Public Notaries are public officers who are appointed by the Secretary of State, in the state they practice, and act as an impartial third party to witness & record the signing of certain documents (mainly “important” documents). Public notaries provide an important service in authenticating a wide variety of these important documents.
Certain important documents require notarization for several reasons. First, a notary will make sure the transaction taking place is valid, and that none of the parties involved is disadvantaged in any way possible. Notaries will verify that the parties signing the documents are who they claim to be; in order to do this the notary will check photo identification. The notary will also take a fingerprint from the individuals signing the documents. They will also insure that the parties signing are not under duress (not being forced).
Documents that may need to be notarized consist of a large variety. The more common types of documents that will be notarized that you may be familiar with, would include: trust deeds for property, last will & testaments, quit thblogs claim deeds to property, lending documents, power of attorney, and international business documents; as you can see the documents vary from business documents to family documents and others.
Just like many other public officials, a public notary must obtain a surety bond before being appointed the position of notary public. The surety bond ensures that if the notary through neglect or purposeful deception were to cause damages, there would be funds available to “make good” or recoup the losses incurred.
A surety bond protects the general public when using a notary. A notary may also want to be protected, and for that insurance companies are able to provide coverage to appointed notaries. The insurance provided through and insurance company would be known as errors & emission insurance (E&O).
In the United States public notaries are limited to witnessing the signing of documents and administering certain oaths, however, in other countries notaries can have a wide reaching array of legal abilities; because of this they are required to complete more extensive training.
The National Notary Association is the leading authority on the American Notary Public office, and is also recognized nationally & internationally as the leading educator and leader of best ethical practices. The National Notary Association represents nearly 5 million notaries, representing them in the United States and other countries. The organization promotes best practices, helps to ensure ethical practices are being used, publishes material to help enact effective legislation, and help people to understand the duties of a notary.