A notary is a person who is permitted to witness the signing of legal documents. These documents typically involve the power of attorney, deeds, licenses, estates, affidavits, and trusts. A notary is an officer commissioned by the government and ensures that the documents they examine are genuine.
Notarization of legal documents serves two purposes: to verify that business transactions are carried out correctly and to discourage fraud. Notaries are obligated to identify signatories to a document while they are checking the validity of documents. This helps notaries weed out impostors and ensures that parties agree voluntarily and with full knowledge of their obligations.
A regulatory organization, such as a faculty of notaries public, or a governmental authority, such as a court or state government, is the entity that is responsible for the appointment of notaries. Notaries are considered public officials; nevertheless, they are not compensated by the government for their work and must rely on the fees they collect in exchange for their services.
What Notary Checks in Verifying Documents?
To prevent fraud or coercion, the notary must ascertain the authenticity of each signature that appears on a document. When notarizing legal papers, the notary is responsible for verifying several different aspects, including the following:
The identities of the individuals who come before the notary.
The notary must confirm the identification of the individuals signing the official document. This can be done through personal knowledge or by referring to external identifiers such as a driver’s license or passport. After the verification process is complete, the names of the participants are entered into a notarial register, also known as a protocol.
Before and during the signing of the documents, the notary should ensure that all signatories clearly understand what it is that they agree to sign and that they are in good mental health. The individual signing should not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, nor should they be experiencing any other condition that could cloud their judgment.
The notary should screen the individual coming to sign the document to ensure that they are of legal age (at least 18 years old) and have the mental ability to enter into a legally binding agreement. The notary can’t authenticate the document if any of the signers are under the age of majority.
The willingness of the parties
It is the notary’s responsibility to determine whether or not the signers are willing and able to sign legal documents and whether or not there are any indications of compulsion. One of the parties is possibly being coerced into appending their signature on the paper if that party is not signing of their own free choice and both parties are signing the document.
What Are the Roles of Notary Public?
- Detecting fraud.
- Confirming the mentality of the parties that are engaging in the activity.
- Confirming and keeping a record of the participants’ identifying information in the agreement.
- Ensuring that every document has a notarial certificate completed.
- Put one’s name on documents or other items stored in a safe deposit box.
- Keeping a notary diary updated regularly.
- Taking and administering oaths
- Employing statutory declarations and affidavits.
- Taking care of the paperwork associated with loans, contracts, marriage certificates, and other legal documents.