Out of the ordinary?

Good morning! So I got call yesterday, really 2 that were not usual notary calls.

One lady would like me to do an POA for inmate. They already have the POA. She would like to sign on his behalf since she already has the POA without him being there?

Also another caller wanted me to emboss their stamp so they can trace over with a pencil? I don’t have much knowledge of embosser because I’ve never used one. I just advised I would reach back out. Any suggestions on what’s going on here lol.

I’m not sure I understand the first question… are you saying that the POA wants you to execute another POA on behalf of the first signer because she has the original POA on file?

That sounds kinda sketchy to me and that I don’t believe is legal and sends up red flags to me.

As far as the second…. I would pass on that request also


@donaldsonnp I think she’s saying that since the lady is named as AIF she wants to sign it for the inmate - and no, that can’t be done - inmate must sign, all identification and witness requirements must be followed - she’s not appointed until he signs.

Hard pass - they need to get their own embosser - that would be almost as bad as you lending them your stamp. Err…no.

JMO and yeah, I’d pass on this also


Pass, then run like heck away from them!!! An inmate? OMG, don’t do what they’ve asked. No, No, NO! It all sounds illicit to me. Trace over an embossed stamp - you’ve got to be kidding me. Do what sounds like a second POA? No way would I do that with an inmate being involved. Who knows what’s up with that.

That’s my opinion. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program. . .


In their defense, I’ve heard of this practice- when an embosser is used it doesn’t always show up on, like, a photocopy. So you “shade” over the embossed portion with a pencil so it will show up.

Since embossers aren’t required here in FL, I’ve never used one although I’ve always had one

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Hello, #1) Inmate has to sign regardless. She is not POA until the inmate signs giving her POA. If the inmate had a valid ID when he got locked up, then the Sheriff holds their ID in their personal property that was inventoried when they got locked up. I simply call in advance to set up the visitation and have them have it available for when I arrive. If they didn’t have an ID at time of arrest, or it expired while incarcerated, then they are “stuck like chuck” unless your state laws provide exemptions to this.
#2) Is a no brainer to me. Don’t touch it! I was under the impression an embosser leaves and indented/raised impression in the paper? That alone is the authenticity as long as the info on the stamp is current/valid. To me, tracing/shading ANYTHING on a doc is an alteration, and I wouldn’t touch that either.


Red flag! No and No…

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No she wanted to sign as his POA . And I did pass lol TN hasn’t required notary use embossers since 2003.

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Great remarks thanks!

Remember that taking risks just for the fee is dicey business. If you’re unsure about a signing’s circumstances and you can’t get immediate, reliable help, you’re best action is to respectfully pass on the signing. Why risk your license?


Lol running very far away! I knew something was up that’s why u said unusual calls. Thank you very much! Back to scheduled program.

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That is the problem with an embossed seal, it has to be shaded for photocopying and/or recording purposes. Not sure why the request, embossed or stamped both accomplish the same thing. The embossed stamp went out long ago in my area, due to the shading process.

This makes sense. I haven’t seen embossers used in a long time. On a side note, I don’t understand the concept of copying an embossed document (or an inked one for that matter), as it just leaves it as just that, “a copy.” The copy holds no weight unless its certified to be a true copy of the original, which comes along with another stamp anyways. The embosser was before my time, so I don’t know much on how it was used, but something about “shading/tracing” that original document makes me glad I never had to touch it.

Honestly…neither of those make sense.

I’m pretty darn sure you cannot use a POA to establish ANOTHER POA. The current AIF could sign things in whatever way the current POA gives them authority to do so, but they can’t sign a POA as the POA giving themselves MORE authority to do more things than the first POA gives them.

The second thing…I don’t even understand. In NC you either have a ink stamp or a raised embossed seal. If you use the embossed seal, you may have to shade it or ink it (they make special little round ink blots just for that) so it will show up when photocopied or sent for e-recording. (You can have each kind, you just don’t use them at the SAME time on the same document - unless perhaps the raised seal was rejected and they had you ink stamp it as well.)

I don’t think there is such a think as “embossing” an ink seal - at least in NC. I’ve never heard of it. Why would you emboss, then shade a seal you can already see?

Wow, you got hit with 2 crazy’s… No and No. It’s not legal for a person with a POA to transfer that power, in your case only the inmate can assign a POA. Tracing a emboss for a stamp? yikes.

It looks like one of us may have misinterpreted her post. Obviously if she already possesses POA authority, no need for him to sign, she can just do what she needs to do. I took it as her having the POA draft doc to get him to sign “giving her” POA authority. Otherwise, why is the inmate involved in the first place?
On the stamp issue (unless I missed something) no one mentioned stamping over an embossed seal, or embossing over a stamped seal. It was the simple act of “shading” over an embossed seal that was the concern. IMO, shading is an alteration of the original document, so I abstain from embossing whether it’s permitted or not. I am not aware of any state outside of DC (surprise) that requires embossers ONLY for notarial acts. It’s either one OR the other, or none required at all. Because of this, I see no reason to use an embosser at all. Eliminates headaches and extra work!

WDC notaries have to use that stamp I was told and the notary used a black stamp to show her impression on the document

Embosser - if at all possible use a piece of carbon paper - pencils sometimes causes holes on the embossed area

POA - sounds like SHE signed his name to the document thinking she had the right because he named her as POA -

I think you meant the woman requesting the notary service is in possession of a POA and needs to sign a document on behalf of the inmate. Not a problem you just have to know what is acceptable verbiage for a POA signing, in California it usually goes Person’s Name by Signers Name his/her Attorney in Fact. The two names are signed the rest can be signed or printed. The AIF has to initial PN by SN his/her AIF.

I have done inmate POA’s putting them into affect. I was asked to come to the courthouse and we signed there right next to where they were sitting. The attorney paid me by check.

About the embosser, just say, sorry I don’t have one.


Jasmin, I think you may be right about the POA - I, myself, didn’t read it that way (my DUH moment I guess) but your explanation is very possible.

Thank you.