What does a Notary Public do and when do I need one?

A notary public is a public official who is authorized to perform certain legal formalities, primarily related to the authentication of documents and the administration of oaths. The specific duties can vary from one jurisdiction to another, but some common responsibilities include:

Witnessing Signatures: Notaries witness the signing of important documents, such as contracts, wills, deeds, and affidavits. Their presence and signature on these documents help deter fraud and ensure the parties involved are who they claim to be.

Administering Oaths and Affirmations: Notaries have the authority to administer oaths or affirmations, which are solemn promises to tell the truth. This is often required in legal proceedings, affidavits, or when submitting certain applications.

Certifying Copies: Notaries can make certified copies of original documents. This is useful when you need to provide an official copy of a document, like a diploma, passport, or a driver’s license.

Verifying Identity: Notaries are responsible for verifying the identity of the individuals involved in a transaction. This can include checking government-issued IDs and confirming the individuals understand the document they are signing.

People might need a notary public for various reasons, including:

Legal Documents: Many legal documents, such as wills, power of attorney forms, and real estate deeds, require notarization to make them legally valid. Notaries ensure that the parties involved willingly and knowingly sign these documents.

Real Estate Transactions: Real estate transactions often involve notarized documents like deeds, mortgages, and property transfer agreements to validate the legality and authenticity of the transaction.

Financial Transactions: Some financial transactions, like loans or the opening of certain bank accounts, may require notarized signatures to protect against fraud.

Affidavits and Sworn Statements: When you need to provide a sworn statement or affidavit for legal proceedings, you may be required to have it notarized to confirm its authenticity.

International Documents: Notaries can also assist with documents that need to be used internationally. Many countries require notarization to recognize foreign documents.

Identity Verification: Notaries can be involved in verifying the identity of individuals, such as in the case of a person certifying that their passport is a true copy.

Overall, the role of a notary public is to act as an impartial witness and ensure the integrity of various legal and official documents. Their services help add an extra layer of security and authenticity to important transactions and agreements. The specific requirements and regulations for notaries can vary by jurisdiction, so it’s essential to consult your local laws and seek a qualified notary when needed.

Here at Professional Filing & Search Services, Inc. we strive to provide services that our clients will benefit from. We feel that offering notary services is a great way to better serve our client’s varied needs. Starting in November, we are pleased to introduce new, mobile notary services.

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