Protect yourself from everything from pit bulls to petty lawsuits with these mobile notary pro tips.
It’s an on demand world, and the days of “bankers’ hours” are long gone. With companies like Uber and Airbnb changing the way business is done in all kinds of industries, it’s only a matter of time before notary publics have to keep up with the times, too. That’s why mobile notaries are the wave of the future: They bring their services right to the doorsteps of people who need them, and they don’t make anyone rearrange their busy lives to deal with an old fashioned office schedule.
Mobile notaries are definitely cutting edge — so much so, in fact, that you may be wondering where the rule book is. Just what should you do to protect yourself in this relatively new field?
No worries. We’ve got great advice to help get you started. Here are seven important ways to protect yourself as you begin your adventures as a mobile notary:
1. Secure Your Surety Bond
Sometimes mistakes happen — and sometimes they can be costly. Every notary public needs to have a surety bond that will cover monetary damages if a mistake ends up costing the state money. Since you probably don’t have thousands of dollars lying around, a bond guarantees the money will be paid if anything goes wrong.
2. Consider Additional Liability Insurance
Just like doctors have malpractice insurance, a notary should consider picking up additional insurance to cover damages. Notary Public Errors and Omissions insurance is usually inexpensive and offers you peace of mind. If you ever need to use that bond money, you’ll be glad you have this insurance coverage to pay it back.
3. Speaking of Insurance…
As a mobile notary, you’re going to be in your car. A lot. Make sure you have great car insurance coverage to protect you from nasty surprises. You might want to increase your liability coverage beyond the minimum. Adding glass and collision coverage can also be a good idea, especially if your car is still relatively new.
4. Have an Emergency Kit in Your Car
Your car might start feeling like your second home, and it makes sense to make it as safe as you can in the event of a break down. Keep a working jack, jumper cables, extra windshield washer fluid, flares, a snow brush/ice scraper, blanket and bottles of water in an emergency kit in your trunk. You should also have a phone charger up front. Bonus points if you keep a travel umbrella in your glove compartment as well.
5. Keep Pepper Spray in Your Pocket
You’ll probably never need it, but pepper spray is a really useful deterrent for snarly, unleashed dogs. You just never know when someone’s pit bull might be on the loose in the neighborhood you’re visiting, but a quick shot of pepper spray will send even the meanest junkyard dog away whimpering before he even gets close.
6. Go Back to School
Not all states require coursework for notaries, but taking a class to brush up on your skills is a great way to prevent mistakes. Find one in your state and sign up — it’s guaranteed to be an afternoon well spent!
7. Stay Sharp and Fresh
One last tip: Don’t let anyone catch you off your game. Make sure you are always dressed professionally and protect yourself from potential embarrassment with a tin of mints in your glove box. After all, you don’t want to make a terrible first impression by knocking a client dead with your coffee breath! Altoids or Tic Tacs are an easy fix.