Notarization provides an extra level of protection for documents by requiring an impartial witness to verify the identity of the person who will sign the document. This witness is to confirm that the signer is aware of the nature of the paper and that they are not being forced to sign it against their will. Notarization ensures that the document is legally binding and can be used in court if necessary.
But what is notarization, really?
Read on to learn the basics of the notarization process, who can notarize a document, and more:
What Notarization Is
Notarization is the process of certifying a document as authentic and genuine by a Notary Public. The Notary Public is a neutral third party who verifies the identity of the signer and witnesses signing the document.
The notarization process confirms that the signer is signing the document voluntarily and with full knowledge of the contents of the document. Notarization is often required for legal documents, such as wills, deeds, powers of attorney, and contracts, to ensure they are legally binding and enforceable.
Notarization protects against fraud, forgery, and misrepresentation, providing an additional layer of security to important legal documents.
Who Can Notarize Documents?
A notary public is someone who the state government authorizes to witness and certify the signing of important legal documents. Not everyone can become a notary public, as the requirements vary from state to state.
Generally, a person must be at least 18, have no felony convictions, and pass a background check.
In some states, a person may be required to complete a training course or pass an exam. You should note that not all documents can be notarized, and a notary public may refuse to notarize a copy if it is incomplete or if the signer is not present.
How Documents Are Notarized
As mentioned, notarization involves a licensed notary public who witnesses the signing of the document and confirms the identity of the signer. The notary public also checks that the signer is signing the document willingly and is not under duress.
To notarize a document, a Notary Public must first confirm the identity of the document’s signer. This can often involve checking an official form of identification, like a driver’s license, passport, or national identification card.
Once identities are confirmed, the notary guides each person signing the document and witnesses them signing in all of the necessary locations. After all, signatures have been witnessed, the notary applies an official stamp to each of the signatures with a personalized stamp containing their name, the state where they are a notary, and the date their notary term ends.
In the past, having documents notarized meant that all parties involved had to arrange a time to meet with a notary. This meant that everyone had to make sure to have the required documents and identification. They also had to travel to the notary’s physical location on the day of the notarization.
Can Documents Be Notarized Online?
Yes, documents can be notarized online through virtual notary services. This process involves using video conferencing tools to verify identities and witness the signing of documents remotely. Notarizing documents online can be convenient for those who cannot physically visit a notary or need documents notarized quickly. However, ensuring that the virtual notary service is accredited and meets the legal requirements for notarizing documents in your jurisdiction is important.
What Types of Documents Have to Be Notarized?
Real Estate Documents
Real estate documents are among the most common documents that need to be notarized. This includes deeds, mortgages, releases, assignments, and powers of attorney.
Legal documents are also commonly notarized. These documents may include contracts, affidavits, wills, and other agreements like adoption papers, divorce papers, or any other document that requires an extra layer of security.
Financial documents also require notarization. These documents include promissory notes, powers of attorney, and loan documents.
Notarizing a document can be critical to any legal or financial transaction. Understanding the process and the implications of notarizing a document is essential. Notarizing a document involves having it signed and witnessed by a notary public, who is a licensed and impartial official. This process helps ensure the validity of the document.
Our goal at Angels Notary & Public Tag Service is to provide convenient and prompt customer service, no matter the time or place. We offer notary services, fingerprinting, fax and emailing, and more. Contact us today to find out how Angel Notary in Morgan City can help you!