I'm not sure if this was a dare

Raymond Chen

Joe Beda stopped by my office, clutching a stack of documents he had just had notarized, and told me, “Raymond, you should become a notary public.”


“It’d be fun.”

“Notarizing documents is fun?”

“No, just being a notary public – just knowing that you had the power to notarize documents – would be fun. Besides, you’d be good at it, since you’re such a stickler for the rules. I wonder what the qualifications for being a notary public are, anyway.”

So I went and looked up the process of becoming a notary public in the State of Washington.

The requirements are deceptively simple: Ability to execute the duties of a notary public (and indeed, requirement to perform said duties upon demand), a $10,000 surety bond, a clean criminal record, and three character references who will affirm that I am “a person of good moral character”. That last one might be tricky.


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