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Notaries

November 27, 1994

Re "In Defense of a Noble Calling," Commentary, Nov. 17:

While the requirements to become a notary in Iowa and elsewhere are relatively--and perhaps even humorously--few, one requirement has proven insurmountable to many persons with multiple college degrees: demonstrable integrity. Indeed in California, notary commission applicants must submit fingerprints and undergo a thorough background check.

It is the integrity and the impartiality of notaries that are keystones of modern commerce and law.

Without the notary screening signers for identity, willingness and basic competence, our courts would quickly clog with challenges to signatures on property deeds that were forged, coerced or incompetently made. Notaries protect us, our homes and our property from title fraud. They are easy to deride but every civilized nation sees a need for them.

Even Gilbert Cranberg, I'm sure, is grateful that there are notaries in Iowa to prevent a forger from creating a phony deed on his house and clouding his title.

MILTON G. VALERA, President

National Notary Assn., Canoga Park

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