So What Exactly is a Notary Public?

Notaries are public officials who serve as a witness of the signing of important documents. A notary, or notary public, is an official of integrity appointed by state government to serve the public as an impartial witness when important documents are signed.

What is a Notarial Act

As defined in the notary statutes, a notarial act is any act that a notary public of this state is authorized to perform, including taking an acknowledgment, administering an oath or affirmation, executing a jurat or taking a verification upon oath or affirmation, witnessing or attesting a signature, certifying or attesting a copy, and noting a protest of a negotiable instrument.

Why Is Notarization Important?

Whether performing a mortgage signing, a vehicle transfer, a will, power of attorney, or any other important document, a notary is needed to ensure that certain agreements are legally sound. It gives all participants assurance that the terms of the documentation are authentic, genuine, and mutually agreed upon.

What Are The Three Ways a Document Can Be Notarized

  • In the Notaries office
    • Notarial signings in an office are conducted by a licensed notary public. The notary verifies the identity of the individual signing the document, and will witness the signature being made. The notary is also required to record the signature in an official register. Depending on the jurisdiction, the notary may also be required to provide other services such as verifying the accuracy of the document, preventing fraud, and ensuring that the document is properly executed.
  • Electronic Notary, also referred to as In-Person Electronic Notary Public
    • A notary will come to you, wherever the notarization needs to be conducted (i.e., house, hospital, etc)
  • E-Notarization
    • An eNotary is a Notary Public who notarizes documents electronically. One of the methods employed by eNotaries is the use of a digital signature and digital notary seal to notarize digital documents and validate with a digital certificate.

What Types of Documents Require Notarization

• Last Will and Testament
• Living Wills
• Power of Attorney documents
• Deeds
• Trust documents
• Affidavits
• Loan documents
• Real estate contracts
• Vehicle titles
• Divorce agreements
• Guardianship documents
• Retirement account beneficiary forms
• Prenuptial agreements
• Authorization for international travel of minors

What You Need to Know Before Signing Anything

• Read the document carefully and make sure you understand the contents. Ensure all information is correct and up-to-date
• Verify the Notary is licensed to perform notarization in your state
• Make sure your signature is witnessed by a third-party who is present at the time of the signing

What are Acceptable Forms of identification

“The law requires a identification card with a photo and signature of the document signer”

◦ State-issued driver’s license
◦ State-issued commercial driver’s license
◦ State-issued identification card
◦ U.S. Passport issued by the U.S. Department of State
◦ U.S. military identification card
◦ State, county and local government IDs

Notarizing documents is a serious matter but its an easy process.  Schedule your Notarial Act today!