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January 17, 2017

Notary vs. Signing Agent

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 12:21 am

We write about this topic every so often. It is so basic and so critical that all new Notaries should understand. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans become Notaries. As Notaries they can perform tasks such as Acknowledging signatures, performing Jurats, administering Oaths, and other tasks which might be state specific. Notaries can hold their heads up high as their function is to identify signers, keep good records (in most states at least) and deter or prevent fraud. But, that is only if they are doing their job correctly — and most states do not vet their Notaries well enough to know the difference.

What is a Notary?
(1) A Notary Public is a state appointed official that is authorized to perform particular Notary functions. All states allow Notaries to perform Acknowledgments, Jurats, and Oaths, while some states allow Notaries to act as an official witness, safety box opener, proof of execution, protests, take Depositions, and more.

(2) A Notary receives a formal certificate of commission from their state, and a commission number.

(3) Many states require a Notary to have an official notary seal that has the Notary’s name, commission number, expiration date, state andcounty.

(4) Many states require the Notary to keep a bound and sequential official journal of notarial acts.

To be short, a Notary can perform certain basic Notary functions that their state allows them to function. Their state offers them a formal certificate of commission, and normally allows them to get one or two official Notary seals with their name, commission number, expiration date, city and state, etc. Notaries use prescribed state specific wording for particular Notary acts and that wording can be used on loose certificates that they can purchase from businesses who sell Notary supplies. A Notary is a public official, although most Notaries don’t understand that on an emotional level. They are appointed by their state as an official who will uphold (or at least are supposed to) the laws of their state at all costs.


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