How Is A Document Notary Done?
Posted: Aug 09, 2017
Various legal documents need to be notarized before they can be deemed valid and legally binding on both the parties. The notarizing procedure involves a third-party, neutral person witnessing the actual signing of the document.This witness should be trained and authorized by a state governing body and is known as a notary public or notary signing agent. The notary public not only officiates the signing of the formal document but is also required to ensure that the parties are signing knowingly, willingly and under their own power.
The notary agent will require valid photo ID proof of the parties to ascertain the actual identity of the person signing the document. The document has to be signed in the presence of the agent. Photocopies of the signature will not be accepted. In case the document was signed earlier, the notary agent may require an additional signature on the same document or on a copy of the document. After witnessing the signature, the agent will compare it with the original and they should match perfectly.Once the notary agent is satisfied, he or she will also sign the document and write the date before stamping it with an official notary seal. This serves as a mark of authenticity and make the document binding. The agent may also fill out a notarial journal and provide a notarial certificate for the document.
Therefore, notarizing also serves as a useful tool to prevent fraud and identity theft. It adds a layer of verification that the parties signing the documents are really who they say they are. The agent will also check that the document is complete and will never notarize documents that are partially filled or unfinished in any manner.It does not matter if the document is written in a foreign language. The notary agent can still notarize after witnessing the signatures and checking the official identification of the parties. The notarial certificate has to be in English only.
When is notary needed?The law requires various types of financial documents, personal legal documents, loan documents, medical documents, wills, trusts, power of attorney authorizations and passport and visa authentications to be officially notarized before they can be considered valid and legal. Even health care directives and consent letters for minor children to travel internationally have to be duly notarized.
Notary is considered especially useful in real estate loan and mortgage documents. This includes loan for home purchase, first mortgage, first refinance, second loan, home equity line of credit, reverse mortgage, commercial real estate loan, etc. In fact, a notary signing agent serves as a critical final link for completing the loan process and the loan being funded by the bank or financial institution.Different states have varying requirements on the authorities of a notary agent and even where the notary signature and seal should be actually placed. Choosing a trained, certified and experienced notary signing agent will ensure that the legal document is handled properly and notarized appropriately.
The author is an experienced notary signing agent and eminent writer in the field of notary. In this article, he has highlighted some facts on notary service as well as how a document is notarized.