Although I didn’t receive one of those stimulus checks this year since I’m married to an ITIN holder, I did get a small tax refund for my 2019 taxes. Unfortunately, depositing the check into my U.S. based Capital One 360 account was an exercise in futility. Although Capital One has a banking app where theoretically I could deposit the check, it won’t work on a Mexican phone.
So I asked my friend in Tennessee who had the check to deposit it into her account. Her bank told her they would need my fingerprint to do that. Not gonna happen. I decided that I needed to give her the Power of Attorney over my assets, such as they are.
To do that, I’d need to have a Power of Attorney document notarized by a U.S. notary. I was going to do that when we went to renew my son’s passport in May, but then COVID happened and that trip didn’t materialize. The consulate in San Miguel de Allende still isn’t up to full service potential yet anyway. So I look at other options.
Believe or not, I learned about online notaries from a Facebook discussion thread. I didn’t end up using the notary recommended because they never answered my message, but I did find One Notary. I wrote and asked and they said yes, I could create a Tennessee Power of Attorney through their service.
I found the document through eforms.com and downloaded that. It was $45 for the document. Then I set up an appointment with a notary at One Notary.
Six hours before my morning appointment, I could go through the verification process. The first set of questions was easy peasy. Then I needed to take a picture of my U.S. ID (which in this case was my PA driver’s license I was able to renew on my visit last year) with my smart phone. Well, I actually enlisted my son and his new phone for this part. The verification process wanted me to enter a valid U.S. phone number, which I didn’t have. Fortunately, it also gave me the option to have the secret code emailed to me, which I could then access via phone. So I had it sent to my gmail account and my son opened the document, entered the secret code, and took the pictures.
The app decided it still wasn’t sure I was who I said I was, so asked me a few more questions. I failed the verification since I couldn’t remember the house number of the apartment building I lived in for 6 months nearly 30 years ago. I couldn’t go through the verification process again for 24 hours, so I had to reschedule the appointment.
The next attempt went pretty much the same. I had taken the time using Google Street view (and some assistance from my son) to find the apartment building across from the Revolutionary War cemetery in Greencastle and the other address I wasn’t sure of, the house next to the church in Lincoln. But I still failed. I rescheduled the appointment.
They say the third time’s the charm, right? Well, I got verified and made the payment of $25 for the notary service. Then I waited for the notary to arrive for our 10:00 am appointment. And I waited, and I waited. Finally at 10:30 am, I sent two messages, one to One Notary support and another to One Notary customer service. There is no chat option on the page.
I received an email telling me that of course the notary was not signed in at 10:00 am because my appointment was for 10:30 am. I double checked the time and time zones to be sure. No, my appointment was at 10:00 am in both locations (Texas and Mexico). The person then snarkily informed me that he/she could see that the notary was now in a session with me–although that wasn’t true.
A few minutes later, I was promoted to join a notary session. The woman who appeared was not the woman I had made the appointment with, but I didn’t care. She downloaded my document and started doing what she needed to do. While she was doing that, she and I both received emails that said I would be taken care of by yet a different notary. I asked the woman not to transfer me and to finish what we had started, so we did. It took about 10 minutes. I signed the document with my mouse, initialed where I needed to put my initials and voila, finished!
I downloaded the document, which still had one blank page for my friend in Tennessee to accept the Power of Attorney. I then sent the document to her via email. She printed the document and had set up an appointment to have the acceptance notarized. My luck seemed to transfer to her. The first two appointments with the notary in Tennessee were canceled by the notary. But again, the third time’s the charm. Then, my newly empowered friend took my tax refund check and POA document to the bank. My check was promptly deposited without a hassle. The amount nearly covered the notary and document service. YEAH!