Ever wonder what a notary actually does? Or why you need one? Being a notary is a serious responsibility, one most notaries do not take seriously. A notary must follow what is dictated by state law and also exercise subjective judgement on the signer’s comprehension of the transaction, the state of mind of the signer or whether fraud is present.
- Presents or Presence – the signer must sign in the presence of the notary. “PRESENTS are what you get on your birthday!”
- Jurat or Acknowledgement – a jurat is “subscribed and sworn before me”, the notary is GUARANTEEING the person appeared and took an oath. An acknowledgement indicated the signer, a) personally appeared, b) was identified by notary, and c) acknowledged to the notary that document is being freely signed. No oath given.
- Acceptable Identification – although most common is a valid driver’s license. Florida State Statute lists the following as acceptable:
1) Valid driver’s license or identification card by the public agency authorized to issue a driver’s license;
2) Passport issued by the Department of State of the United States;
3) Passport issued by a foreign government, if the document is stamped by the U.S. Immigration-Naturalization Service;
4) An identification card issued by any branch of the Armed Forces of the U.S..
(these are just a few examples)
You should always check with the notary as to what is an acceptable form of I.D.! Remember Florida laws differ from those in other states. Ask before you complete your forms.
This is a very brief overview of responsibilities bestowed upon a notary.