A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by state government, typically by the secretary of state, to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. These official acts are called notarizations, or notarial acts. Notaries deter fraud and establish that the signer knows what document they are signing, and that they are a willing participant in the transaction.
A Notary's duty is to screen the signers of important documents for their true identity, their willingness to sign without duress or intimidation, and their awareness of the contents of the document or transaction.
Florida statues authorize the following notarizations or notarial acts: Acknowledgements, Certified Copies, Inventorying a Safe-Deposit Box, Jurats, Marriages, Oaths and Affirmations, and Verifying a vehicle Identification Number.
A Notary may not choose the type of notarization on a signer’s behalf. This is considered the unauthorized practice of law.
A Florida Notary Public can take an Individual, Corporate, Official/Trustee, Partnership, Attorney in Fact, and a Disabled Person’s Acknowledgment.
The purpose of an acknowledgment is for a signer, whose identity has been verified, to declare to a Notary or notarial officer that he or she has willingly signed a document.The signer must be able to directly communicate with the Notary, without a translator, that they willingly signed the document.
An acknowledgment requires the following steps:
A Florida Notary Public is authorized to notarizean Individual Jurat and a Disabled Person’s Jurat.
The purpose of a jurat is for a signer to swear to or affirm the truthfulness of the contents of a document to a Notary. The Notary administers an oath or affirmation to the affiant, who verifies the truths listed in the document under penalty of perjury.
A jurat requires the following steps:
A Notary may identify a document signer through any one of the following listed below. The document must be CURRENT or if EXPIRED, issued within the past 5 years, AND bear a serial or other identifying number. While one valid identification document or card may be sufficient to identify a signer, the Notary may ask for more.
Unacceptable ID cards for identifying acknowledgers include, but are not limited to, birth certificates, Social Security cards, credit cards and driver licenses without photographs.
A Florida Notary Public is authorized to notarize Signature by Mark Jurat and a Signature by Mark Acknowledgement. Contact us for more information.
Some notarizations also require the Notary to put the signer under an oath, declaring under penalty of perjury that the information contained in a document is true and correct. Property deeds, wills and powers of attorney are examples of documents that commonly require a Notary.