Before you sign something, do you want to know if it needs notarization? Who is a Notary Public? Let’s find out.
Who is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is a responsible neutral person appointed by the state or government to witness a signature. They verify the ID of the person signing to ensure they are indeed who they say they are. They verify that all the information in a document is filled and understood before it is signed.
A notary public has a stamp that they put on the documents they notarize. They also have a notary journal in which they record each and every document they notarize.
How Does One Become a Notary Public?
In certain states like California, you must pass an exam to become a certified notary public. You cannot notarize any documents if you do not pass the exam and take the oath.
Who Needs a Notary Public?
If you are going to sign a document and want to ensure that there is irrevocable proof that you signed it, you need a Notary Public. Any document related to physical property, like a deed or a power of attorney, must have notarized signatures and thumbprints.
Some documents will come with the space for a notary to stamp them. Your lawyer will let you know if you need the services of a Notary.
Limitations of a Notary Public
There are many documents that a notary public can notarize. The right question, in this case, is not who needs a notary public but what can’t a notary public notarize.
A California notary public can notarize any and all documents other than the following:
The Notary must refuse to notarize a document if information is missing on the papers presented for notarization. There is no telling what people will add after having the document notarized.
If Notary Publics were authorized to notarize empty pages, any documents could be easily forged. A notary public cannot put their stamp and enter a document into their journal that is yet to be created. It doesn’t matter if they trust the person presenting the papers. It is a matter of principle.
Part of the job of a notary public is to verify the identity of the person signing the paper. For that to be accomplished, the Notary must witness the signature in front of him. Even if the person who signed sits in front of him with a faxed signature, the Notary’s hands are tied.
Conflict of Interest
A Notary cannot notarize any document that benefits them directly or indirectly. If the Notary has any personal gain from the documents, his notarization will become invalid.
Their Own Signature
A Notary Public cannot notarize their own signature. If they need to have their own signature notarized, they must use the services of another Notary Public.
A Notary public cannot remotely notarize a document. The State of California requires a Notary to be physically present at signing a document. If you are facing trouble going to an office to have documents notarized, you can call a Mobile Notary Service. A mobile notary service dispatches a certified Notary public to your location.
To wrap it up, your lawyer will let you know when you need the services of a Notary Public. It doesn’t hurt to get any document you want notarized. In fact, it only improves their credibility. Some documents related to property must be notarized by law.