Notary Public is crucial for every country’s legal system. Notarization is a traditional [centuries old] authentication service, which is basically used for confirming that the signature belongs to a certain person. It is a simple 3-steps process – Vetting, authenticating, and keeping records.
Notarization process is all about legitimizing the documents from an authorized notary public. The person will conduct the verification process before legalizing the documents. These documents can also be produced to the courts overseas. Both the concerned signatories will have to appear in person with their ID documents and do the paperwork in the presence of a notary public.
Notarized documents from licensed agencies like GKG Notary are considered valid in most of court and government related matters. Notary public is obligated to guide the clients with proper paperwork needed for notarizing the documents. He/she also has to ensure that neither of signatories are under any kind of pressure or threat.
The document that needs notarization must contain the following –
- Text binding the signer in some way.
- Signer’s original signature.
- Notarial certification can either be in an attached form or appear on the signed documents.
Reasons to notarize specific documents
Many people wonder, why sign documents before some stranger watching over. It is actually a good practice because the notarization process fulfills three purposes.
- It makes sure that the involved signatory/s is identified appropriately.
- It also helps in ensuring that no pressure of threat is being subjected upon any of the signatories.
- It confirms that the party involved in signing the document has done it freely without any pressure.
- It even assures that the matter can be proven autonomously anytime in the future.
The notarization system allows thwarting fraudulent and dishonest activities. The notaries are the first-line defense officers fighting deceit and corrupt activities.
For example, Notarization is needed for the POA or Power of Attorney. POA is needed when a person is too legally appointed to handle certain legal matters on behalf of another person. POA also gives rights to a person to make property purchases or make financial decisions, for some other person overseas. Notarization of POA helps in avoiding documentation frauds.
Other reasons to notarize documents
- Deter fraud like forgery
- Offer protection associated with legal matters like contract disputes
- The court accepts notarized documents, because the authenticity of signatures is already verified by an authorized notary public.
- and believes them to be signed by authentic people and are not contrived or fake
- It removes the requisite for a witness to be present in the court
- Fulfills mandatory needs to be connected with the power of attorney, deeds, etc.
- Increases the inherent value of a notarized document
It is not compulsory to certify every legal document. Nevertheless, it is mandatory in some cases or else its legal validity is questionable and the court will reject the documents. The notary sign and seal validates that the signatories are genuine.
Notary Seal – Status and Significance
Each notary public will be authorized with a unique serial number and a seal. This rectangular bordered seal is an exclusive government property that cannot be used by anyone else except the person himself/herself. Notary public will have to follow the guidelines laid down by the law for using the seal, and will have to place it in a secure place when not in use.
What are the different notarization methods available?
In-person notarization – Here the NP will visually check the Identification cards with photos. They depend on their experience and wisdom for giving the approval signature. The notary can also ask challenging questions to identify, which is called knowledge-based verification. The notary will watch the signatures being made in-person.
As a part of best practices, the notary public has to file the records for verification. This record can help in the verification of the notarization process if needed in the future. The paper journal records the basic details like the signatory’s address and ID card info.
Remote notarization – In this method, the notarization process is conducted in real-time via video. In this case, the notary person will become the witness through video calls from computers, tablet PCs, or mobile phones. The notary public has the authority to decline the proceedings if he feels that one of the signatories is under a threat or any kind of duress.
E-notarization – In this method, electronic or digital media is used from completing the process. It basically means paperless notarization. The process is very much the same as in-person method, except that the documents and certificate are issued in the form of digital files.
In remote notarization – In this method, the complete transaction including the audio and video is recorded. It is a digital trail including the person providing a photo ID, the signature process, and metadata like device ID and person’s location. In case, the person denies the fact of signing the document, it can undoubtedly act as solid proof. Besides, if someone executes a fraud document using your name, you can capably prove your innocence.
To perform e-notarization or remote notarization, the notary public has to notify the state department of the communication technology involved and get approval. The public notary has to follow specific approved technological solutions to use remote or e-notarization methods.
Documents Rejection – How To Avoid It?
Notarizing is a simple procedure but multiple notarized documents get rejected daily due to avoidable errors.
- Make sure that you make entries on all the files in the form. Also, make sure that the names and signatures are done in the proper fields.
- Overwriting and smudging while filling the form can delay the process.
- Even though the seal impression is to be placed near the signs, they should not overlap each other. It ensures that the notary has adhered to the protocol according to legal standards.
- Never black-out or erase incorrect information on the notarizing document. Even use of correction fluid is not allowed.
Remember, the notary public as well as the client’s needs to understand the seriousness of a notarial act. Notarization binds the document legally, so make sure to hire a reliable notary public that is committed to good notary practice.