There are times when you will be required to have a document notarized to ensure that the signature on a document is real and was forged. There are many places and people who offer notary services. 

What Is a Notary?

A notary is someone who is legally authorized to bear witness to the signing of legal documents. Some occupations may require you to become a notary public. Some people who work in a bank or credit union are required to become a notary to provide the service for their customers. 

How to Become a Notary?

To become a notary, there may be certain qualifications that your state requires you to meet. If you do meet the requirements, you will need to fill out an application. Once it is filled out, you can mail your application and the fee to the Secretary of State. They will mail back a certificate that you will need to record with the county. A filing fee may apply. After everything is official, you can purchase your own notary stamp. 

Providing Private Notary Services

You do not have to have a job that requires you to be a notary to become one. You can become a notary as a side gig if you are looking for an easy way to earn a little extra cash. However, they are typically maximum fees that you are allowed to charge set by the state. Make sure you are abiding by the laws set by the state or there may be consequences. 

Types of Documents That May Need to Be Notarized

Not all documents will need to have a notary present when signing. There are some documents that may legally require it, or the person/corporation requires it. 

Some examples of the types of documents that may need to be notarized can include:

  • Leases
  • Employment contracts
  • Certified copies of any document
  • Passport application documents
  • Mortgage documents
  • A legal declaration of facts

Almost any document can be notarized, but there are times when a notary cannot complete the notary services requested. 

Times a Notary Cannot Notarize Documents

There are rules that a notary has to follow when completing the notary services. 

Certain times a notary may not be able to go through with notarizing a document can include:

  • The notary's certificate has expired
  • The notary cannot verify the identity of the person signing the documents
  • The person signing the documents is not mentally sound
  • The document contains redacted information

A notary can face misdemeanor or felony charges if they falsely notarize a document so there are rules to make sure they do not do this by accident. 

To learn more, contact a notary in your area.