You are most likely to encounter a notary public in the process of a legal transaction. Legal documents require a notarization from a notary public to ensure they are properly executed. This requirement helps to deter fraud by preventing imposters and people agreeing under coercion.
Who Is a Notary Public?
A notary public is a government-certified official, mandated to verify and authenticate legal documents. Notary publics help to create reliability and trust in an agreement process. They verify the identity of the parties and their willingness to sign an agreement. A notary public is an appointee of the state government. A person wishing to become a notary must undergo a background check and exam. Other consideration factors include age, residence, and history of convictions. Notably, public notaries are not paid by the government. Instead, a notary makes money by charging a service fee to clients.
Duties of a Notary Public
Notary publics perform the following tasks in the verification and authentication process:
- Confirming the state of mind of agreement parties
- Verifying the identity of agreement parties
- Administering oaths
- Receiving affidavits and legal declarations
- Detecting fraud
- Signing/stamping notarial certificates
In practice, the person requiring a notary certificate will submit the relevant documents to a notary public. Such documents must meet the set minimum requirement for notarization. The notary will only append the seal of a notary if the document meets all requirements.
Below are some of the things that a notary public considers when verifying and authenticating legal documents:
Identity: The notary public must confirm the true identity of the participants signing the agreement. Ideally, the notary will ask for proof of identity. These proofs may include a passport, driver's license, and birth certificates. Moreover, the notary maintains a notarial register of all agreement participants.
Age: Participants entering into an agreement must have attained legal age. The notary public will verify that the parties have attained adult age to enter into binding contracts. A notary public uses national identity cards and passports to confirm age.
Sound mind: A notary public must confirm that people entering into a contract are of sound mind. This measure guarantees that parties agree knowingly and willingly. The notary looks out for intoxication and illness that may affect judgment. Moreover, the unwillingness to sign indicates a form of coercion.
Notarization is an essential process in detecting and deterring fraud in legal agreements. A public notary's seal affirms the identity and legal qualification of agreement parties. Contact a company like Lomeli Industries LLC to learn more.