Many people assume that “notarization” and “attestation” refer to the same act.
That’s not quite the case.
While only a state-commissioned public notary can perform a notarization, anyone can perform an attestation. Read more to learn the subtle differences between the two legal terms.
Some people automatically assume that notary publics have the legal capacity to translate documents written or otherwise created in a foreign language. However, this is somewhat of a gray area that varies depending on the type of translation and whether or not a signature on the document requires notarization. So before you head out to the nearest notary public in search of a translation, you should familiarize yourself with the rules regarding notary translations. (more…)
Laws governing the notary public profession vary from state to state, which is why it’s important for notaries to familiarize themselves with their respective state’s laws. In Louisiana, for instance, a notary’s commission lasts for life, whereas a notary in Montana will lose his or her commission on January 31 of the fifth year unless they apply for a renewal beforehand. Some states issue commissions for state at large – a term that confuses both notaries and clients seeking notarial services. To learn more about this term and what it means, keep reading. (more…)
South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond and Governor Nikki Haley passed a bill this year which introduced several new changes to the notary profession. This is the first time South Carolina has updated its notary laws in years, which is why it’s important for every notary public to familiarize themselves with the changes. (more…)
Notary publics are required to know and understand dozens of industry-related terms, one of which is “venue.” Nearly every type of notarial certificate, including jurats and acknowledgments, have a section dedicated specifically for the act’s venue. Whether you are new to the profession or not, you must know how to properly complete this section; otherwise, the notarial act may be deemed invalid. (more…)
As a notary public, you might be wondering whether you can legally notarize documents from out-of-state clients. A client may create/receive a document in Texas, for instance, and then travel to Florida to request a notarization. Being that laws governing notarial acts within the U.S. vary from state to state, it’s important for the notary public to familiarize him or herself with their respective state’s laws before agreeing to conduct a notarial act. (more…)
A notary public should take additional steps to prevent fraudulent acts from signers. These otherwise simple steps will ensure the notarial act is performed correctly and according to law. Notaries who attempt to cut corners by ‘shortening’ the process could be subject to forfeiture of their commission and/or legal action. So, what steps can a notary public take to prevent fraud? (more…)
Let’s face it, not everyone has the time to visit a notary public’s office to have his or her documents notarized. If you’re middle of closing on a mortgage loan, for instance, you’ll probably be confined to the seller’s home or the real estate agent’s office. Thankfully, there are notary publics out there who specialize in on-site notarizations. (more…)
Some professional notaries may find themselves in a position where they need a document notarized. For instance, a notary public may create an advance directive (living will), stating his or her preferences regarding medical care in the event they are unable to make them. Since they are already commissioned as a notary public by their respective state, the notary may assume that’s it’s okay to notarize the advance directive themselves. This would obviously save both time and money, which is why so many notaries bring up this question. So, can a notary public notarize his or her own document? (more…)