facility. It takes a while, & the first time the inmates attorney had made the prior arrangements for us.

After these two incidences, I'm thinking that in County detention facilities the inmates have access, via the Jailers & Detention Officers, to the required ID documents but in a State Prison facility, operated by the Dept of Corrections & Rehabilitation, these ID documents are simply not available, hence the ok for the use of the ID issued by the DCR for inmates in custody of the DCR.

This ability to retrieve the DL may not be the same in other County's, or maybe I just got lucky. I do know the 2nd time it happened, the DO was not happy & it sure took a long time. The first time, the DO had the ID in about 5minutes.

Reply by davidK/CA on 3/11/09 1:00pm
Msg #280316

My local County Jail doesn't work the way yours does, so the inmate has no access to any other ID beyond the wristband. And the local Federal Detention Center has it's own ID system totally different from the County Jail.

I had one situation where the documents clearly included a unique middle name which was not shown on the wristband. Of course the out-of-state attorney who scheduled the visitation for the inmate to sign a divorce agreement and property settlement had no idea about CA laws so I had to cancel the signing. After numerous phone calls the almost ex-wife was able to locate the inmates current driver's license and send it to me so that I could ID the inmate.

This is why I would suggest that CA made a modification to the ID rules so that a wristband ID would be acceptable for ID purposes. Hey, if CA can allow some tiny water district nobody ever heard of to issue acceptable ID written on plain paper with a rubber stamped title to be legally acceptable why not a wristband with the inmate's name and number and picture to meet the requirements?

BTW, the second trip to the jail took about four hours because it was lunch and guard break time and the inmate was in the third lunch group and couldn't be brought to the interview room until all movements stopped within the jail. So much for a fixed fee based on previous experiences.

Reply by CaliNotary on 3/11/09 4:24pm
Msg #280347

"This is why I would suggest that CA made a modification to the ID rules so that a wristband ID would be acceptable for ID purposes. Hey, if CA can allow some tiny water district nobody ever heard of to issue acceptable ID written on plain paper with a rubber stamped title to be legally acceptable why not a wristband with the inmate's name and number and picture to meet the requirements?"

They do allow it for ID purposes. The important thing is not that it's a card vs being a wristband, the important thing is that it's the identification issued to them by the prison.

I'm all for being a stickler for the ID rules, but I think it's getting into a ridiculous level of semantics to say that the same information printed on a card would be fine, but since it's printed on a wristband it's not fine.

Reply by Glenn Strickler on 3/11/09 12:35pm
Msg #280312

Fees

I don't use a flat travel/wait time fee for prison work. I charge per 1/2 hour for wait time. I give the fee structure in writing and have the client agree to it prior to my accepting the work, similar to an estimate a mechanic gives you before working on your car. I know each prison is different, but I am usually in and out in an hour or so at our local prisons. I was stuck in one for 8 hours during a riot and lockdown, but that is the exception, not the rule. I don't understand how you can justify charging for "unforeseen circumstances" unless they actually happen.

Reply by Angel Richard on 3/12/09 7:43am
Msg #280405

Is there anyone in Illinois that does Jail Notarizations? Haven't done any of those but would be interested. Thanks much!

Reply by SANTA CLARITA MOBILE NOTARY on 4/5/09 3:08pm
Msg #283685

Re: Fees and Identification

I believe I am fair in the notary fees I charge and comparable to what other notaries charge in my area.<br><br>
With regard to the issue of IDs, clients I've dealt with can usually provide an ID for the inmate; if not, they can usually come up with two "credible witnesses." Deputies at the facility I go to will not usually serve as witnesses. While ID cards issued by the Calif. Dept. of Corrections are acceptable forms of ID according to the SOS Handbook, the facility I go to uses wristbands which are not acceptable. It is not "satisfactory evidence that the wristband meets the ID test and it is not "perfectly reasonable to assume" the Dept. of Corrections has appropriately identified someone before incarcerating them. Iíve heard of inmates using other people's identities and getting away with it. I would never "assume" anything especially when it comes to being a notary.



 
Find a Notary  Notary Supplies  Terms  Privacy Statement  Help/FAQ  About  Contact Us  Archive  NRI Insurance Services
 
Notary Rotary® is a trademark of Notary Rotary, Inc. Copyright © 2002-2013, Notary Rotary, Inc.  All rights reserved.
500 New York Ave, Des Moines, IA 50313.