How to Get a Document Notarized

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Car titles, deeds for real estate, wills, affidavits and power of attorney papers are all examples of documents that are typically notarized. Individuals who need important papers notarized must seek out the services of a notary public. An active notary public serves as an official witness to the signing of documents and verifies that the process is conducted legally. Notarized documents are capable of being used in a court of law and are considered legally applicable.

Locate a notary public in your area. Due to the high level of titles and deeds handled by banks, most have one or more notaries on staff. Many banks offer free notary services to account holders.

Gather together any papers or items relating to your document that needs notarized. The notary public requires proof of identity and needs to scan your document for any mistakes prior to notarization. A driver's license or another photo ID works best as it allows the notary to quickly compare your image as well as verify your name.

Present your document to the notary public with your proof of identity and any additional information to begin the process.

Answer the notary public's questions. Notaries are required to determine if you understand the document you are signing and that you are not being coerced into signing against your will.

Allow the notary a few moments to prepare a journal entry related to your visit. Many states require notary publics to maintain records of all notarized documents. Some states also require the notary to fill out a notarial certificate separate from the document.

Sign your documents in the presence of the notary public. The notary then affixes their notary seal or stamp to the document as well as their own signature.

Pay the notary public for services rendered, if applicable.


About the Author

Ashley Adams-Mott has 12 years of small business management experience and has covered personal finance, career and small business topics since 2009. She is a full-time government and public safety reporter and holds a BSBA in accounting from Columbia College. Her work has appeared online with USA Today, The Nest, The Motley Fool, and Yahoo! Finance.

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