What Does a Notary Public Do?

A notary public is a person who can witness the signing of important documents. Notaries can be used for many purposes, including dealing with international documents and acting as impartial witnesses in transactions like real estate closings and business contracts.

What Is a Notary Public?

Notary publics serve a function as officially recognized witnesses to the signing of official documents. The documents are stamped with a seal that shows it has been witnessed. They are often certified through the state government. Most notaries are required to check the identities of the signers and keep records of the documents they have witnessed and stamped.

What Services Can a Notary Provide?

There are several different types of notary services. These officials can witness an acknowledgment, where documents are signed that involve ownership or transferral of property, such as for deeds and trusts. Certified copies can indicate that a copy of a document is an allowed copy of the original. These copies could include passports, college records, or citizenship documents. A notary may also witness a jurat for legal and civil matters, such as for affidavits or depositions.

How Can You Become a Notary? 

Notaries are often in high demand in many industries, but many notaries are self-employed and work for themselves. To become a notary, you must pay a fee to the state. The state will recommend training and an exam from an approved company. Some states require fingerprinting, background checks or bonding. Once approved, a notary stamp and seal package is purchased, which is used to certify the witnessed documents.

A notary may be required by law in some cases but can also serve as a document verification service for important papers with no legal requirement. Hiring a notary public can be effective in proving a document’s validity and prevent fraud.

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