by Ken Golliher:
Every safe deposit procedure is designed to protect the custodian from claims of "mysterious disappearance" of the renter's property. Each individual procedure reflects a subjective judgment as to its incremental value.
I think your procedure is good, but there is no implication that an "outside" notary is more credible than an "inside" notary. Unless there is something odd about the function in your state, all are titular state officials of equal rank. If I were the notary, I would demand that the language indicate that I was notarizing signatures, not serving as an extra witness to the fact that the box was empty.
by John Burnett:
As to eliminating the notary when the renter has completed the affidavit to indicate the box is empty, I advise against it. Even an honest customer can make a mistake, and you want to mitigate the risk that the renter later remembers Aunt Flo's 10-carat diamond pendant was left behind. Use an in-house notary (and as Ken suggests, use the notary only to notarize bank officers' signatures), and include a simple check box on the officers' affidavit that the box was, indeed, empty.