4 Questions About Using A Notary

Law Blog

Do you need to have legal documents notarized, but have never used a notary before? If so, it will help to know more about this occupation.

What Is A Notary? 

While most people are used to signing documents and not thinking much of it, there are some cases where a document must be certified that you are the actual person that is putting their signature on the line. This is where a notary comes in to help you out. Notaries are public officials who have the job of witnessing someone provide their signature on a document and making sure the person is who they say they are.

Why Is A Notary Necessary? 

You may be wondering what is so special about a notary that a specific person must witness you providing your signature. The problem with anyone being allowed to be the witness is that you do not know if that witness is being truthful as well. A notary is an official third party that is designated to be a witness for document signing to ensure that it is done properly. 

They have the job of checking your ID to verify your own identity and then comparing your signature to the one provided on your ID. For some documentation, the notary takes it a step further and actually captures a thumbprint of the person that is signing the document. Those records then need to be filed appropriately so that the information about your identity can be pulled up if requested. As you can see, this is not just a job that any random person can do. 

What Problems Can Come Up When Using A Notary?

There are times when a notary will not notarize a document. They will want to make sure that you are acting with full mental capacity, so they will not notarize a document if you seem confused or inebriated in any way. A notary is also looking for signs that you are being coerced and signing the document under your own free will. The form must also be completely filled out since a notary will not sign a blank document or one that is missing information that is to be filled out later. 

Can A Notary Give Legal Advice?

A notary is not a lawyer, and they cannot give legal advice about any documents that you are signing. If you do have concerns it is best to discuss them with your own lawyer who is working on your behalf. 


13 June 2022