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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.