Sallee Alfaro

Sallee Alfaro

Modified & Updated: 31 Dec 2023


Are you curious about the world of notaries? Whether you are considering becoming a notary yourself or simply interested in understanding the role they play, this article is for you! Notaries are essential figures in various legal and business transactions, providing authentication and verification of documents and signatures. However, there is much more to the notary profession than meets the eye. In this article, we will explore 18 fascinating facts about notaries that you may not be aware of. From the ancient origins of notaries to the modern-day significance of their work, we will delve into the diverse aspects of this important profession. So, buckle up and get ready to expand your knowledge of notaries in this engaging and informative article!

Table of Contents

Notaries serve as official witnesses.

Notaries play a crucial role in witnessing and verifying the authenticity of legal documents and transactions. They act as impartial witnesses to ensure the integrity of the process.

Notaries are appointed by the government.

Notaries are typically appointed by the government or authorized by a regulatory body to perform their duties. They must meet specific qualifications and adhere to legal and ethical standards.

Notaries help prevent fraud.

One of the primary functions of a notary is to deter and prevent fraud. By verifying the identity of the parties involved and ensuring that all signatures are genuine, notaries help protect against fraudulent activities.

Notaries can administer oaths and affirmations.

Notaries have the authority to administer oaths and affirmations, which can be used to bind individuals to their statements or commitments. This ensures that the information provided is accurate and truthful.

Notary services are not limited to legal documents.

While notaries are commonly associated with legal documents such as contracts and deeds, they also provide services for various other documents, including affidavits, power of attorney forms, and consent forms.

Notaries work independently or at financial institutions.

Notaries can either work independently, offering their services to the public, or they may be employed by financial institutions such as banks and credit unions, where notarization is often required for certain transactions.

Notaries have the power to certify copies of documents.

In addition to witnessing signatures, notaries can also certify copies of original documents, providing a legally recognized and authenticated copy for various purposes.

Notaries must keep detailed records of their transactions.

Notaries are required to maintain thorough records of all notarial acts they perform. These records typically include the date, type of document, and the names of the parties involved.

Notaries can help with international document verification.

Notaries often have the expertise to verify and authenticate documents for use in international transactions, ensuring that they meet the specific requirements of foreign jurisdictions.

Notaries are subject to legal regulations and professional standards.

Notaries must adhere to legal regulations and professional standards to maintain their authority and integrity. Breaching these standards can result in disciplinary actions or revocation of their notary commission.

Notaries can provide mobile services.

Some notaries offer mobile services, where they travel to the client’s location to perform notarial acts. This can be convenient for individuals who are unable to visit a notary’s office.

Notaries are required to verify the identity of signers.

Before notarizing a document, notaries must verify the identity of the signers through acceptable forms of identification. This helps prevent identity theft and ensures that the document is being executed by the correct individuals.

Notaries play a role in real estate transactions.

When it comes to real estate transactions, notaries are often involved in the signing of mortgage documents, deeds, and other important paperwork. Their presence ensures the legality and validity of these transactions.

Notaries are not attorneys, but they can provide legal guidance.

Although notaries are not lawyers, they can provide basic legal guidance related to notarial acts and document requirements. However, they are not authorized to offer legal advice beyond their notarial duties.

Notaries may need to update their commission periodically.

Notaries are typically required to renew or update their commission at regular intervals, which may involve completing additional education or training to maintain their knowledge and skills.

Notaries play a role in international adoptions.

Notaries are often involved in the documentation and notarization process for international adoptions, ensuring that all necessary legal processes are followed and documents are properly executed.

Notaries can serve as mediators or witnesses in certain cases.

In some cases, notaries may be called upon to serve as mediators or witnesses in legal matters where their impartiality and expertise are required.

Notaries help ensure the validity of wills and trusts.

By notarizing wills and trusts, notaries play a vital role in ensuring that these important documents are legally valid and executed according to the wishes of the individual.


In conclusion, understanding these 18 notary facts is essential for anyone involved in legal transactions or document certification. Notaries play a crucial role in ensuring the authenticity and integrity of documents, safeguarding against fraud and contractual disputes. From their qualifications and responsibilities to the types of documents they can notarize, these facts shed light on the importance of notaries in various aspects of our lives.

By familiarizing ourselves with these notary facts, we can make informed decisions and ensure that our legal documents are properly executed. Whether it’s the need for a notary’s signature, the authentication of a will, or the requirement for notarized affidavits, understanding these facts empowers us to navigate the legal landscape with confidence.

Remember, notaries are professionals who must adhere to strict ethical standards and legal obligations, and their services are crucial for ensuring the validity and trustworthiness of our important documents.


1. What is a notary public?

A notary public is an individual authorized by the government to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths or affirmations.

2. What are the qualifications to become a notary?

The qualifications to become a notary vary by jurisdiction but often include being at least 18 years old, having a clean criminal record, and completing a training or certification program.

3. What types of documents can a notary notarize?

A notary can notarize various documents, including affidavits, deeds, contracts, powers of attorney, and wills, among others.

4. How does notarization protect against fraud?

Notarization acts as a deterrent to fraudulent activity by ensuring the identity of the signer and verifying the authenticity of the documents being notarized.

5. What is the purpose of an oath or affirmation administered by a notary?

An oath or affirmation is a solemn declaration made by the signer, indicating that the information in the document being notarized is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge.

6. Can a notary provide legal advice?

No, a notary is not qualified to provide legal advice. Their role is limited to witnessing the signing of documents and ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

7. Why is it important to use a notary for certain documents?

Using a notary for certain documents adds an extra layer of authenticity and credibility. It ensures that the document has been executed properly and can be accepted as valid in legal proceedings.

8. How long is a notary’s commission valid?

A notary’s commission duration varies by jurisdiction, but it is typically valid for a few years. Renewal is often required to continue acting as a notary.

9. Can a notary notarize a document written in a foreign language?

In some cases, a notary can notarize a document written in a foreign language if they understand the contents and are able to determine the signer’s understanding of the document.

10. What should I bring when meeting with a notary?

When meeting with a notary, it is important to bring a valid, government-issued photo ID and any documents that require notarization. The notary may also ask you to provide necessary paperwork or additional forms.