Law

What is a Notary Public?

Did you know that 60% of the people who start a small business are between the ages of 40 and 60? Whether you’re looking to start a business, are a business, or an individual, sometimes you need to receive the help of a notary for legal documents.

In this article, explore the answer to the question, what is a notary public? Read on to discover more about this question, and why a notary can help you with your legal documents today.

What Is a Notary Public?

A notary public is a person who has the power to verify different legal documents, transactions, and paperwork. They make sure that it’s signed by who needs to sign it. A notary public is often chosen by anti-fraudulent or state governments.

What a Notary Does

If you’re wondering how to become a notary public, it’s important to understand what your day-to-day responsibilities will be. First, you’ll take a look at legal documents and ensure that all minimum requirements are met before you notarize them.

This can include original signatures, photo identification, commitments, etc. If you feel it meets all requirements, then you give your notarial certificate.

What if It Doesn’t Meet the Requirements?

If the document doesn’t meet the requirements then the notary won’t sign off on it. As a notary public, their job is also to identify fraud, keep a notary journal, handle loan documents, etc.

Examples of documents you’ll handle:

  • Estates
  • Deeds
  • Power of attorney
  • Loan documents
  • Contracts
  • Licenses
  • Trusts

Why Choose a Notary Public?

There are various reasons you’ll want to use a notary public. One of those is in order to authorize a document.

For example, a power of attorney. Declarations and deeds need to be certified by a notary as well.

Where Do You Get Documents Notarized?

In the past, the only options were to go to a notary public office. For more rural businesses, this was harder to get a notary office in time.

Now, you can discover mobile notary services as well. This will allow you to skip the trip to your local notary office.

What About Illegal Acts by a Notary?

If you witness any illegal activity by a notary, then you’ll want to report it to your local law enforcement agency right away. You can also report it to the state office that oversees the notaries.

In many states, the person who oversees the notaries is the secretary of state. Some states might have the attorney general, lieutenant governor, or governor in charge of notaries as well.

Does a Notary Make the Document Legal?

No. If it’s not legalized before they sign it then a notary doesn’t make it legal. They’re not in charge of the legality or accuracy of the documents. As the signer or issuer, you’re responsible for the content of it.

What a Notary Public Isn’t

Keep in mind that a notary public isn’t an attorney, high-ranking official, or judge. Some confuse a U.S. notary with a Notario Publico which isn’t the same thing. Notaries in the U.S. normally don’t handle immigrant issues.

Why Should I Become a Notary Public?

Some choose to become a notary so that they can have their own agency or mobile business. Others choose it as an addition to add to their resume.

If you choose to have your own business, you’ll be an independent contractor who will notarize trust documents, perform other tasks, and handle mortgage signings. As a notary, you’ll be serving a territory or state.

Improve Your Resume

Listing on your resume that you’re a notary public is high in demand. Various industries look for notary services. As a notary, you’ll notarize documents for bosses, co-workers, or customers.

Flexible Schedule

If you choose to become a Notary signing agent, you’ll be able to set your own hours. You can stay at home and work at night, afternoon, etc. It’s a great way to make extra income in the hours you choose.

Extra Money

Many clients will require more than one signature to be notarized. This is a great way for you to get your name out there and make extra income. You can also charge extra fees for different expenses including supplies and travel.

Who Can Become a Notary Public?

Each state varies as far as its requirements to become a notary. You must be a legal resident of the United States with no criminal record, and be at least 18 years old.

Some states will allow those in neighboring states to become notaries as well. Some states will require you to write and read English.

Are Background Checks Required?

Some states require you to have a background check performed. If a background check isn’t required they might run one anyway if you’ve had a misdemeanor or felony conviction in the past.

Notary Fees

The different fees are paid to a notary service provider in order for a document to be notarized. Many legal documents require signatures in front of a notary public for them to be considered authentic. The notary will ensure that everyone who signs is of sound mind and that signing the document is their choice.

Exploring the Question To, What Is a Notary Public?

Now that you’ve explored the answer to the question, what is a notary public, you should have a better idea if it’s right for you. Would you like to explore more business content? For everything from business to technology, check out our other articles today.

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