Whether you want to start a new business, get married, adopt a child, or buy a new home, notary for the paperwork is mandatory. Notarizations sometimes represent major life milestones in our lives. Usually, one would visit an authorized notary service to get their paperwork or document notarized. The process does not end there.
You may be required to carry tons of other documents to the authorized notary. Not everyone would know the details of the notarization process, and that’s ok. If you struggle to figure out the process of notarizing your documents, then we’re here for your rescue. This article explores the steps necessary to notarize your legal documents.
- Determine What Kind Of Notary You Require
When visiting an official notary, it’s better to determine what type of notary you require for your documents. Notaries may guide the various notarial acts but cannot suggest the kind of notary as it is against the law. Basically, there are three types of notarizations, acknowledgments, jurats, and copy certifications.
Acknowledgments are to declare that you have signed a document willingly. Jurats are to confirm and accept that all contents of the documents are accurate. If a Notary certifies that the copy of the document matches the original, you would require a copy certification.
If you wish to save time and dodge a visit to the official notary, you can also get your documents notarized online. However, If you want to get your notary online, it’s recommended to do some research and find out the procedure and different requirements.
- Ensure Complete Documents
Once you have identified the type of notary you require, it’s time to double-check your documents. Any blank spaces under critical information like dates and rate of interest for loan documents can be susceptible to fraud. So, ensure that your document is 100% complete with all the vital information.
Notaries often reject or advise the customers to complete the document before performing a notarization. You must know that a notary does not have the authority to fill in any missing information on the document except for the notarial certificate wording.
The next step in the notary process is crucial. You must carry a valid identification meeting the state requirements for verification. The notary must and will identify you for who you are before letting you sign any documents. So, having any state-issued identification like a passport or driver’s license would be enough for successful identification.
However, if you do not have an ID to verify yourself, you can also use an option called “credible identifying witness.” That means you get someone on your behalf who tells the authorized notary that they know you. However, your witness must carry a valid state-issued ID in this case.
- Name On Your ID, And The Document Must Be The Same
This is one of the crucial steps that most people ignore. Your name on the legal document and the ID you bring to verify yourself must match. If you have changed your legal representation for any reason, like divorce, marriage, etc., and it does not match the name on the document, the notary will not continue with the notarization process. So, the only option in such a situation is to provide an alternate ID having the same name as the legal document.
- All Signers Must Be Present
All the people whose signatures are to be notarized must be present physically and sign the document in the presence of a notary. The notary will not approve any signatures over video calls or other virtual alternatives. However, as mentioned above, you can opt for online notary services if you and the other co-signers are unavailable for the notary appointment. Moreover, the notary would approve and notarize any signature done online only when you opt for online notary services using the authorized notary service providers.
- Willingness To Sign
One of the primary duties of the notary includes identifying the signer’s willingness while signing the legal document. The notary would confirm that the person signing the document is fully aware of the contents of the legal document and willing to sign it. While the notary follows this screening process for everyone, it may be slightly more specific in the case of infirm and elderly individuals. They would ensure that the signer is signing the legal documents willingly and not under duress.
Those were the crucial steps involved in the process of getting your legal documents notarized. Hopefully, the article helped you gain a better insight into the process. Remember, having a valid ID is a must while visiting an authorized notary for notarization. Ensure your legal document is 100% complete and only see the notary.
Most states also have mobile notary services, so you can have the notary travel to your location instead of you going to them. However, there might be additional traveling and other convenience fees. So it’s recommended to enquire about all the fees and costs of getting your documents notarized.