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BlackBird Finance

Making Sense of a Notary & Signature Guarantee

Mobile notary: customer signing document

As a provider of mobile notary services in Pagosa Springs we found out a lot of people confuse a medallion signature guarantee and a public notary. Notaries are a lot more common and typically handle most needs. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t heard of a medallion guarantee or thought it was a notary. There are certain similarities, both provide a seal or stamp certifying that an authorized person has witnessed a signature, but there are also key differences.

This article will educate you on:

  • Defining a Medallion Signature Guarantee and a Notary Public.
  • What the difference is?
  • Explaining when they are used.
  • Finally, where to get one.


Pagosa Springs Mobile Notary Services

Notary Public

A notary public is someone authorized by the state you live in to provide services that prevent fraud. It’s one thing for a fraudster to get your information and open up a credit card. It’s another level for a fraudster to change your will. That is why sensitive documents require additional security. The services include witnessing someone sign a document or administering oaths and affirmations. The notary’s process is verifying an individual, witnessing, taking a record, and placing an authentic stamp with their credentials. There are a variety of documents that may require a notary on them for additional security. Some examples are: deeds, estate documents, power of attorney, and contracts.

Where to get a notary? Or have a mobile notary come to you.

The great part of notaries is there are a lot more options in finding a service. The most convenient option is getting a mobile notary. A service where the notary travels to you. A lot more flexibility with evening/weekend times and tends to be the fastest route. Mobile notary services do come with a travel fee. If you are on a budget the cheapest option is spending the time traveling to a business that offers one. Here are a few other ways to obtain a notary. Check with your human resource representative. There may be someone in your office that is authorized. You may also check with your local library and most UPS stores offer them as well. In times of Covid, these two options are less accessible until things return to normal.

The difference between a Notary and a Signature Guarantee?

First off, there are no mobile services for signature guarantees. You get to do the traveling. There is a silver lining, they are much safer. The second difference, the institution that provides the signature guarantee is liable for monetary loss in a case of fraud.  When you look at a medallion stamp it will show the surety limit coded in a few letters.  A notary public is the opposite. The notary is not held liable for any monetary loss if fraud occurs. States, however, may revoke a notaires authorization or take further steps. Lastly, a notary public is more versatile. You will find it on a wider range of documents, mobile notary services are available, and a lot more companies offer them as well.

Medallion Signature Guarantee /Signature Guarantee /Medallion Stamp

First off, all three names mean the same thing, no differences, just different names. A signature guarantee is a stamp or seal placed on a document by an authorized agent that is certifying the signer is who they say they are. You will typically be required to get a medallion signature guarantee when you are moving financial assets or securities. An example of this, moving retirement accounts or transferring securities in a brokerage account. It holds the authorizing agent’s firm liable for any monetary loss if fraud occurs due to an incorrectly validated document.

When to get one?

You won’t necessarily need one when moving financial assets. Most often you will be asked to get one if the documents you are signing are dealing with a high dollar amount. There is usually a dollar threshold when most firms will require you to get one, notably at amounts over $250,000.

Where to get one?

While the result is similar, a stamp or seal on a document, getting one is different. The tough part about medallion signature guarantees is they are tougher to find. It tends to get tougher the more rural you live. Most often you should start with your bank. Most financial institutions will want some kind of relationship with you before they provide a signature guarantee, but that’s not always the case. If you are struggling to get one from your bank then try calling other banks, credit unions, or local investment firms. Here is an article detailing 36 places that offer them.

In Conclusion:

The next time your retirement advisor, estate lawyer, or mortgage broker tells you a notary or signature guarantee is needed, you will now be better equipped. Hopefully…. not as much complaining now that you understand they are there to protect you.

If you need a mobile notary service in Pagosa Springs then reach out to us at BlackBird Finance 970-500-2473.