By Carol Salter—I concluded a notarization a short time ago. The young couple needed a benefit form notarized. He is a fire fighter and she is a nurse. As I looked at his t-shirt and thought about his fellow fire fighters who recently lost their lives in South Carolina, I thought about how fire fighters are people of trust. When your life or property is endangered, you trust that the fire fighter on the scene will do their best to protect and preserve. You trust them.

His wife is a nurse. She is another person in a position of trust. When that RN comes into your hospital room to provide care, you trust that they will provide the best possible care and have your healing in mind. You trust that they will administer the right medication. You trust them.

Notaries Public most certainly should be people of trust. Just as this couple came in to have a notarization performed, they had trust that the Notary would perform the job with the utmost care and integrity. They did not ask for my identification, how long I had been a Notary or how many notarizations I had performed. They just trusted that I knew what I was doing.

This was an enlightening revelation. For the most part, the Notary Public is seen as a person of trust. Those seeking notarizations expect that the Notary will perform their office correctly. The reason I said, “For the most part” is that I recognize that there are unscrupulous Notaries out there. I understand that there are those who would deceive or take advantage, but I think that number is low.

I attended the National Notary Association annual meeting in Los Angeles when they celebrated their 50th anniversary. I met some incredible and amazing Notaries. The diversity was as great as the number of states and countries represented at the conference. But I believe that those in attendance were but a small representation of the excellent Notaries across this country, who day in and day out, do an outstanding job with their Notary office. Notaries are people in the position of trust.

So how do we maintain the public’s trust in us as Notaries? We must stay abreast of all the new Notary laws, both State and Federal. We need to seek education, certification, and anything that will make us better Notaries. We must conduct our own lives with integrity and honor. The novelist, George Macdonald said, “It is a greater compliment to be trusted than to be loved.” We, as Notaries Public are people in a position of trust.