What Is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is an independent officer commissioned by the Secretary of State to be an impartial and independent witness. Their role is to prevent fraud in the signature of legal documents by authenticating the true identity of the person writing the document. Notary Public training prepares candidates for this position by teaching them about the laws, duties, and responsibilities that they have to any client who may need a notary and how to deal with situations that may arise when using the services. A notary is an official witness to any legal proceedings involving money or the transfer of property, such as a will or the opening of a bank account. A Notary Public is required to administer oaths and affirmations, take down minutes of meetings and proceedings, and prepare court reports.

Notaries are appointed by the States-General Authorities and are removable at the discretion of the Secretary of State when there are questions about their performance or if they are suspected of misconduct. Notary Public training helps candidates become prepared for all types of situations that involve the obligations of notaries and prepares them for the examinations to become a National Notary Public. Notaries are licensed by the United States Department of Education and are expected to meet specific education and experience requirements before being appointed as a Notary Public. Candidates wishing to become notary publics must pass the Notary Public Examination and pass the National Notary Test.

Notary Publics are commissioned by either the circuit court or the county clerk. Each has its own rules that a Notary is required to follow, including what type of notarization is required, what information they are permitted to disclose to a client, and what they are required to keep confidential. In some states, the Notary is prohibited from giving legal advice or otherwise assisting a party in a transaction unless they are licensed. In other states, they are allowed to give legal advice and perform other non-professional acts but are prohibited from participating in certain transactions, like offering financial products or making loans to a party who is not a licensed financial advisor. Notaries have a particular responsibility to protect the rights of others and ensure that they execute their duties in a reasonable manner.

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