FAQs about Notary Publics

Frequently Asked Questions about Notary Publics & Notary Public Services


1. What is a notary public?
A notary public is an individual authorized by the state government to act as an impartial witness in performing various official acts. Their primary role is to verify the identity of signers, administer oaths or affirmations, and authenticate documents by adding their signature and official seal.


2. What services does a notary public provide?
Notary public services include notarizing various types of documents, such as affidavits, deeds, contracts, powers of attorney, wills, and more. They witness the signing of documents, confirm the identity of the signers, and affix their official seal and signature to validate the document's authenticity.


3. How does a notary public verify identity?
Notaries verify identity by examining government-issued identification documents, such as a driver's license, passport, or state-issued identification card. The notary compares the information on the identification document with the signer's appearance and other relevant details to ensure they are the same person.


4. Can a notary public provide legal advice?
No, a notary public is not authorized to provide legal advice or services unless they are also licensed attorneys. Their role is limited to the proper execution and notarization of documents. If you require legal advice, it is recommended to consult an attorney.


5. How much does a notary public charge for their services?
Notary public fees vary by jurisdiction and can be set by state laws. Generally, notaries charge a fee per notarized signature or for specific notarial acts. The fees are typically modest and may vary based on the complexity of the document, location, and additional services required.


6. Where can I find a notary public?
Notary publics can be found in various locations, including law offices, banks, government offices, insurance agencies, real estate offices, and postal service centers. Additionally, many notaries provide mobile services and can travel to your location for convenience.


7. Do I need an appointment to see a notary public?
While some notaries accept walk-in clients, it is advisable to schedule an appointment to ensure their availability. Calling ahead will allow you to confirm their working hours, fees, and any specific requirements or documents you may need to bring.


8. Can a notary public notarize documents in a foreign language?
Notaries can notarize documents written in a foreign language, provided they can communicate effectively with the signer and understand the content of the document. However, it is crucial to note that the notary must complete the notarial certificate in the language they are commissioned to work in.


9. Are notarized documents valid internationally?
The validity of notarized documents in foreign countries depends on the specific requirements and regulations of each country. Some countries may accept notarizations performed in the United States or other countries, while others may require additional steps such as authentication or embassy legalization. It is recommended to consult the receiving country's embassy or consulate for guidance.


10. How long is a notarized document valid?
The validity of a notarized document is typically indefinite, meaning there is no expiration date on the notarization itself. However, the content or purpose of the document may have specific time constraints or legal requirements. It is always best to consult an attorney or relevant authority to understand the document's validity and any time limitations that may apply.


Remember, specific laws and regulations governing notaries can vary between jurisdictions, so it is advisable to consult your local laws or seek professional advice when dealing with notarial matters.