By Gerrie Pierre-Fleurimond—In continuing with my theme on safety, I have the following suggestions for new mobile notaries and notary signing agents. Even the experienced traveling notary may find some of these ideas useful.

  • Notaries should obtain an Automobile Association membership or similar road-side service if they do not already have one.
  • They should perform regular maintenance on the vehicle that they will use as a signer and keep all receipts for tax time.
  • Before going to an appointment, the notary should conduct a quick visual inspection all around the vehicle to see that the tires are okay.
  • The following items should always be in the car:
    • A copy of the automobile association policy card showing front and back
    • A flashlight with working batteries
    • A map of the coverage state or county
    • A cigarette lighter charger for the cellular phone
    • 8 quarters
    • Extra napkins or paper towels
    • 2 extra plastic bags or 2 large zippered clear bags
    • Bottles of water.
    • An extra pair of shoes or sneakers and socks
    • A blanket
    • A large umbrella
    • Snacks that will not spoil in the heat or cold such as granola, cereal bars, dried fruits, nuts etc.

    You may wonder why I would suggest these items. Over the past decade while serving as a signer, I have needed all of them.

    If you live in a cold climate, you should always have a blanket and extra socks in the car. I have had my car die on me in the middle of winter, and the blanket came in very handy as I had no heat while I waited an hour and a half for help to arrive.

    Why extra shoes or a shirt? Things happen. I have had my heels break and dogs eat my shoes after I left them at the front door. I have had items spilled on me as I sat across the signing table. I have even stepped in a mess as I left an appointment and could not get in the car with my shoes nor show up to the next appointment with the stench.

    I have also set out for my appointments with wonderful weather and by the last appointment, there was a blizzard. The extra socks and shoes came in handy.

    I have had my cellular phone not work when I was in the mountains, so the quarters and a payphone helped me there.

    I have been stuck in a 3-hour traffic jam, 2 miles from the nearest exit, and all I had were my bottles of water and my snacks.

    I hope you never have any of these problems, but follow these tips and you’ll be prepared.