What is a Notary?
A notary in the United States is a public official, commissioned by their State of residence to perform a notorial service for anyone who requires it.
What kinds of services do notaries perform?
Certifying that a signer personally appeared before the notary, was identified by the notary (with proper Identification), and acknowledged signing the document.
- Certified copies of a Power of Attorney:
Notaries may certify that a copy of a power of attorney is identical to the original.
Certifying that the spoken words of a witness were accurately taken down in writing.
As found in affidavits and other sworn documents, certifying that the signer personally appeared before the Notary, signed in the Notary's presence, and took an oath or affirmation from the Notary.
- Oaths and Affirmations:
Solemn promises to God(oath) or solemn promises to one's own personal honor(affirmation)
- Proofs of Execution:
Certifying that a subscribing witness personally appeared and swore to the Notary that another person, the principle, signed the document.
Certifying that a written promise to pay, such as a bill of exchange, was not honored.
What is a Notary not authorized to do:
- Notary's Own Signatute:
A Notary is not authorized to notarize their own signature
- Certified Copies:
A certified copy is a duplicate copy of an original document that is certified as an exact reproduction. In California, a Notary is prohibited from making certified copies of anything but the Notary's own official journal or a Power of Attorney. Request for certified copies of any other documents should be directed to the agency that holds the document.