Informed Notaries of Maine, Inc. (INM), is a private non-profit member organization of Maine Notaries Public founded over 20 years ago to educate notaries in this state. Although INM works closely with the State of Maine Notary Officer it is not run by the Secretary of State’s Office; it is an independent organization whose membership in INM is voluntary and separate from your notary commission from the State of Maine.
INM was established with a purpose of core values and an ethical code developed by the corporation and adopted by the membership.
Mission of INM
- Educate notaries public about the legal, ethical and technical facets of performing a notarial act.
- Develop and promote the highest ethical principles for notaries.
- Increase public awareness and understanding of the notary’s vital function in modern society.
- Serve as an information center for notary regulating officials, legislators, educators, and the public.
- Promote uniform, modern and effective notarial laws in Maine.
- Preserve and cultivate appreciation for the rich heritage and tradition of the notarial office.
Code of Ethics
- Always conduct yourself in a professional manner. Remember you are a public official and should treat everyone in a fair and honest manner.
- Never give legal advice. Do not prepare documents or make recommendations. Leave the practice of law to attorneys. The practice of law without a license is a crime.
- Respect the privacy of those for whom you execute a notarial act.
- Require that all signers of a document personally appear before you to sign the document and make sure you take the proper steps to identify all signers. Remember Maine law requires it too.
- If you charge a fee for your services, make sure it is fair and reasonable. Do not take advantage of those you serve.
- Take reasonable measures to make sure that all documents are complete and correct to the best of your knowledge.
- Do not perform frivolous notarizations. The signature of a notary public will not make something better.
- Do not certify public documents. Always recommend that certified copies of public documents be obtained from the proper official.
- Do not become involved in transactions that you have a direct financial or beneficial interest in. A notary public must remain an impartial witness.
- Be prepared to perform all of the duties of a Maine notary public not just the ones you like to do.
Adopted in 2003,
Amended in 2011
Download a PDF Version of the INM Code of Ethics!
Members can download the INM Pledge Card template file – This card is a great resource to have for Notary Signing Agents. It serves as a reminder to always follow the Pledge of Ethical Practice. It is great to hand out to your clients as a reminder for them. It states:
I am not an attorney and therefore, by law, I cannot explain or interpret the contents of any document for you, instruct you on how to complete a document or direct you on the advisability of signing a particular document. By doing so I would be engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, and could face legal penalties that include the possibility of incarceration. Any important questions about your document should be addressed to the lender, title company, or an attorney.