Have you ever required the services of a notary? If that’s the case, you may have wondered, “What is a notary, and how do you locate a notary?” A notary is a public designated by a state to act as an impartial witness to the signing of legal papers and an administrator of oaths.
Notaries are essential when it comes to safeguarding the public and combating fraud. Yet not every notary is the same. Consider these considerations before deciding on a notary to witness your paperwork.
Things to Consider Before Selecting a Notary
It’s important to note that not all papers may be notarized by any one notary since various notaries specialize in different fields. For instance, a document notarized by a public notary in one state may need further legal action before it may be acknowledged as genuine in another.
In the same case, notaries may be unable to notarize legal documents, including wills, deeds, and powers of attorney. It is critical to verify that the notary you seek is qualified to notarize the document.
You Must Choose a Notary with State-Specific Qualifications
Generally, each state or country has its list of qualifications that potential notaries must achieve. The candidate must meet these standards by, for example, demonstrating that they have completed a background check, a training program, and a corresponding examination.
Yet, notary requirements may differ from one state to the next. You are responsible for ensuring that any prospective notary has obtained the necessary certifications to practice in your state.
A Notary’s Knowledge and Experience
Notaries must have some basic requirements but may also have specialized knowledge in certain areas. The services of certain notaries, for instance, are limited to drafting legal papers, while others focus on real estate transactions. Choosing a notary who knows the field in which your document falls is crucial.
A Notary’s Responsibilities are Laid Down in Statute
The Duties of a Notary
A notary’s responsibilities include verifying the signer’s identity and ensuring that the signature was given freely and without coercion. Before affixing their official seal and signature, the notary must ensure the document is full and correct. A notary may be held liable if they fail to carry out their duties.
A Notary’s Legal Responsibility
If a notary fails to do a required action, they are financially responsible for any resulting harm. It is the notary’s responsibility to verify the signer’s identification, and if they fail to do so, they may be held accountable for any damages caused by a fake document. Hence, notaries are obligated to cover themselves with liability insurance.
Unprofessional Behavior Comes With Serious Repercussions
Fines, suspension, or cancellation of a notary’s commission, and even criminal charges may be levied against a notary who engages in wrongdoing, such as taking bribes or forging papers. Picking a notary who takes their responsibilities seriously and has a proven history of integrity is crucial.
A Wide Range of Costs and Hassles are Associated with Using a Notary
The Expense of Using a Notary
The fee for a notary’s services might vary greatly from one place to the next based on factors like the document’s complexity and the notary’s experience level. Get a quote for the notarization fee before you choose a notary to prevent any unpleasant surprises.
The Ease of Using a Notary
Banks, legal firms, and government agencies are just a few possible locations for a notary’s services. A mobile notary is one that is willing to come to you to notarize your document. If you are time-pressed or physically unable to go to a notary public office, you may find great benefits in searching for a “notary public near me” to find someone who can help online.
Having Access to a Notary
Sometimes, notaries aren’t accessible late at night or on the weekends or holidays. If you’re on a tight schedule and need a document notarized outside of normal business hours, you’ll want to locate a notary who can accommodate your needs. Online notary services allow you to use a notary’s services whenever you need them from the convenience of your own home.
For these reasons, it is crucial to choose a trustworthy notary to attest to the authenticity of your official papers. It is important to carefully analyze the notary’s credentials, legal requirements and responsibilities, fees, availability, and other factors before hiring them. Ensure your vital papers are safe by finding and hiring a qualified notary.
Author: Samantha Higgins
Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.