Certain situations and business transactions that we occasionally enter into require that we or another party notarize a certain document or types of documents in order for the document to be acceptable.
Under these circumstances an individual will require the services of a notary public. An example would be if a person wishes to transfer title to a motor vehicle to another party, the state Motor Vehicles Department required the transfer the document that certifies the transfer to be notarized.
A person seeking to obtain a mortgage or refinancing of an existing loan on a parcel of real estate will need a notary while executing the deed and certain other documents in the loan package. Depositions, wills, trusts documents, powers of attorney, immigration forms and certain contracts require a notary's certification and approval, before they can be accepted in many states.
If you need to provide written evidence for use in a court case, you may need to have your signed statement witnessed by a Notary Public. Also, some local jurisdictions may require you to provide evidence that you are free to marry which must be made via a declaration before a Notary Public.
A Notary Public is a public servant appointed under the laws of different states to witness the signing of important documents and administers oaths. Notaries Public are legally empowered to take acknowledgments, oaths, and affidavits, and perform such similar acts, as may be specifically permitted under state law. When a notary public authenticates a document they put their notary's seal on the document and also sign the document, in California under penalty of perjury.
Notaries in the United States have less authority than notaries in civil law jurisdictions or in most other common law countries. U.S. Notaries are not allowed to give "legal" advice, but they are allowed to give notarial advice, with the exception of Louisiana.
Notaries are usually prohibited (with the exception of Louisiana) from performing any functions that could be construed as the practice of law. Activities include: the preparing, drafting, independently selecting the type of notarization a document requires, or the giving advice relating to any documents.
Notaries, by the very nature of their role as quasi-public officials are required by law to be persons of high moral character that display honesty and integrity in their dealings with others. This moral character gives the public confidence in notaries, as others can rely upon them to be trustworthy stewards.
When you need a notary public to help you can easily find one online in one of the many notary portals online. These notaries are usually independent business owners are will travel to meet you at your home, office hospital, jail or other place you request. There is usually an extra fee required for travel services.
You can also check with your local bank, credit union or in certain county or municipal offices. Notaries who work in financial institutions and government offices usually are not mobile and it is to your benefit to book an appointment in advance, to avoid traveling to their office to find them at lunch, on vacation or out of the office for the day.
Your best bet in our opinion is to go online and Google "need a notary" and select a notary from one the online notary portals to save yourself from showing up at a business or government office only to be disappointed because no notary is in the office to service your needs. It might cost a few dollars more but it worth not wasting your time in chasing down a notary public.