In a recent survey, 79% of Americans said that document notarization gives them peace of mind. Notarizing a document, after all, helps verify one’s identity. This is especially important nowadays, as fraud is becoming more rampant.
In fact, in 2020 alone, there was a total of 4.8 million reported cases of identity theft and fraud in the US.
Helping deter such crimes is one of the main tasks of a notary public. This guide discusses what these appointed officials of integrity have to offer, so be sure to read on.
Certification of Documents
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Documents like powers of attorney, wills, and transfers of title require notarization. The same goes for healthcare directives, deeds, gun permits, and financial statements. Without a notary’s details, such as the official’s name and stamp, these are only sheets of paper.
Before notaries certify any document, they first verify the identity of all signatories. As such, they require identification documents from the parties who signed the papers. The officials then record details about the identifying paperwork given by each signatory.
Notaries also verify each signer’s physical and mental condition before notarizing documents. They make sure that signatories are capable of making sound and legal decisions. These steps help notaries ensure that the signers are doing so of their own free will.
When officials notice signs of intoxication, they will not provide notarization services. They can also refuse to notarize documents if there’s an indication of coercion.
According to this guide, notary public services also provide copy certifications. A certified copy, in turn, is a validated true copy of a primary document. The notary public’s certification affirms that the copy came from the original document.
Some examples of copy certifications are for birth and marriage certificates. You may need these when you apply for a new visa or a new ID, such as a driver’s license or a passport. Speaking of visas, you may also need to provide a certified copy of your passport when you apply for one.
Administering and Witnessing Oaths or Affirmations
When people take an oath, they make a verbal promise to tell the truth by swearing on a religious text. In most cases, the text used is the Bible, but it can also be others, such as the Hebrew Scriptures.
An affirmation is also a verbal and formal promise to tell the truth. The key difference is that an affirmation does not involve swearing on a religious text.
Either way, anyone who takes an oath or an affirmation can only do so in the presence of notary public officials. These officials serve as witnesses to those making the verbal promise. Moreover, they attest to the honesty of the delivered statement.
Validate Your Documents With the Help of a Notary
Keep in mind that identity fraud victimizes millions of people in the US each year. Worse, these crimes result in losses amounting to billions of dollars.
All that proves the importance of notary services for identity and document authentication. So, the next time you enter into a contract, make sure all the paperwork gets notarized.
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