Legal documents float around many areas of our lives. Some are online, but others have to be in print and often require a notary. When there is a request to have something notarized, what does that mean?

What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is a bonded individual that attests to the identity of a person signing a document. They can administer oaths, take acknowledgments, and witness signatures. They are persons authorized to act on behalf of the State of Idaho and operate under the office of the Secretary of State.

What Can a Notary Public Do?

Identity verification is one part of the service that notaries fill. Another is comprehension. If a person’s identity is verified but they do not appear to understand what they are signing or seems to be pressured into signing versus being willing to sign, a notary can decline to perform a notarization.

Some people think that once a document is notarized, it is somehow more legal or binding. A notary will not sign a document they know to be inaccurate or in some way false. They are only responsible for verifying the identity of the person signing a document. Notaries do not give out legal advice, or notarize items for themselves, spouses, or anyone that would create a conflict of interest. Keyword: impartial.

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A notary usually stamps or seals documents like mortgages, deeds, affidavits, depositions, wills, trusts, contracts, bills of sale, and powers of attorney. They can also certify a copy of a document. They can do so with a traditional crimp seal, a stamp, or even electronically.

What Does it Cost to Have Something Notarized?

Notaries in Idaho cannot charge more than $5 per notarial act. If the notary is traveling to a location, travel expenses can be assessed. There are many places to go if a notary is needed. A public library, your bank, or a mobile notary can come to you if necessary.

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