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FAQ About Notaries

What Is A Notary?

A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by Secretary Of State — to serve the public as an impartial witness (duty-bound not to act in situations where they have a personal interest) in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. These official acts are called notarizations, or notarial acts.

What Is A Loan Signing Agent?

A Notary Signing Agent or NSA is a Notary who has special training to handle loan document signings. Title companies and signing services hire NSAs to deliver loan documents to borrowers, oversee the signing and return the documents.

If I Get A Document Notarized, Is It “Legal”?

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.

What Is A Valid Identification If I Have Something That Needs Notarized?

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.

What Is A Jurat?

The Notary’s function in executing a jurat is to appeal to the signer’s conscience and to initiate a process that could result in a criminal conviction for perjury if the signer is found to be lying under oath. In executing a jurat, the Notary must watch the person sign the document, then have the signer make either a solemn, oral promise of truthfulness to a Supreme Being (called an oath) or a promise on one’s own personal honor (called an affirmation). The oath and affirmation have the same legal effect. Jurats are common with documents that may be used as evidence in court proceedings, such as depositions and affidavits.

What Is An Acknowledgement?

The notary certifies having positively identified a document signer who personally appeared before the Notary and admitted having signed the document freely.

-It shows that the acknowledging party appeared personally before the Notary Public taking the acknowledgment.

-Identifies the acknowledging party by a name corresponding to the acknowledged document.

-A notary public signs it.

-It is sealed with the notary’s official seal.

-Proves signature’s authenticity.

For a notary to issue acknowledgment, the document doesn’t need to be signed in his or her presence. However, the signer must still appear before the notary at the time of the acknowledgment to swear he or she freely signed for the purposes stated in the document under his or her own will.

Can A Notary Give Legal Advice Or Draft Legal Documents?

NO State law strictly prohibits Notaries from the practice of law.  Notaries should never advise on any matter relating to a document unless they are an attorney or professionals certified or licensed in a relevant area of expertise.

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