I was asked by a customer to notarize a form for Remote Hire attesting that I had verified that the documentation required for the I-9 form was valid. The form basically said that the Notary was acting as an agent of the company in verifying the documents, and provided a place to sign and put the notary seal. I refused to notarize such form since there is nothing in the State of California handbook that says anything about it, and also because I'm not an employee of such company and of course was not going to notarize my own signature.
There seems to be some controversy in the issue where some notaries are actually notarizing this form, and some others have refused. The State of Texas specifically prohibits notaries from notarizing the I-9 (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/faqs2300.shtml#np23), but the State of California does not address this specific issue. As explained to me by a representative of the National Notary Association, not all the states cover every specific form there is out there, because there are too many to address! It all comes down to the fact that when notarizing a document, a Notary is not attesting as to the authencity of the same, but is verifying that the person signing the document is who he/she says is, and is signing the document on his/her own volition.
If I would have signed the form attached to the I-9, I would have been saying that I was an agent for the hiring company, and that I had checked the documents provided for identification by the to-be-employee, and that the documents were valid proof of the right to work in the United States. They also wanted the Notary to fill out the I-9 form, and notaries are prohibited from filling out documents for customers, another NO-NO!
The following is from the National Notary Association. http://www.nationalnotary.org/news/index.cfm?text=newsnotary&newsid=1798&newscat=21
"An I-9 is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form submitted by an employer to verify that a job applicant is legally authorized to work in the United States. Notaries often receive contradictory information regarding these forms because the instructions on I-9s state that an employer may designate a ‘third party agent’ to verify an applicant’s ID and sign a statement attesting that they did so. Suggested ‘third party agents’ in the instructions include Notaries and attorneys.However, verifying a person’s work credentials is not an official notarial act. By signing such a statement and affixing your seal to it, you would effectively be notarizing your own signature, which is prohibited in most states. If you choose to perform this task, you must do so as a private individual. Do not use your Notary seal or write the title “Notary Public” under your signature. Be aware that private employers often add erroneous instructions to those already on the I-9, directing Notaries to place their seal on the form. Don’t do it."