What is a notary public?
A responsible person over the age of 18 appointed by the state government to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths.
Why are documents notarized?
To deter fraud. An impartial witness (the notary) ensure that the signers of the documents are who they say they are and not imposters. The notary makes sure that signers have entered into agreements knowingly and willingly.
May any document be notarized?
For a document to be notarized, it must contain (1) text committing the signer in some way (2) an original signature (in the present of the notary) of the document signer (3) signer must be coherent and freely willing to sign the document.
Is notarization require by law?
For many documents, yes. Certain affidavits, real estate deeds and other documents may not be legally binding unless they are properly notarized.
How does a notary identify a signer?
Generally, the notary will ask to see a current identification document that has a photograph, physical description and a signature. A driver's license, military ID or passport will usually be acceptable.