Notary Public: Duties, Jobs & How to Define Notaries

  • By NotaryCam

  • 19 June, 2024

I want to tell you a secret. Notaries are the unsung heroes of the legal world. But how do we define notaries?

They’re the ones who make sure your most important documents are legit. I’m talking about the power to deter fraud and be an impartial witness. That’s right, notaries are the real deal.

But what exactly is a notary public? What do they do, and how can you become one? I’ve got the answers you need to define notaries once and for all.

What is a Notary Public?

You’ve probably heard the term “notary public” before, but do you really know what they do? I’ve had to get documents notarized countless times over the years. From buying a house to getting a passport for my kid, a notary public has been a crucial part of the process.

So, what exactly is a notary public? In simple terms, a notary public is an official appointed by the state government to serve as an impartial witness. Their main job is to verify the identity of the people signing important documents and make sure they’re doing it willingly, which helps deter fraud and ensures everything is above board.

Duties of a Notary Public

A notary public wears many hats, but their primary duties include:

  • Administering oaths and affirmations
  • Taking acknowledgments
  • Witnessing signatures
  • Certifying copies of documents

Basically, if you need an official to verify that a document is legit, a notary public is your go-to person. One of the most common notarial acts is an acknowledgment. This is where the notary confirms that the person signing a document is who they say they are and that they’re signing of their own free will.

I remember getting an acknowledgment when I bought my house. I had to sign a mountain of paperwork at the closing, and the notary made sure I was the one actually putting pen to paper.

Certified Copies

Another typical duty for notaries is certifying copies of documents. This means they’re verifying that a copy of a document is a true and accurate reproduction of the original. I had to get a certified copy of my college diploma a while back, and the notary checked that the copy was identical before stamping it with their seal of approval.

The Notarization Process

So, what actually happens when you get something notarized? It’s not as complicated as you might think. First things first, the notary needs to verify the identity of the person signing the document.

This is usually done by checking a government-issued ID like a driver’s license or passport. When I got my legal documents notarized, I had to hand over my driver’s license so the notary could confirm I was who I said I was. It’s a simple but important step to prevent fraud.

Confirming Willingness and Awareness

The notary will also make sure the signer is willing to sign and that they’re aware of what they’re signing. They might ask the signer if they understand the document and if they’re signing under their own free will. This is another layer of protection to ensure no one is being coerced or tricked into signing something they don’t want to.

Types of Notary Jobs and Where to Find Work

There are a few different types of notary jobs out there, each with its own set of responsibilities. One common type of notary is a notary signing agent.

These notaries specialize in loan documents and often work with mortgage companies and banks. They’re responsible for making sure all the paperwork is in order and that the borrower understands what they’re signing. It’s a big job, but being a signing agent can be rewarding to help people achieve their dream of homeownership.

Remote Online Notary

With the rise of technology, some states now allow remote online notarizations. This means the notary and signer can complete the notarization process entirely online using video conferencing software.

As a remote online notary, you can work from anywhere and serve clients across the state. You just need to make sure you’re following all the notary laws and regulations when notarizing a document online.

Wedding Notary

Did you know notaries can also officiate weddings? In some states, notaries are authorized to perform marriage ceremonies and sign the marriage license.

If you’re a notary with a flair for romance, being a wedding notary could be a fun side gig. Just make sure you brush up on your “I dos” and invest in a snazzy officiant outfit.

Becoming a Notary Public

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a notary public? Here’s what you need to know. To become a notary, you’ll need to meet your state’s requirements for education and training. 

This usually involves completing a state-approved notary course and passing an exam. The course will cover everything from notary laws and procedures to ethical standards. It’s important stuff, so pay attention and take good notes.


Some states also require notaries to get certified through professional organizations like the National Notary Association. These certifications show that you’ve got the knowledge and skills to be a top-notch notary. Plus, being certified can make you more marketable to potential clients and employers – it’s like having a shiny gold star on your notary resume.

Notary Exam

To officially become a notary, you’ll need to pass a state-administered exam. The exam will test your knowledge of notary laws and procedures, so make sure you’ve studied up. Some states offer study guides and practice exams to help you prepare.

And if you don’t pass the first time, don’t worry. You can usually retake the exam after a waiting period.

So, that’s it – we’ve learned how to define notaries. It’s an important job that helps keep our legal system running smoothly. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the one wielding the notary stamp.

Key Takeaway: 

Notaries public play a key role in fighting fraud by verifying identities and ensuring signers understand and willingly sign documents. From buying homes to getting married, they’re involved in life’s big moments.

FAQs in Relation to Define Notaries

What is a notary simple definition?

A notary public acts as an impartial witness to sign important documents, helping to deter fraud.

What is a notarized person?

A “notarized person” isn’t the correct term. Instead, we say someone’s document got notarized when verified by a notary.

What’s the meaning of notarize?

To notarize means having a document certified for its authenticity and signer’s identity by a licensed official—aka, the notary.

What is the meaning of notarial?

“Notarial” refers to anything related to a notary’s work, like witnessing signatures or certifying copies of legal papers.


So there you have it – we’ve learned how to define notaries. These public officials play a crucial role in our legal system, from deterring fraud to being impartial witnesses. They’re the ones who make sure life’s most important documents are the real deal for all parties involved.

Whether you need a document notarized or you’re thinking of becoming a notary yourself, now you know what it’s all about. Notaries are more than just a properly executed stamp and a signature. They’re the guardians of truth in a world full of fraud.

So the next time you see a notary, give them a nod of respect. They’re the unsung heroes making sure your documents are legit.

And who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be the one wielding that notary stamp, ready to make a difference in your community.