I have posted here previously about the need for training to know your limits and your responsibilities as a notary public. So, the question arises, where do you get such training?
There are those who strongly suggest that you can only get it on-the-job.
For instance, if you are going to be a Notary Signing Agent (a notary public who is trained to handle real estate closings), you might seek out a local title company and offer to be an unpaid intern there for some set number of hours each week for a few months to learn the mortgage business. Along the way, you will see how other notaries in that business handle their duties and see what role being a notary plays in that industry.
In my own case, I became a notary public while employed as a Legal Secretary and, while I did learn some of what I needed to know there and did have ready access to attorneys of whom I could ask questions, I found that this method left big gaps in my knowledge, as I was often too busy with day-to-day tasks and assignments to even figure out the questions to ask. Without a structured training program (classes or seminars following some well-thought-out plan), on-the-job training leaves holes in your understanding that can cause you endless grief and expose you and your employer to liability for notary errors.
Many people have found that self-paced study using books and online resources is the best way for them to learn what they need to know in order to be fully trained as a notary public. I have mentioned specific books and websites that I have found useful in other posts here on this blog. I suggest that you read everything you can from them.
Another method of training is classes, either in person or via the web. While Tennessee does not have any official training for its notaries, there are some classes available at various educational institutions or from private companies — and there are many online classes available for notaries.
(I don’t know enough about the in-person classes in Tennessee to comment upon them, so I have chosen not to mention any of them specifically on this blog. If you have personal knowledge about or experience with any such in-person classes in Tennessee, please share that with me so I can include it in a future post.)
Overall, I believe a combination of methods works best. If you are an employee or an intern who is a notary, learn all you can at your company AND read as many as you can of the books and online articles that are mentioned here on the Notary Memphis blog. If you are interested in expanding into a self-employed or freelance notary business, either part-time or full-time, you will want to take some classes and read everything you can about business, marketing, and notary practices.
I am working on a series of books covering these and related topics. As each one becomes available, they will be posted in the Books category and on the Books pages here on this blog.