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What is a Notary?

April 24th, 2012

Many people often ask “What is a Notary?” or “What is a Notary Public?” A notary public is appointed by the Secretary of State to serve as a witness to perform fraud deterrent acts that are related to the signing of important documents. These acts are called notarizations.

After the exams and being approved, the notary is publicly commissioned as a ministerial official. This means that the notary is to follow certain rules and not to let personal influence get in the way of making the proper decision. A judicial official is to follow the same types of rules.

The primary job of a notary public is to witness the person who are signing important sometimes legal documents. Examples of these documents are: property deeds, wills, and powers of attorney. The notary is witnessing the fact that the person who is signing the document is who they say they are. There are times where some of the notarization requires that the notary puts the person who is signing under oath declaring under penalty of perjury that everything in the document that is being signed is true.

Female Notary Public

If the notary has a personal interest in the situation that they are being asked to witness, they should decline any activity in the matter and advice their client to find a notary elsewhere. It is trusted by the public that the critical screening tests have not been corrupted by self-interest.

The law and rules of a notary state the the notary shall not refuse service to a person due to the following:

  • race
  • religion
  • politics
  • sexual orientation
  • the fact that they are a non- customer

Notary publics are official representative of the state that they are licensed in. As a representative of the state, they can certify the execution of life changing documents that belong to citizens. The can be such transactions dealing with real estate, powers of attorney, and prenuptial agreements are just a few of these transactions. There are many other activities that help the society to function and that’s why it’s important for people to thoroughly research how to become a notary.

In today’s world, business transactions between strangers are rather normal. Notaries help to make the signed documents official and authentic and enable the sensitive documents to be exchanged between individuals with confidence that they are authentic. It is a vital role for almost every business. That is a huge reason why we’ve tried to make it so easy for you to find a notary on our site or with our tips on Where Can I Find a Notary?


Do you have anything to add to what a notary is? If you’re a notary, do you have some experiences you’d like to share?


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