The Role of a Notary Public

What is a notary public?

In California, a notary is a person with integrity acting as a public servant. This person typically acts as a witness to the signing of important paperwork within a transaction. Ultimately, the role of a notary helps to prevent fraud in significant situations. Examples of these situations would include the transfer of property or giving over financial powers. By having impartial notaries of integrity witnessing document signings, the community can rest assured things are being handled properly.
San Diego, two women talk at a small cafe table, behind them in the window is a view of city buildings

A notary verifies that it’s really you.
A notary listens to you, and acknowledges that you are willing to move forward within your transaction.

What does a notary public do?

When an important document requires your signature to be notarized a notary public is called in to act as a witness. Perhaps the document is giving away your home, or the power to manage your bank account, or maybe permission for your child to travel out of the country. These are important documents! What if someone else created a document, claiming to be you, and sold your property? Well, it’s not that easy because a notary usually needs to be present.

What does a notary public do to prevent fraud? Here are some of the vital steps a notary takes.

First, the notary checks active government identifications (like a drivers license or a passport) to ensure that the person signing the document really is the person they are claiming to be.

Secondly, the notary assesses that everyone in the signing is willing to sign and understands the magnitude of the situation. The notary assures that no one is being bullied or coerced. The notary also affirms that all signers are competent and can fully aware. This especially protects elderly signers.

Next the notary scans the documents thoroughly for blanks to ensure that the document cannot be modified later on.

Lastly, the notary keeps records of the transaction including thumbprints of the signing individuals. If the validity of a document comes into question in the future, the parameters and intent of the signing can be examined.

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