FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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The court defines a notary public as a “public ministerial officer,” an agent for the state, and a witness of notarial writing and signatures. A Notary Public is an honest, moral and responsible member of our society. They are appointed by the office of the Secretary of State to witness by an official seal and written acknowledgement, or jurat, the signing of documents, as well as administer an oath.

The most frequent service a Notary Public performs is the simple one of taking someone’s acknowledgment. An acknowledgment is the solemn statement of a person that he or she signed a paper of his or her own free will. The notary verifies the person’s identity, presses his/her notary seal on the paper and signs it where the notary is meant to sign.

Notarization does not guarantee that the information on a document is accurate or legal. The signer is responsible for the content of the document. The Notary Public simply certifies the signer’s identity, usually by verifying a current identifying document containing a photo, physical description, and signature. Government issued photo IDs, such as driver’s licenses, state ID cards, passports, military IDs, and inmate IDs are sufficient for certification. Social Security cards, birth Certificates, credit cards, immigration cards, and temporary driver’s licenses are not suitable for certification.

Q: What Does A Notary Do?
A: The most frequent service a Notary Public performs is the simple one of taking someone’s acknowledgment.  An acknowledgment is the solemn statement of a person that he or she signed a paper of his or her own free will.  The notary verifies the person’s identity, presses his/her notary seal on the paper and signs it where the notary is meant to sign.

Q.Does the notary approve the documents?
A:Notarization does not guarantee that the information on a document is accurate or legal. The signer is responsible for the content of the document. The Notary Public simply certifies the signer’s identity, usually by verifying a current identifying document containing a photo, physical description, and signature. Government issued photo IDs, such as driver’s licenses, state ID cards, passports, military IDs, and inmate IDs are sufficient for certification. Social Security cards, birth Certificates, credit cards, immigration cards, and temporary driver’s licenses are not suitable for certification.

Q: How Does A U.S. Notary Differ From A Notario Publico?
A: In Latin America, a Notario Publico is a high-ranking official like a judge or an attorney. Unlike a Notario Publico, a U.S. Notary Public is forbidden from preparing legal documents or giving legal advice unless he or she is also an attorney.

Q: Why Are Documents Notarized?
A: Notarization is intended to deter fraud. The impartial witness (Notary Public) ensures that the signer of a document is who they say they are and that the person signed the document willingly.

Q: Does Notarization Mean That The Information On A Document Is True Or Legal?
A: No. Notarization does not prove that information or statements on a document are true, accurate or legal. The signer is responsible for the content of the documents. The Notary Public certifies the identity of the signer.

Q: How Does A Notary Public Identify A Signer?
A: Generally, the Notary Public will ask to see a current identifying document that has a photograph, physical description and a signature.

Q: Is Identification Required For A Notarization?
A: Each signer must either present a current photo ID; or have two other persons present who will swear to the signer’s identity, each of whom has a good, current photo ID.

Q: What Is Acceptable Identification?
A: All signers must have a government issued photo identification to present to the Notary Public at the time of signing. Examples: 1.) Driver’s License or State ID Card; 2.) U.S. Passport; 3.) U.S. Military ID; 4.) Inmate ID, but must be prisoners in custody; 5.) Foreign Passport stamped by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Q: What Is Unacceptable Identification?
A: The following will not be accepted as acceptable identification: 1.) Social Security Card; 2.) Birth Certificate; 3.) Credit/Bank Cards; 4.) Temporary Driver’s License; 5.) Driver’s License without photograph; 6.) Immigration Card.