A Notary Public is a person who is legally authorized to witness the execution of important documents, such as deeds, affidavits and powers of attorney. The notary verifies the identities of the parties to the documents and may ask each party to swear or affirm that they are not under duress, but are signing of their own free will. The notary affixes his official seal to the document and adds a jurat (typically stamped) directly onto the signature page of the document. The notary does not attest to the nature of the document, but only to the verification of the identity of the signers, their willingness to sign, and the place and date of the signing.
It is important to understand that a notary may not prepare legal documents, specifically immigration papers, or provide legal advice, unless otherwise certified and authorized to do so.
Before notarizing a document, a notary must be presented with adequate identification for each party. Typically accepted forms of ID include:
- Government-issued Driver’s License
- Government-issued ID Card
- Military ID Card
- Inmate ID Card
- Two credible witnesses may be acceptable if a person does not have current, valid ID