Notary Public Get The Facts And Choose The Right Person For Your Business

Notary Public

Although many people have heard of a “Notary Public”, few know of what services they offer. There are some discrepancies as to the limits of the services that a Notary can provide by law. That is why in this brief article I aim to clarify some of this miss information as well as give a detailed description of the legal parameters of a Notary Public.

Let’s begin with the definition of a Notary Public. According to Webster’s online dictionary the definition of a Notary is as follows: “a public officer who attests or certifies writings (as a deed) to make them authentic and takes affidavits, depositions, and protests of negotiable paper.” Now what does all this mean? Well, a Notary is an officer of the court, whom sole objective is to verify the identity of persons whom need to sign legal documentation. In addition to verifying the identity of the signer, a notary, must also make certain that the signer is entering into said document “knowingly” and “willingly”.


How does a Notary verify the identity of the signer? This is very crucial to the notarizing process because the signer must provide the Notary with proper identification and documentation as to their identity. What qualifies as a legitimate document of identification? There are several options that the signer has. The first is the state driver’s license issued to the signer. The license must not be expired to be valid. Another form of identification that is valid is a state issued ID card. If neither of these are available then the signer may use a valid passport or military ID to prove their identity.

Not any document can be notarized. There are certain criteria that allow a document to be notarized. A document must commit the signer in some way; usually this is a contract of some sort. One must also provide an original signature of the signer and a notarial “certificate” which is filled by the notary, sealed and attached to the document.

Having a document notarized does in no way account for the legality or accuracy of the document itself. A Notary is in no way permitted to dispense legal advice and is not responsible for the content of the document which is being notarized. In addition, a notary is prohibited from preparing legal documents or as acting legal counsel unless the notary is also an attorney.

Under certain circumstances a notary may refuse to notarize a document. This is not because of the legality or accuracy of the document but because of the uncertainty of the identity of the signer. A Notary public is an officer of the court and therefore, must not discriminate or refuse to complete a service due to the religion, race, nationality, lifestyle, or sexual orientation. As an officer of the court they must be completely objective in the performance of services that they provide. The main purpose of having a document notarized is to deter fraud. This being the case it is common that many real estate documents or contracts must be notarized. The prices of having documents notarized are set by state law and may vary depending on the state.

Article Source:

About Author: Sarafina Garrett