What is a Notary Public?
A responsible person appointed by state government to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths.
Why are documents notarized?
To deter fraud. An impartial witness (the Notary) ensures that the signers of documents are who they say they are and not impostors. The Notary makes sure that signers have entered into agreements knowingly and willingly. In a society in which business dealings between strangers are the norm rather than the exception, Notaries create a trustworthy environment where strangers are able to share documents with full confidence in their authenticity.
May any document be notarized?
For a document to be notarized, it must contain: 1) text committing the signer in some way, 2) an original signature (not a photocopy) of the document signer, 3) a notarial "certificate" which may appear on the document itself or on an attachment. The Notary fills in the certificate, signs it, then applies his or her seal to complete the notarization.
How does a Notary identify a signer?
Generally, the Notary will ask to see a current identification document that has a photograph, physical description and a signature. A driver’s license, military ID or passport will usually be acceptable.