Notary Public Essentials

By: David Simmons

A person applying for a Notary public signing agent commission must submit proof of identity to the Department of State. A Notary public signing agent may require to pay $500 - $10,000 bond made payable to the state and conditioned to faithfully execute the duties of Notary signing agent. A Notary public has a fixed term in office, the length of which depends on the state, usually four years.

A Notary public signing agent may be re-appointed every four years thereafter by making an application in the same manner as required for an original application. If you are a notary public currently commissioned, you should not submit a new application. A Notary signing agent can end his appointment by submitting a written notice to the secretary of state.

Generally, anyone convicted of a felony cannot be appointed or re-appointed as a Notary public signing agent. If convicted within his or her 4 year term the court in which the Notary signing agent is convicted will notify the Secretary of State within a 10 day period after the conviction.

A Notary must not use the term "notario publico" or any equal non-English term in any business card, advert, notice sign or brochure. The Notary public should give a certified copy of any record of a notarial act to anyone who requests it.

Perhaps the most critical duty of a Notary signing agent is attesting to endorsements on documents. A Notary public signing agent may also administer oaths in depositions or other situations. The signature and stamp/signature are evidence that the endorsement of the notary is genuine and that the person is a Notary signing agent.

Authentication of a Notary public signing agent's endorsement is often required if alien and other jurisdictions are involved. The Notary signing agent confirms the person's identity, the notary will usually accept a driver's license for verification, then presses the notary seal on the document and signs it. There is no specific rule stopping a Signing agent notarizing a wife or husband's endorsement or a Notary signing agent notarizing for a spouse's business.

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