Never NOTARY PUBLIC-WHO ARE THEY & WHAT DO THEY DO?
A responsible person who is appointed by state government to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths, take acknowledgements and act as an impartial witness to the execution of instruments to certify that a document signer is not a fraud.
A Notary ensures that a person is who they say they are, this is generally done by a Notary asking the signer to provide proper identification which must be current and has a photograph, signature, physical description and expiration date. Examples of accepatable identification are a persons Driver's License, Non Driver's License/State ID, or any US territory including (Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands and US Samoa, Passport or Military ID. Notarized documents are obatianed as proof that an individual appeared before and was properly indentified by a Notary Public.
Notaries are not responsible for the accuracy or legality of documents they notarize. Notaries certify the identity of signers. The signers are responsible for the content of the documents. 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.
There are many types of documents that require notarizations and may not be legally binding unless they unless they are properly notariazed, notarized documents may also be used in a Court of Law or filed with your state or local county offices.
What types of documents need to be notarized:
* Real Estate Deeds
* School Trip Permkssion forms
* Travel Letters (for permission of a minor)
* Medical forms
* Power of Attorney forms
* Bank Safe Deposit Box Openings
A Notary must comply with and are governed by the laws of the State within and when not acting in a Notarial capacity.
A Notary must always sign in black ink and stamp must also be in black ink (New York Law)
A Notary must keep her/his stamp and seal in a safe place locked awaya at all times.
The signer must always appear before you
A Notary must thoroughly verify signer's identification, signature and expiration
A Notary must check for competency of signer ask if the name, and the names, dates, spelling is current and correct on the document.
A Notary must make sure signer signs their name exactly as it appears on appointment/commission “oath of office”.
A Notary should know that only an individual can take an oath not a legal entity. (I.e.: Corporation or partnership).
A Notary must never ask for a greater fee than prescribed by law
A Notray must never notarize photocopied signatures, only original.
A Notary must never take an acknowledgment/affidavit of a document in which blank spaces are left. (Have the signer write N/A or cross out blank spaces).
A Notary must never notarize a blank piece of paper. (Have the signer obtain the proper notarial certificate for a document and make sure notarial certificate is attached to the document and contains a reference to the document if it falls on its own page, (no loose certificates)
A Notary must not notarize a document unless it’s written in English. (If a written translation is not required and you are fluent you may notarize only if notarial certificates are written in English.) You must never use a 3rd party translator or interpreter.
A Notary must not notarize a Will or Codicil - attestation clause.
A Notary must never draft a legal document
A Notary must never interpret a legal document
A Notary must never act as an Attorney giving legal advice
A Notary must not notarize for a family member(s)/spouse if you are directly or indirectly a party to that instrument by way of:
- Beneficial Interest. - An example is notarizing your parents deed to the their house knowing it will be left to you at some time in the future.
- Financial Interest. - An example is if you are receiving full or part of a settlement proceeds from the document you are notarizing if it has a monetary reward/value.
- Emotional Interest. - An example would be you as an overseer for the signing of a Power of Attorney where your mother is giving your father the power to act on her behalf.