Do Not confuse Notario Publico with Notary Public

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Do Not confuse Notario Publico with Notary Public

It is illegal in New York State for me to use the term “Notario Publico” in any manner. I am a  and the difference, though sounding similar, is vast. In Mexico, and many other Spanish speaking countries; the office of Notario Publico is regarded with very high esteem. Their training, ability and procedural rights have no American counterpart. For example, in Mexico City the Notario Publico is always a Lawyer. They have the authority to be an arbitrator or mediator. They review legal documents for compliance with Mexican law. They are also permitted to issue Judicial Opinions. As you might expect, it’s a high paying job, with very strict entrance requirements; and only a limited number of openings are available.

It’s much easier in most American States to become a Notary Public. There is usually an exam, but it is not too difficult. Sometimes a Bond is required to protect the public. The lax requirements and ease of becoming a Notary Public has generally placed the office in low regard. It is often considered as a necessary but trivial function. Oaths, Acknowledgements and depositions are the main functions of the American Notary Public. They certify the signature on the document by inspection of the affiant’s identification. American Notaries do not have any responsibility for the content of the document.

The Mexican, and other Notario Publicos, earn a percentage fee based on the value of the transaction. Many Americans buying Mexican property are surprised to receive a bill from what they thought was a “Notary Public” ranging in the thousands of dollars for processing a real estate transaction. In the United States, notary fees are generally set at a low rate by the various state licensing authorities. New York State defines the permitted notary procedures practiced by in a very strict manner. New York notaries are very sternly prohibited from the preparation and review of legal documents or rendering any form of legal advice unless they are also attorneys.

Thus, the office of the American notary is humble compared to the elevated status of the Latin American Notario Publico. However, there is a genuine need for the American Notary Public and the assurance by an impartial third party as to the validity of signatures on legal documents. In any endeavor, there are lax and studious providers. I take the role of Notary Public very seriously and lament the many cases of improper notarizations that I am frequently called upon to “clean up”. Notarization remains a legal requirement for many documents. A flawed notarization can cause delays in recording of mortgages, non-issuance of licenses, and a wide variety of other problems. Choose your notary carefully. Chances are you are not qualified to recognize an improper notarization. I have a great deal of information that can help you learn more about notarization on my web site. I invite you to browse my site and learn more about the process and procedures.  


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Kenneth Edelstein

The only A+ Accredited BBB NYC Notary
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