What is a Notary Public?

Have you ever needed a document signed that would be legally binding? Have you ever purchased a home and seen that person who verifies your identity whom then tells you where to sign on each page? That person is called a Notary Public.

In short, a Notary is a person who is certified to witness the signing of important documents. By definition, The National Notary Association says “A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by state government —typically by the secretary of state — to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. These official acts are called notarizations, or notarial acts. Notaries are publicly commissioned as “ministerial” officials, meaning that they are expected to follow written rules without the exercise of significant personal discretion, as would otherwise be the case with a “judicial” official.”

Now that you have a good understanding of what a Notary Public is, let’s examine a little more into what they do. A Notary’s main purposes are to verify signer’s identities, make sure they are willing to sign without being under any type of intimidation or duress, and provide necessary information to make them aware of the documents to which they are signing.

Just as it’s important to know what a Notary Public is, it’s just as important to know what it isn’t. Unlike in many other countries around the world, a United States Notary Public is NOT an Attorney or Judge. A Notary Public does not have the right to provide any legal advice.

It may appear that a notary is simply another person to pay when signing an important document. However, notaries today serve an important purpose in our society. The notary profession acts as the universal unbiased third party to ensure that legal documents are prepared and signed correctly. A Notary Public is a very important position which provides a very necessary service. In this world of habitual lawsuits and financial scams, a Notary helps to keep people honest.

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