Treasure Valley Notary

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Q: What Is A Notary Public?

A: The court defines a notary public as a "public ministerial officer," an agent for the state, and a witness of notarial writing and signatures. A Notary Public is a honest, moral and responsible member of our society. They are appointed by the office of the Secretary of State to witness by an official seal and written acknowledgement, or jurat, the signing of documents, as well as admister an oath.

Q: What Does A Notary Do?

A: The most frequent service a Notary Public performs is the simple one of taking someone's acknowledgment.  An acknowledgment is the solemn statement of a person that he or she signed a paper of his or her own free will.  The notary verifies the person's identity, presses his/her notary seal on the paper and signs it where the notary is meant to sign.

Q: How Does A U.S. Notary Differ From A Notario Publico?

A: In Latin America, a Notario Publico is a high-ranking official like a judge or an attorney. Unlike a Notario Publico, a U.S. Notary Public is forbidden from preparing legal documents or giving legal advice unless he or she is also an attorney.

Q: Why Are Documents Notarized?

A: Notarization is intended to deter fraud. The impartial witness (Notary Public) ensures that the signer of a document is who they say they are and that the person signed the document willingly.

Q: Does Notarization Mean That The Information On A Document Is True Or Legal?

A: No. Notarization does not prove that information or statements on a document are true, accurate or legal. The signer is responsible for the content of the documents. The Notary Public certifies the identity of the signer.

Q: How Does A Notary Public Identify A Signer?

A: Generally, the Notary Public will ask to see a current identifying document that has a photograph, physical description and a signature.

Q: Is Identification Required For A Notarization?

A: Each signer must either present a current photo ID; or have two other persons present who will swear to the signer's identity, each of whom has a good, current photo ID.

Q: What Is Acceptable Identification?

A: All signers must have a government issued photo identification to present to the Notary Public at the time of signing. Examples: 1.) Driver's License or State ID Card; 2.) U.S. Passport; 3.) U.S. Military ID; 4.) Inmate ID, but must be prisoners in custody; 5.) Foreign Passport stamped by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Q: What Is Unacceptable Identification?

A: The following will not be accepted as acceptable identification: 1.) Social Security Card; 2.) Birth Certificate; 3.) Credit/Bank Cards; 4.) Temporary Driver's License; 5.) Driver's License without photograph; 6.) Immigration Card.

Q: Can A Notary Notarize For A Stranger With No Identification?

A: Yes.  When a document signer is not personally known to the Notary Public and is not able to present reliable identification documents, that signer can be identified on the oath or affirmation of a credible identifying witness. The word of a credible identifying witness is satisfactory evidence of identity.

Q: Does A Document Have To Be Signed In The Notary's Presence?

A: Yes and No.  The form most frequently completed by the Notary Public is the acknowledgment.   Documents requiring acknowledgments do not need to be signed in the Notary's presence. However, the signer must appear before the Notary at the time of notarization to acknowledge that he or she freely signed for the purposes stated in the document. The second type of document completed by a Notary Public is the jurat. The jurat is identified by the wording "Subscribed and sworn to" immediately above the place where the Notary Public signs his/her name.  A jurat must be signed in the Notary’s presence.

Q: Can A Signer Use A Signature By Mark?

A: A person who cannot sign his or her name because of illiteracy or disability may instead use a mark as a signature, as long as there are two impartial witnesses to the making of the mark (in addition to the Notary).

Q: What is an Acknowledgement?

A: It is a notarial act in which a Notary certifies having positively identified a document signer who personally appeared before the Notary and admitted having signed the document freely.

Q: What is a Jurat?

A: A notarial act in which a Notary certifies having watched the signing of a document and administered an oath or affirmation.

Q: How Do You Correct A Name That Has Been Misspelled On The Document?

A: Only the document signer has authority to make any changes on the document.  When correcting a document simply line through the mistake with ink, write the correction above or beside, initial and date the correction.

Q: Can A Notary Certify A Copy Of A Birth Or Death Certificate?

A: No.  A Notary Public cannot certify a copy of a birth or death certificate. Certified copies of birth and death records should be referred to the State Bureau of Vital Statistics or County Clerk's office in the county where the birth occurred.  For foreign birth certificates, a person should contact the consulate of the country of origin.

Q: Can A Notary Certify A Copy Of A Passport Or A Driver's License?

A: No.  State statutes prohibits a notary public from certifying any documents other than: 1.) copies of powers of attorney and, 2.) copies of entries in his or her notary journal. BUT, a "copy certification by document custodian" serves as an acceptable alternative.

Q: What Is A "Copy Certification By Document Custodian"?

A: The permanent keeper of the document - the document custodian - certifies the copy, not the Notary. The custodian makes a photocopy of the original document; makes a written statement about the trueness, correctness, and completeness of the copy; signs that statement before a Notary; and takes an oath or affirmation regarding the truth of the statement. The Notary, having witnessed the signing and given the oath or affirmation, executes a Jurat.

Q: Can An Undated Document Be Notarized?

A: Yes.  If there is a space for a date it should be filled in with the correct date or lined through by the document signer if incorrect. If the document simply doesn't have a date, it is acceptable for the signer to date the document next to their signature or mark, thus establishing a document date for practical purposes.

Q: Can A Fax Or A Photocopy Be Notarized?

A: Yes.  A photocopy or fax may be notarized, but only if it bears an original signature. That is, the copy must have been signed with pen and ink. A photocopied or faxed signature may never be notarized.  Care should be taken to copy faxes from thermal paper to regular paper before proceeding in having a document notarized in order to avoid rejection by public recorders.

Q: Can A Will Be Notarized?

A: No and Yes.  A Notary Public should not proceed in notarizing a document which purports to be a will unless clear instructions and notarial wording are provided, and only upon specific instructions by an attorney.

Q: Can A Notary List Two Signers On One Notarial Certificate?

A: Yes.  If two signers appear before the Notary Public at the same time, the names may appear on the same certificate.

Q: Can Notaries Give Legal Advice?

A: No.  State law strictly prohibits Notaries from the practice of law.  Notaries should never give advice on any matter relating to a document unless they are an attorney or professionals certified or licensed in a relevant area of expertise.

Q: Can Notaries Draft Legal Documents?

A: No.  A Notary is forbidden from preparing legal documents for others unless he or she is also an attorney.

Q: Can Any Document Be Notarized?

A: For a document to be notarized, it must contain: 1.) Text committing the signer in some way; 2.) An original signature (not a photocopy) of the document signer; 3.) A notarial "certificate" which may appear on the document itself or on an attachment. The Notary fills in the certificate, signs it, then applies his or her seal to complete the notarization.

Q: Is Notarization Required By Law?

A: For many documents, yes. Certain affidavits, real estate deeds and other documents may not be legally binding unless they are properly notarized.

Q: Can A Notary Notarize Or Prepare Immigration Papers?

A: Only a few immigration forms need to be notarized, such as the Affidavit of Support (1-134), but U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) regulations state that no one may prepare or file another person's immigration papers unless he or she is an attorney or a U.S. Justice Department-approved "accredited representative." Non-attorneys can provide clerical, secretarial or translating assistance with INS forms, as long as no advice is given. However, courts have held that even the selection of which forms to complete can constitute the practice of law, since the filing of INS forms creates legal consequences having a substantial impact on the applicant.

Q: Can Someone Sign A Notarized Document If They Are Hospitalized Or In A Care Home Facility?

A: Yes. But every effort must be made by the Notary Public, to be sure that the signer is not incapacitated (which only a doctor can certify to). The signer must be able to communicate with the Notary that they understand what they are signing and the reason why.

Q: Is "Back Dating" Legal?

A: No. State law is very clear that a notary certificate must be dated for the day that it is signed.

Q: Can A Notary Refuse To Serve People?

A: Only if the Notary is uncertain of a signer's identity, willingness or general competence, or has a good reason to suspect fraud. Notaries should not refuse to serve anyone because of race, religion, nationality, lifestyle, or because the person is not a client or customer. Discrimination on any basis is not a suitable policy for a public official.

Q: What Is A Signing Agent?

A: A Signing Agent is a Notary Public with distinctive expertise in notarizing loan document signings.

Q: Why Use A Signing Agent?

A: Lenders who offer loans across the country rely heavily on Signing Agents to complete the signing portion of the transaction. They could not offer their service as effectively or efficiently without Signing Agents to assist the borrowers in executing the documents properly. Signing Agents are expected to know "more than just a Notary." They can answer the "WHAT" questions, by giving a definition, but not the "WHY" questions, in regards to loan terms and conditions. They also "IDENTIFY" the documents, not "EXPLAIN". The Signing Agent knows the key features and information on the documents and secure proper signatures. A reputable Signing Agent is important to find as they act on behalf of the Lender and ultimately service the Borrower.

Q: What Areas Do You Cover?

A: Treasure Valley Notary services all of Southwestern Idaho and parts of Eastern Oregon. We travel throughout Canyon, Ada, Payette, Owyhee, Elmore, Gem, Washington, Adams, Boise, and Valley counties in Idaho. We also cover Malheur and Baker counties in Oregon.

Q: What Are Your Fees?

A: For Loan Signings, in both Idaho & Oregon, all fees are negotiated in good faith as our services are needed. A loan signing varies from $75 to $400. These fees are determined by the complexity of the services requested (refinancing, 80/20, HELOC, etc), edocs or overnight, time of day (after hour emergencies are from 11 pm to 7 am), day of week, excessive fax backs, splitting a package, local pickup and/or delivery of docs, area we are traveling to and any other special requests we are asked to do.

Treasure Valley Notary • Serving Southwestern Idaho & Eastern Oregon
Phone: 208-454-2920