what is a notary?
a notary is an official appointed by the secretary of state to serve as a neutral witness as a means to deter fraud among the public. their responsibilities are primarily focused on documents requiring signatures, ranging from wills to real estate deals to formal contracts. unlike judicial officials like lawyers, notaries are expected to follow written rules like ministerial officials. learning how to become a notary is quite an easy process, but our quick guide will help you what this job entails in greater detail, and help you decide if this is a profession you wish to enter.
what are the duties of a notary? what skills are needed in this field?
the primary duty of the notary is to screen the signatories of any particularly sensitive documents, such as wills, powers of attorney, or property deeds. these officials are entrusted with ensuring that all signatories are putting their signature willingly without any external pressure or intimidation. he or she is also required to make sure that all parties understand the importance of the document which is about to be signed, in case there is any conflict between the parties later. additional duties of the notary may vary depending on the state, with some states delegating more authority to the notary than others.
in all such cases of bearing witness to a signature, the notary is expected to remain impartial. in fact, the state requires notaries to step back from any case in which they have a personal interest. another aspect of this impartiality implies that the notary must be willing to provide service to any person regardless of his or her sexual, religious, cultural, or political affiliations. any person willing to become a notary must be detail-oriented and able to maintain an objective attitude at all times. he or she must also possess good analytical skills to identify when a signatory could be signing a document under force. furthermore, they must be open to working with people from different backgrounds.
how to become a notary: training
the national notary association maintains a complete list of the requirements to become a notary, cataloged according to each state. general requirements include being above the age of 18 and completing the certification test along with an application for becoming a notary. many states now offer the convenient option of completing all the requirements for becoming a notary - training, fingerprints, application photo, notary exam - in a single day. once you pass the test you will be provided with your notary bond, official seal, and journal, which will allow you to perform your notarial duties.
who should become a notary
individuals who are interested in working for public benefit and like to hold authority should consider becoming a notary. the importance of this profession is often overlooked, but it is quite helpful in an era where most transactions, business or otherwise, are conducted between strangers. having a notary officiate the document adds a sense of credibility and authority to the proceedings.