As stated in the NNA (National Notary Assoc.), “A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by state government—typically by the secretary of state — to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. These official acts are called notarizations or notarial acts. Notaries are publicly commissioned as “ministerial” officials, meaning that they are expected to follow written rules without the exercise of significant personal discretion, as would be the case with a “judicial” official.
A notary public must verify the identities of parties involved in signing specific documents and attest to those identities in his or her presence.
A Notary Public is also a licensed public servant of the State who can administrate an oath and affirmations and can be delegate as an official witness during the signing of important documents to prevent fraud, such as:
• Property deed • Wills
• Powers of attorney • Affidavits
• Acknowledgments • Jurat
for their true identity, their willingness to sign without duress or intimidation, and their awareness of the general import of the document. Some notarizations also require the Notary to put the signer under an oath declaring under penalty of perjury that the information contained in a document is true and correct.
As official representatives of the state, Notaries Public certify the proper execution of many of the life-changing documents of private citizens — whether those diverse transactions convey real estate, grant powers of attorney, establish a prenuptial agreement, or perform the multitude of other activities that enable our civil society to function.